Audi A5 Sportback review
The A5 Sportback is the five-door version of the A5 Coupe which adds practicality to the stylish model range
If you’re in the market for a premium-badged coupe but still need a degree of practicality, then the Audi A5 Sportback is well worth a look. It’s better than ever, and while space in the back is limited for taller adults, the extra doors are a boon. It’s not as fun to drive as a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, but even versions without quattro all-wheel-drive feel planted, refined and good to drive. The interior is among the classiest and best built of any car currently on sale, while the range of economical engines is simply the icing on the cake.
The Audi A5 Sportback is the five-door sister model to the A5 Coupe, and both cars share their mechanical running gear with the Audi A4 executive saloon. The current A5 Sportback is the Mk2 version, which went on sale in 2017. On the whole, the A5 Sportback range mirrors that of the Coupe, with a line-up of petrol and diesel engines that offer a balance of economy and performance that moves from the former to the latter the further up the range you go.
The big difference between the A5 Coupe and Sportback is the latter's extra pair of doors and liftback rear end. This boosts practicality without spoiling the A5's sharp looks, while frameless windows and a low roof line that arcs gently to the tail mean it's not easily confused with the A4 saloon, either.
There are four trim levels offered across the standard A4 Sportback line-up, which kicks off with the Sport version. This runs on 18-inch alloys, has LED headlamps with Titanium Black grille and rear diffuser, plus leather-trimmed sports seats, climate control and MMI Navigation Plus with 10.1-inch touch control display and Audi’s excellent 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard.
Next up is the S Line with 19-inch wheels, sportier styling tweaks, dynamic front and rear indicators and leather/Alcantara seats. The Edition 1 trim takes you up to 20-inch wheels, includes the Black styling pack and Nappa leather interior, while the top spec Vorsprung has fancier 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof and upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system.
There’s a decent choice of engines with something to suit all tastes. The range starts with the 148bhp 1.4 TFSI 150PS petrol, followed by a 2.0 TFSI in 204PS and 265PS forms that have 201bhp or 261bhp – all with Audi’s 7-speed S tronic automatic gearbox, but the most powerful engine only available with quattro four-wheel drive. The three powertrain options are badged 35 TFSI, 40 TFSI and 45TFSI quattro respectively. The high-performance S5 Sportback is now only available as a diesel, but you can get the mighty RS 5 Sportback with a 2.9 TFSI twin-turbo petrol making 444bhp.
If you’d prefer a diesel, the range includes two 2.0-litre models badged 35 TDI and 40 TDI with 161 and 201bhp respectively. The R S5 comes with a 3.0V6 TDI engine making 334bhp, mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic auto.
Quattro four-wheel drive is only available on selected versions of the A5 Sportback, being fitted as standard to the 40 TDI and 45 TFSI, as well as the S5 and RS 5 performance variants.
The only direct rival for the A5 Sportback is the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, which follows the same formula of being a more practical five-door coupe that's based on a two-door coupe that shares its running gear with a four-door saloon. Other cars worth considering for stand-out looks include the Volkswagen Arteon, Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia, while the usual range of saloons and two-door coupes from Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, as well as within the Audi range, are worth considering, too.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe A5 Sportback is the five-door version of the A5 Coupe which adds practicality to the stylish model range
- 2Engines, performance and driveA wide range of powerful petrol and diesel engines should mean there’s something for everyone
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsGood relative efficiency and low emissions are available across the A5 Sportback engine line-up
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Audi A5 Sportback raises the bar when it comes to interior quality, with plenty of technology and a logically laid-out cabin
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWhile the A5 Sportback is more versatile than the standard coupe, the A4 is more practical
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe A5 Sportback has the power of the VW Group behind it, meaning it comes loaded with safety kit