Audi A5 Sportback review

Category: Coupé

Section: Performance & drive

Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear cornering
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 front tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear cornering
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior dashboard
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior rear seats
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior infotainment
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 right tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 front tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 headlight detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear light detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear side detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior front seats
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior driver display
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 boot open
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 front tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear cornering
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior dashboard
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior rear seats
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior infotainment
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 right tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 front tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear tracking
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 headlight detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear light detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 rear side detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior front seats
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior driver display
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 interior detail
  • Audi A5 Sportback 2021 boot open
What Car?’s A5 deals
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Performance & drive

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

All the Audi A5 Sportback’s engines are 2.0-litres with varying power outputs, but you wouldn’t know any of that looking at their mysterious labelling. Let’s start with the diesels and our pick of the range: the 35 TDI. Feeding 161bhp to the front wheels, it has plenty of low-down punch and makes tootling around town easy.

It’ll also sprint from 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds, meaning it’ll whisk you up to motorway speeds effectively. If you’d like some extra pace, the 40 TDI has 201bhp and gets the Audi quattro four-wheel drive system. We’d argue that the additional pace isn’t quite enough to warrant the extra cost, though.

All versions of the A5 Sportback come with an S tronic seven-speed automatic gearbox. It changes gears pretty smartly and kicks down on the button, but there can be a bit of jerkiness at parking speeds, and a brief but noticeable pause almost every time you pull off.

In other respects, this is a very slick machine. It insulates you extremely effectively from the world outside, with limited wind noise at 70mph and, if you avoid the biggest wheel options, hardly any road roar. The Kia Stinger and Volkswagen Arteon are not as hushed – and nor is the Mercedes C-Class Coupé for that matter.

That calmness extends to the A5 Sportback’s engines, too. Whether you choose petrol or diesel, few other four-cylinder motors are as quiet. That said, if you want something that sounds fruitier, you might want to try the BMW M440i with its oh-so-sweet six-cylinder motor, or the Audi S5 or RS5.

The ride quality is another strength if you opt for our recommended Sport trim. Why that trim? Firstly, because it comes with the smallest alloy wheels – 18in – making it easier across bumps than the biggest 20in rims fitted to the Vorsprung trim. Secondly, it has Comfort Dynamic suspension, which is softer than the Sport suspension fitted to most other trims.

That said, Sport suspension isn’t exactly harsh. You notice some impacts over potholes and ridges in the road, but once you’re up to motorway speeds, the ride is settled for the most part, and it doesn’t thump alarmingly as the pricier Mercedes CLS is known to. 

The A5 Sportback's steering is well-weighted and precise, there’s minimal body lean and you’ll find that there’s a good amount of grip on offer, especially on quattro four-wheel drive models. Even so, it never really involves you quite as much as the 4 Series, which is arguably the best car in the class for driving thrills. If you want something a little less sophisticated, the rather manic rear-wheel drive Stinger could be for you.

New car deals
Save up to £3,133
Target Price from £37,895
Save up to £3,133
or from £434pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £29,981
Leasing deals
From £376pm