£30,035 - £42,595 Price range
39 - 67 MPG
Prices start from £30,035 and if you buy your new A5 Sportback using carwow you can save £5,180 on average.
Audi interiors are considered as the benchmark that all other manufacturers should aim for and although the A5’s dashboard is a bit dated, it still has that quality feel that promotes a premium atmosphere. Passenger space is generally good although three adults on the back seat will be fighting for shoulder room.
The A5 Sportback is a very capable long distance cruiser. The way it drives will never be as fun as rear-wheel-drive rivals, such as the BMW and Mercedes, and the numb steering kills almost all excitement even if some models are very quick. However, the engines are quiet and refined and outside noises rarely intrude in the cabin.
There is an engine for any need or purpose in the A5 Sportback line-up – those seeking performance can opt for the 333hp V6 petrol in the S5 and those who seek low running costs should opt for the 2.0-litre diesel that is powerful and fuel efficient. Our pick would be the V6 diesel that is decently quick and burns way less fuel than the petrol one.
Five trim levels are available for the A5 Sportback – S, SE, SE Technik, S Line and Black Edition. The base model comes with stop-start technology, climate control, electrically operated boot, cruise control and cloth upholstery. Our preferred trim level would be the SE Technik – it comes with leather-upholstered heated seats and Audi’s MMI hard-drive based satellite navigation system.
Cheapest to buy: 1.8-litre SE Technik petrol
Cheapest to run: 2.0-litre SE ultra diesel
Fastest model: 3.0-litre S5 petrol
Most popular: 3.0-litre S5 Black Edition petrol
Just like all other Audis, quality is very impressive with soft touch plastics and a choice of aluminium, wood or Piano Black trim pieces. Since the facelift in early 2012, all cars get five seats as standard – rather than making you pay extra for a bench in the rear, as was the case previously.
Audi A5 Sportback passenger space
The Sportback version of the A5 has much better space in the back than the equivalent coupe thanks to being slightly taller and longer. It also has a hatchback tailgate allowing better access to the luggage area. While space is better, comfort still isn’t perfect for the driver – it has the same slightly offset pedals as the Coupe.
The sloping roofline does mean that there’s less space inside than the class-leading BMW 3-Series, but it’s not a big price to pay for the car’s stylish design.
Audi A5 Sportback boot space
The Sportback has a boot capacity of 480 litres that rises to 980 when the rear seats are folded down. The boot in the 4 Series is just as big with the seats up, but can hold a bit more when they are folded, because of its higher roofline.
Some reviewers have complained that this Audi isn’t very exciting to drive despite having the word ‘Sport’ in its name. The car does handle well but the numb steering and the lack of a rear wheel drive option means that it’s not as engaging to drive as you think. It is available with four-wheel drive, though, and so equipped the Sportback feels extremely capable on wet and slippery roads.
Not for the first time in an Audi, the ride is poor over rough surfaces – ie most UK roads. This is even more of a problem if you choose the S line models, with their sports suspension and large alloy wheels. It’s a good motorway cruiser, though, and devours long distances with ease.
The Audi is more about secure handling, refinement and comfortable cruising rather than white-knuckle, edge-of-the-seat performance, which gives it a definitive place in the segment.
Audi A5 Sportback petrol engines
Petrol options include a 1.8-litre TFSI and a 2.0-litre TFSI, and there’s a 328 bhp supercharged 3.0 V6 TFSI in the S5. Of these, the 1.8 TFSI and the S5 are probably best – the 2.0 TFSI is known to be a bit “peaky” in its power delivery and never feels quite as quick as you’d expect.
Audi A5 Sportback diesel engines
Diesels include an economical 2.0-litres TDI – a top choice for company buyers with Benefit In Kind (company car) tax on the mind – and potent V6 diesels. Experts generally favour the 2.0 TDI because it’s the best all-round package. It has impressive fuel economy of 61.4mpg and emits 120g/km of CO2 resulting in a £110 yearly road tax bill.
The 3.0-litre V6 engines really are a joy as far as diesels go, with the four-wheel drive-only 245hp unit getting the Sportback from zero to sixty in just 5.9 seconds with the S-tronic gearbox.
The 1.8 TFSI petrol engine is the cheapest in the range and comes with 168bhp which means a 0-60mph time of 8.2 seconds. It’s not the most economical A5 engines but it’s very impressive for a petrol unit, with up to 48.7mpg and a CO2 rating of 136g/km.
