£48,880 Price range
For those looking for a fast, practical and attractive four-door saloon, you needn’t look much further than the Audi S5 Sportback.
You’ll spot it from a standard A5 by the unique 18-inch alloy wheels, sporty bodykit, four large exhausts and the satin aluminium wing mirror covers that traditionally appear in other Audi S models.
The main difference, however, between a normal A5 and the S5 is the use of Audi’s 349hp 3.0-litre turbocharged V6. Thanks to the launch control feature, the S5 Sportback leaps from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds whilst a sleek body and a lower weight than before helps the S5 Sportback achieve a quoted fuel economy figure of 38mpg. At the push of a button, the engine note can be either quiet for cruising or loud and sporty for more aggressive driving.
Being the sporty model in the range, the S5 handles better than the standard car. It’s a pretty neutral car to drive, though, meaning it’s surefooted and predictable at speed but you may find it a bit too predictable and, as a result, not quite as exciting around a twisty stretch of road as a BMW 4 Series. However, the better interior, technology and practicality of the S5 Sportback can easily sway you back to the Audi.
Speaking of the interior – there are a number of improvements over the standard A5 including fully electric heated front leather seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel along with polished aluminium trim inserts.
Space up front is really as much as you’d need in a car such as this and there’s a huge amount of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel. Now, even though there are three seats in the rear, you’ll struggle to fit three people in there. That said, it is better than the old model and when carrying just two rear passengers there is plenty of room.
Boot space, at 480-litres, is pretty good but what’s really practical about the S5 Sportback is that its boot opens like a hatchback making it far easier to load items – it’s certainly more practical than a Mercedes C-Class Coupe.
Although the S5 hasn’t been crash tested yet by Euro NCAP, the similar A4 and A5 models have both received five-star safety ratings. Since the S5 has many safety features such as autonomous emergency braking and traction control, plus the fact it is based on the A4/A5 platform, it would likely score highly.
In terms of equipment, you do get air conditioning and cruise control as standard as well as the updated version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system that comes with 3D maps for the sat-nav that make it easier navigating an unfamiliar city. Unfortunately, the brilliant Virtual Cockpit is a £750 option even on this fairly high-spec A5 model, too.