From £24,780
Extra practicality of rear cabin should help bolster appeal of revised sports hatch

Our Verdict

Audi A5

The Audi A5 is a classy coupé, hatchback and cabriolet, but are there talents beneath the pretty bodywork?

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What is it?

Here’s a good reason to put the Audi A5 Sportback on your buying list – a fifth seatbelt. This £220 option, which makes the cabin into a family-friendly 2+3-seater, turns the stylish Sportback into a practical, alternative-looking sports hatch, if you feel the need to squeeze in an extra child or teen passenger.

Significant numbers do, Audi says, adding that the four-seat cabin standard on the original Sportback gave too many people a reason not to buy. As a result, it predicts improved Sportback sales at roughly similar levels to the two-door A5.

What’s it like?

There are other significant reasons to like this facelifted and revised Sportback, notably a more compliant ride, even in hard core S Line spec, and better fuel economy/emissions, which reduce running costs.

Specifically, the rear axle features revised bushings while the dynamic setting in the optional £220 Drive Select adjustable suspension features revised damper and steering tune. It retains responsive steering, snappy throttle response and good body control, yet allows the suspension to breath over bumps; the effect possibly boosted by the optional 18inch Dunlop winter tyres fitted to our test car.

Also new is a Drive Select efficiency setting, the fifth in the menu, which dulls throttle response to improve fuel economy, and ensures the A5 stays in touch with the new BMW 3-Series, which offers a similar dashboard-selectable economy program.

With a more powerful and torquier 2.0-litre diesel under the bonnet, Audi has raised the whole A5 range’s game in the face of tough competition coming from the new 3-series.

In fact Audi is claiming the Sportback as the most frugal in its class with 60.1mpg. We saw over 50mpg on the trip meter at times, although that dropped back to the late-30s during more spirited driving. And the headline 120g/km figure is strong for road tax and company car tax calculations.

Should I buy one?

The A5 Sportback still looks fresh, sporty and quite expensive. With an extra dose of practicality, it makes a much better case as an interesting alternative to a regulation four-door sports saloon.

Audi A5 Sportback 2.0TDI S Line

Price: £31,895; Top speed: 142mph; 0-62mph: 8.5sec; Economy: 60.1mpg; Co2: 120g/km; Kerbweight: 1590kg; Engine type, cc: four-cylinder diesel, VGT turbo, direct-injection; Power: 175bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 280lb ft at 1750 – 2500rpm; Gearbox: six-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
19

8 December 2011

I like how the A5 Sportback looks, and this engine has impressive economy figures for its power output. However, £31,000 completely puts me off.

9 December 2011

This is so much more appealing in every way than the A4.As ever the price is out of my league :(

9 December 2011

[quote Fidji]However, £31,000 completely puts me off[/quote]
The Passat CC looks nicer IMO and is much cheaper.

9 December 2011

I may be mistaken, but for this price there would seem to be room for quite a few options on a 320d which is still more powerful, quicker and more econonmical, as well as being more fun thanks to RWD.

Mind you the 320d does not seem to have the magnet in the front that attaches most Audis to my rear bumper, at least until there are some bends when it seems to become ineffective!

9 December 2011

Amazing that VAG can now do face lifts and tweeks after such a short time!! They must think they are in the fashion business with new looks for every bloody season and stick the price up a bit too so you can be seen "Dior" snob style in the latest incarnation !!! I will stick with the Passat - or better still wait for a new Skoda !!

9 December 2011

Not only are Audi's expensive to buy - but they are expensive to maintain once they are about 5-6 years old with 60-80,000 miles on the odometer. Ask any experienced mechanic and he will confirm. BMW are about as bad - and Mercedes Benz worse. "Let the buyer beware." E

9 December 2011

I don't know if it's just me but I just don't see many A5 Sportbacks around, especially compared to the 2 door version or an A4. Not sure if that's because of less practicality than if Audi done a 'proper' hatchback by doing a 5dr A4 or that premium hatchbacks of this size still don't tick many boxes for punters. Shame, as I've always liked the Sportback.

9 December 2011

£220 for a 5th seat! Perhaps this is the Audi A5, Ryanair edition.

9 December 2011

[quote ronmcdonald]£220 for a 5th seat! Perhaps this is the Audi A5, Ryanair edition[/quote]

I suspect Audi would argue its good value, each of the 1st 4 cost over £7,500 each, so we should be grateful they dont expect that much for the 5th.

As ever, whatever you think of the base price of an Audi, its amazing just how much the options add

9 December 2011

[quote petrolheadinrussia]

Amazing that VAG can now do face lifts and tweeks after such a short time!! They must think they are in the fashion business with new looks for every bloody season and stick the price up a bit too so you can be seen "Dior" snob style in the latest incarnation !!! I will stick with the Passat - or better still wait for a new Skoda !!

[/quote]

Well, the A5 coupe was launched in 2007, so a 2011 facelift is appropriate. And if you're going to facelift the coupe, you may as well do the cabriolet and Sportback at the same time, even through they're only a couple of years old.

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