Somewhere over the course of the last 2 decades Mercedes-Benz answered a question nobody asked – creating the 4 door coupe. It combined the aesthetics of a coupe with the practicality of a sedan, and in truth never quite matching either. But with time, other manufacturers have jumped on board, including Audi who now offer several of these liftback style models. The A5 Sportback is the latest from the German brand, turning the aggressively styled A5 coupe into something out of a cathedral in Notre Dame. Built with the underpinnings of the new A4, though, the A5 Sportback’s beauty is more than skin deep.
As we’ve come to expect from Audi, interior quality is some of the best in the business.The A5 Sportbacks switchgear and main touch points are all luxuriously appointed with high end leathers and soft touch materials. At the center of the simplistic dash is Audi’s7-inch infotainment display, which can be opted up to a 8.3-inch display unit.Additionally, Audi’s virtual cockpit can be optioned for a fully digital experience.
As for space, Audi’s engineers have cleverly packaged the A5 Sportback with enough space to seat 5. Unlike most 4-door coupes, the rear headroom in the A5 Sportback is sufficiently comfortable – though not as good as its sedan counterpart. The perks of the rear liftgate design are more than just aesthetic. The trunk gets some serious volume,with 21.8 cubic feet of storage capacity, and up to 35cu ft with the rear seats folded flat.
Just like the new A4, Audi has paid careful attention to make the A5 Sportback ride and handle gracefully and smoothly. Where the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE are performance orientated, the A5 Sportback is luxury-biased. It remains calm and composed on any road surface, absorbing blemishes with ease. The steering, although electronically power assisted, isn’t overly weighted, and feels natural in its responses.Body roll is there, but barely perceptible – alluding to perhaps genuine handling ability.The A5 Sportback follows through on the promise, and when strung out through a series of twists and turns it displays immense composure that make rivals look frenetic. The grip levels are high – thanks to standard quattro all-wheel drive, making the A5 Sportback easy to pilot quickly across any road in any weather. The brakes are sharp and feel natural, with impressive stopping power.
Under the hood, there’s just one 4-cylinder engine available. The 2.0-liter TFSI engine kicks out 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, with power being managed by a 7-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission and quattro AWD. Performance is potent, with a 0-60 mph sprint time of only 5.7 seconds.
The S tronic ‘box offers rapid shifts, and can be controlled via shift paddles on the steering wheel. The engine offers punchy responses, and yet remains highly efficient – with EPA ratings of 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
As standard, the Audi A5 Sportback is generously equipped. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, along with 2 USB ports. Also standard are leather upholstery, 8-way power front seats, cruise control, a rear-view camera, and three-zone automatic climate control. A full suite of airbags keeps you safe in a crash, but stability control, ABS with EBD, ad frontal collision warning are standard to prevent accidents.Lane Departure warning is optional. The A5 Sportback has not yet been tested by the IIHS, but scored 5 stars with the NHTSA.
Not only has the A5 Sportback made 4-door coupes look gorgeous, but it blends luxury and capable driving dynamics superbly with practicality and style in a way other manufacturers struggle to. It may not be the driver’s choice for engagement, but it’s certainly an exceptional car from Audi yet again.