Audi didn’t become the brand they are today by thinking inside the box, and the new Audi A5 Sportback is another fruit of their unconventional loins. History has it that five door hatchbacks don’t fair well in the compact executive sector, but history also had it that only 32 Audi’s were shifted when they first went on sale in the UK.
The brand have since sold over 2,000,000 cars here in Britain, which suggests they’ve got an eye for talent when they see it. Is the five-door Audi A5 Sportback proof the brand have still got first rate scouting ability? Or is it a step too far? Let’s take a closer look.
Audi A5 Sportback Test Drive
The new Sportback is a good handler out on the road. It’s not as sharp as a tack, but it does feel sporty enough to be convincing. It’s not what you’d call a ballistic sports coupe that will blow your head off, and there is a measure of control and refinement here, but it should be enough for most enthusiastic drivers. Think of it like the party animal who has calmed down a bit and is more of a smooth criminal these days.
The ride is generally smooth and comfortable, thanks to the standard suspension, though the higher trim levels suffer from lower suspension and bigger alloys that add discomfort when you’re rampaging through some of our worst roads. The enhanced cornering performance is good and fills you with confidence for the most part, though some might find it a little exhausting on longer journeys.
All variants, meanwhile, come with the updated ESP stability control system.
The A5 Sportback borrows engines from the A4 – but only the best ones. Buyers get to choose between front or all-wheel-drive, while the most popular unit will invariable be the 2.0-litre TDI unit that is good for 136PS. The 2.0-litre TDI 190PS is worth a short, though, especially if frugality is not your biggest concern. You can pair it up with either an automatic or manual transmission, while the range-topping power plant is a 3.0-litre TDI 245PS quattro.
The Interior, Design And Build Of The Audi A5 Sportback
This car is a five-door hatch alright, but it still looks similar to a saloon. Imagine, if you will, a cross between a saloon and a coupe. That’s pretty much what this looks like. This means you get the best of both worlds; you get the raw sex appeal of a coupe and the suggestion of space and practicality offered by a saloon.
We knew Audi wouldn’t let anyone down when it came to this car’s interior; the brand have forged a reputation for building top-quality cabins that look great and are really user friendly. As usual, this one is top of its class.
If there is one slight letdown its the ageing dash which just doesn’t measure up when compared next to the updated, swanky one you’ll find in the new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The infotainment is still a tad too small, and while Audi may have realised this – they haven’t bothered to do anything about it.
That small gripe aside, the Sportback A5 comes with top-quality leather seats, as well as the aforementioned MMI multimedia infotainment system which, while decidedly small, is simple to use and looks great.
This car is the most practical in the A5 range, and comes with big rear doors that make for easy access, a huge boot and plenty of handy storage spaces. The old 4-seat layout has made way for five seats, which instantly puts this car’s practicality head and shoulders of many of its rivals. Legroom is good all round. The boot, meanwhile, offers 480-litres of space with the rear seats up and can be extended to 980-litres if you fold those chairs down.
Audi A5 Sportback Pricing And Running Costs
Prices for the new car start out from £30,000 and rise to £44,000.
There are three trim’s available:
- SE Technik
- S Line
- Black Edition Plus
Opt for the entry level variant and you’ll get 17” alloys, emissions-saving stop/start tech, Bluetooth connectivity and climate control, while the S-line throws in sports suspension and LED daytime running lights as standard. The range-topping Black Edition Plus model adds 19” alloys, and a 14-speaker stereo system.
In terms of running costs, the base level 2.0-litre TDI 136PS diesel is your choice if you really want to keep cost of ownership down. It returns 67.3mpg and emits just 109g/km of CO2. Even if you go for the pokier 2.0-litre TDI 190PS variant, you’ll still see impressive returns of 61.4mpg, while emissions stand at 119g/km of CO2. If you fancy a petrol, the 1.8-litre TFSI is as good as things get, returning 46.3mpg and emitting 141g/km of CO2.
Our Favourite: Audi A5 SE Line Sportback
Audi have proved there is room in the world for a compact executive hatchback. This car is both practical and stylish, and comes complete with the brand’s typically luxurious and comfortable interior. How many of these the company manages to sell is another story, but if a compact exec five door saloon that looks a bit like a coupe sounds right up your street, the new Audi A5 Sportback is well worth a look.
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