Audi A5 Sportback review - Engines, performance and drive
A wide range of powerful petrol and diesel engines should mean there’s something for everyone
Several models come with the brand’s venerable quattro all-wheel-drive system, and while very few UK buyers will ever truly rely on it, it gives the A5 a sense of security otherwise missing on many of the car’s key rivals. The quattro versions offer bags of grip and loads of control on wet, greasy B-roads.
This car is also at home on the motorway, where high-speed refinement is excellent. Like all Audis, the A5’s cabin is well insulated from wind and road noise – though bigger wheels can affect the sense of calm. Add optional adaptive dampers and you can switch between Comfort and Sport modes which vary the firmness of the ride, although even in Sport mode the ride isn't jarring.
Head into some corners and you’ll find the A5 Sportback composed rather than fun. Being based on the VW Group’s MLB platform means the current car is better to drive than its predecessor, but a rear-wheel-drive BMW is still more engaging. The A5 is nimble enough, however, with impressive body control and loads of grunt. The steering is a little numb, but you can add weight using the Drive Select button on the dash.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
The 2.0-litre TDI is both fast and frugal, with the 201bhp version doing 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds. Our only gripe is that the seven-speed S tronic auto has a long seventh gear that's better suited to autobahn speeds than UK motorways. The box insists on kicking down to sixth with even the slightest press of the throttle at motorway speeds - you have to be travelling at 80mph or more for the engine's torque to deal with your demands. The 201bhp 40 TFSI petrol is a couple of tenths slower to 62mph.
The 261bhp 45 TFSI is faster, completing the same sprint in 5.6 seconds via the seven-speed S tronic box. However, the increased torque of the diesels make them feel faster in the real world.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe A5 Sportback is the five-door version of the A5 Coupe which adds practicality to the stylish model range
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingA 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