Audi first used the Sportback name on today’s five-door Audi A3, but the name is more appropriate for the A5 and A7, both of which are lower-slung, more rakish five-door coupés.

Mercedes was the first to offer a racier executive choice with the striking 2004 CLS, but Audi has taken up the idea with most zeal, giving us first the A5 Sportback, a five-door coupé derived from the A4, and then the A7, whose arrival pre-empted the new A6.

The CLS is a saloon and BMW’s 5-series GT is a somewhat bulky-looking hatchback whose boot door can also be opened like a saloon’s. The A7, like the A5, is a low-roofed five-door coupé. Indeed, so close is the A7 to the A5 that you could almost consider it a 105.5 per cent recreation of the same car, this percentage being the difference in length between them, although the price hike is rather larger. Audi is certainly driving its new models into tight niches these days.

The A7 range starts starts at a tempting-enough price and it’s relatively compact, consisting of a pair of V6 petrols – a 201bhp 2.8 TFSI and a 296bhp 3.0 TFSI – and 3.0 TDI diesels of 201bhp and 242bhp, all offered in either SE or the pricier and sportier S-line trims.

Quattro four-wheel drive is standard on all but the lower-powered 3.0 TDI.

Top 5 Grand tourers

  • Mercedes-Benz SL

    Mercedes-Benz SL

    1
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS
    Does the Mercedes CLS lead the four-door coupé pack?

    Mercedes-Benz CLS

    2
  • Porsche Panamera
    The Porsche Panamera was first launched in 2009 and revamped in 2013

    Porsche Panamera

    3
  • Audi A7
    The Audi A7 Sportback delivers on all fronts, except for an ability implied in its name

    Audi A7

    4
  • BMW 6 Series coupé
    The 6 Series shares its plaform with models as diverse as the 5 Series and Rolls-Royce Ghost

    BMW 6 Series

    5

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