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Audi A5 Sportback
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Audi A5 Sportback Review

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The Audi A5 Sportback looks great, is almost as spacious as an A4 saloon and offers added versatility. It has some fine engines, too, with the four-cylinder diesel particularly tempting to fleet users.


The steering is numb, the pedals are heavily off set and it's a bit tight in the back. A BMW 3 Series will be cheaper to run, too.


The Audi A5 Sportback feels old in a few areas, but still worth considering if you value style over practicality.

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No Audi A5 Sportback is short of power. Even the cheapest petrol model – with a 1.8-litre turbo engine – gives punchy performance, while the 2.0-litre turbo and 3.0-litre V6 are stronger still. Audi also offers three versions of a flexible 2.0-litre diesel, and a 3.0-litre diesel with enough pace to worry sports cars.

Ride & Handling

Whether you choose front- or four-wheel drive the A5 grips well, but its rubbery steering robs you of some fun and the body feels a bit floaty over undulating roads. True, S line suspension cures the latter problem, but it also makes the ride overly firm.


The A5 Sportback has coupe-like frameless side windows, so you might expect wind noise to be a problem, but the car actually remains pretty quiet until you're going very quickly. The four-cylinder diesel engines are smoother than those in BMWs and Mercs.

Buying & Owning

There's quite a price hike to step up from an A4 saloon to an Audi A5 Sportback. The good news is that the Sportback will hold its value better than the A4, and at least as well as the A5 Coupe. The 2.0 TDIe is the most appealing prospect for company car drivers, thanks to its 120g/km CO2 figure.

Quality & Reliability

If there's one thing you expect of an Audi, it's a lush interior. The Sportback delivers to a degree, but there are areas of the cabin that don't look and feel as special as they should. Audi reliability isn't always as good as buyers expect, and the A5 rated as below average in this respect in the 2012 JD Power survey.

Safety & Security

The Sportback gets six airbags and stability control, but you have to pay extra for rear side airbags and blind spot- and lane-departure warning systems. It has all the security features that have earned Audi several What Car? security awards in recent years.

Behind The Wheel

This is arguably the Audi A5 Sportback's biggest Achilles heel. The pedals are offset to the right, which affects comfort, and the clutch pedal drops into a recess in the floor, so to get it down fully, you have to poke it with your toe. The ventilation controls are fussy and the visibility isn't great. Still, at least the seats are comfortable.

Space & Practicality

The Sportback might be badged as an A5, but it's underpinned by the platform of the A4. It has similar legroom to the saloon and only a fraction less headroom, although six-footers will still feel a bit cramped in the back. Boot space is comparable with the A4's and the rear seats fold almost flat. Shorter owners may struggle to reach up to close the high-lift tailgate, though, and to load heavy cases over the boot lip.


Entry-level trim is reserved for the four-cylinder engines; it’s reasonably equipped, but most buyers will upgrade to SE, which is standard with the six-cylinder engines. Extras on SE models include an upgraded stereo, larger alloy wheels, leather seats and rear parking sensors. S line trim brings extra sporty trim and xenon headlights, while the S5 is a stand-alone model that comes with higher-quality leather, extra cosmetic upgrades and electrically adjustable front sports seats.