Driving

Audi A5 Sportback review

Manufacturer price from:£33,845
What Car? Target Price:£30,628
Search new deals
Audi A5 Sportback
Review continues below...
24 Jan 2017 13:03 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 16:45

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Depending on which trim you choose, there are four suspension options. SE and Sport have the softest springs called Comfort Dynamic, while S line gets a stiffer set-up (which you can add as an option on Sport). Then there’s the even stiffer S Sport suspension that comes as standard on the S5, while optional adaptive dampers can be added for an extra cost to any trim.

We’ve tried the S line suspension, which is a bit harsh over rougher urban roads and thumps heavily over potholes and the like. The same is true of S Sport suspension. So we’d recommend going for the adaptive set-up for its greater compliance if you value good ride comfort.

Audi says that it has intentionally made the A5 'sportier' than the A4 because that’s what buyers will expect from a four-door coupé. But the truth is if you were looking for driving thrills, you’d be better off with rear-wheel-drive offerings such as the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé or Kia Stinger. Yet there’s no doubt that the A5 is extremely sure-footed and able to cover ground rapidly without drama. The steering is precise, the body resists lean and there are vast reserves of grip and traction, pretty much regardless of the weather.

The diesel engines start with a 148bhp unit that manages a respectable 0-62mph sprint time of 9.0sec but doesn’t feel particularly quick flat out. The punchier 187bhp version of the 2.0-litre TDI engine feels more than muscular enough to live up to the A5’s executive sporting image, but still manages some impressive fuel economy and emissions figures. This is even more so if you go for the Ultra model, which would be our choice since the efficiency gains come with virtually no loss in performance.

Next up are the 3.0 V6 TDI quattro diesels, which are unbelievably smooth and deliver seriously impressive low-down pulling power that takes your breath away – especially the top-spec 282bhp version.

Of the petrols, the 148bhp 1.4 TFSI needs to be worked pretty hard to extract its performance. The 2.0 TFSI with 178bhp still needs revving harder than a diesel, but it offers more readily accessed poke, while the 249bhp 2.0 TFSI is properly brisk. Both of those engines sound a tad gruff. That cannot be said about the S5, which uses a smooth turbocharged 3.0 V6 petrol with 349bhp. Helped off the line by its four-wheel drive system, we tested this on track and managed the 0-60mph sprint in a scarcely believable 4.4sec. However, once it’s moving, a Kia Stinger GT S matches it for pace.

 

Audi A5 Sportback
open the gallery9 Images
There are 5 trims available for the A5 hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Vorsprung
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
Black Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
OUR PICK
Sport
Our favourite trim comes with all the features of the SE, but adds sat-nav, leather seats, powered front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and a three-month free trial of the Audi Connect onlin...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£30,628
Average Saving £3,217
View Trim
S Line
This range-topping trim gets more aggressive-looking S line bumpers and side skirts, 18in alloys, sports suspension and S line detailing inside. You also get LED headlights and front sports seats u...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£32,117
Average Saving £3,378
View Trim
S5
The top-spec S5 comes with everything that S line has, plus the upgraded infotainment system with an 8.3in screen, even firmer S sports suspension, 19in alloy wheels and a more aggressive styling p...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£44,262
Average Saving £4,618
View Trim