Despite the fact this is the smallest engine in the range, reviewers say that the engine hardly feels underpowered or slow in most situations. Like most of the refined Volkswagen Group engines it is smooth and quiet which means relaxing motorway journeys.
This engine is available in Standard, SE and S Line trims and comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox. It’s also only available with front-wheel drive.
Even though the 3.0 V6 TDI has much more performance and is smoother, experts say the best engine is the 2.0 four cylinder TDI diesel. It produces 175bhp which means a 0-60mph time of 8.5 seconds. This unit has the lowest running costs out of the range with up to 60.1mpg and a CO2 rating of 120g/km.
It’s not the smoothest power plant of the range and it can be a bit noisy at idle but apart from that it is the perfect engine for this car with the great balance between performance and economy, plus it’s the cheapest diesel.
It comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive as standard but it can be specified with a DSG automatic gearbox and/or Quattro four-wheel drive but reviewers say the front-wheel drive cars have enough grip.
There’s only one review of the 2.0 TFSI petrol engine and the one tested has been mated to the DSG automatic gearbox and has the Quattro four-wheel drive system.
The engine produces 207bhp which means a 0-60mph time of just over 6 seconds. It’s cheaper than the equivalent diesel but that’s the only benefit it has over the rest of the range. The expert in this case didn’t think that the car delivered the performance figures promised and also felt that the DSG automatic gearbox struggles to change cogs as fast as it usually does because it had to cope with the Quattro four-wheel drive system in addition.
It’s best to get this engine with front-wheel drive, a manual gearbox and in SE trim.
The most powerful diesel in the range is the 3.0 TDI V6 diesel which produces 201bhp and 295lb ft of torque which means a 0-60mph time of 7.1 seconds and a top speed of 146mph
There’s only one review of this engine so far but it’s fairly positive. All cars get the 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox whether you like it or not but the test car in this case was mated to the Quattro four-wheel drive system as well. The biggest criticism is that the DSG gearbox and the four-wheel drive system aren’t very smooth when together which lead to niggles such as the progress through lower gears being jerky.
Economy is very impressive for a unit this powerful though with up to 57.6mpg and a CO2 rating of 129g/km.
Just like the new 2012 S5 Coupe, the S5 Sportback gets a 3.0 supercharged V6 TFSI that produces 328bhp which means a 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds.
There’s a conflict of opinion with the S5. Some say that they can’t understand the point of its existence since it’s a great long distance cruiser like the 3.0 V6 TDI but the diesel has more economy. Others say that the S5 is excellent since it’s an easy car to go seriously fast in with very good mpg for a powerful petrol (up to 34.9mpg.)
One thing that everyone agrees on is the driving experience. It’s nowhere near as sharp as the rear-wheeled drive BMW M3 or Mercedes C63 AMG coupe.
The S5 Sportback, whether you like it or not, comes with a 7-speed DSG gearbox which keen drivers probably won’t like but with this engine and the Quattro four-wheel drive system it works brilliantly.
Even if you don’t go for any optional safety features you still get least six airbags on all models, along with standard electronic stability control and anti-whiplash head restraints throughout the range.
If you do choose to spend extra on safety over luxury and entertainment, the Audi offers optional safety equipment such as adaptive cruise control, a blind spot warning system and lane-departure warning system, which vibrates the steering wheel if your car crosses a line on the road without you having indicated.
There are six models to choose from in the A5 Sportback line-up making it slightly more complicated to specify than other models in the range.
Audi A5 Sportback S line
We can make it easier, though, and advise that you choose the S line model. It adds to the basic SE trim’s kit list – which includes 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise and climate control, a DAB radio, plus auto lights and wipers – with popular options such as sat-nav and Nappa leather upholstery. It’ the model’s sportier looks – thanks to huge 18-inch alloy wheels and Audi’s subtle S line body kit – that has most customers reaching for their cheque books, though. S line models are also now available with the SE’s more comfortable suspension setting at no extra cost, which is much better suited to driving in the uk.
The Audi A5 Sportback really is a thing of beauty that will make a lot of people forget about any perceived deficiencies in other areas.
You might not see the point of the Audi A5 Sportback. It’s not as sporty to drive as the ‘Sport’ name suggests and it’s more expensive than a normal A4 saloon – but you could argue that it’s good-looking enough to forget the A4 even exists…
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