2021 Audi A5 Sportback

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Review: Style Without The Sacrifice

It's widely accepted that sedans, in general, look classier than hatchbacks, but what if you want the style of a sedan with the practicality of a hatch? Well, a four-door coupe with a hatch rear is the ideal compromise, and few cars pull this off as well as the Audi A5 Sportback - not that there are many rivals out there besides the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Naturally, that sloping roofline takes away as much headroom as it adds style, but it's a worthwhile compromise when there's a much more practical cargo area. In the case of the A5, a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine powers the stylish hatch and now comes in two states of tune, each with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system for better gas mileage. More entertaining options are out there, but the Audi A5 quattro Sportback is still one of the best choices for style, decent performance, and practicality. Is it still at the top? Let's find out.

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 A5 Sportback?

2021 sees the A5 mildly updated with the aforementioned mild-hybrid system and a 13-horsepower increase, while a new 40 TFSI engine option with less power is the new base entrant. It produces 201 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque while the 45 TFSI now makes 261 hp and 273 lb-ft. Other updates include newly standard wireless Apple CarPlay and lane departure warning. Changes to packages include the addition of parking sensors and a heated steering wheel on the Convenience package while the mid-level Premium Plus trim now features adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and a surround-view camera, while the top Prestige trim now comes with heated rear seats as standard. Other changes are mainly aesthetic and apply to the optional Black Optic package.

Pros and Cons

  • Looks phenomenal
  • Great driving experience
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Capacious cargo area
  • Beautiful interior
  • Options can become pricey
  • Rivals offer more power
  • Rear headroom is less than ideal

Best Deals on 2021 Audi A5 Sportback

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Prestige 40 TFSI quattro
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$41,800
Premium 40 TFSI quattro
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$41,800
Premium Plus 40 TFSI quattro
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$41,800
Prestige 45 TFSI quattro
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$44,000
Premium Plus 45 TFSI quattro
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$44,000

New Audi A5 Exterior

As the years have progressed, Audi's design has tapped into the high-performance S variants for lesser models, and the A5 benefits from this with aggressive S line lower grilles either side of a large honeycomb grille. LED headlights are standard and lead to a contoured beltline that follows the massaged front fenders and curves towards the rear of the 4-door hatchback. Here, it meets up with LED taillights below a subtle trunk spoiler. A fake diffuser and dual-exit exhausts round things off, while 18-inch wheels fill the arches in standard guise. 19s are optional.

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Front View Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Rear View Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Front Angle View Audi
See All 2021 Audi A5 Sportback Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The new Audi A5 is nicely sized with well-proportioned dimensions. It is 187.3 inches in length, which is around 4.6 inches longer than BMW's 4 Series GC. Height measures 54.6 inches while the width measurement is 79.8 inches; the wheelbase is 111.2 inches. Curb weight starts at a hefty 3,725 pounds, thanks in part to the quattro all-wheel-drive system.

  • Length 187.2 in
  • Wheelbase 111.2 in
  • Height 54.6 in
  • Max Width 72.6 in
  • Front Width 62.5 in
  • Rear Width 61.7 in

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Exterior Colors

  • Daytona Gray Metallic
  • Turbo Blue Metallic
  • District Green Metallic
  • Florett Silver Metallic, Build Out: 06/10/2020
  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Manhattan Gray Metallic, Build Out: 06/10/2020
  • Navarra Blue Metallic
  • Tango Red Metallic
  • Mythos Black Metallic
  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Manhattan Gray Metallic
  • Brilliant Black, Build Out: 06/10/2020
  • Ibis White
  • Brilliant Black

Audi A5 quattro Performance

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Front View Driving Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Rear View Driving Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Front View Driving 1 Audi

Engine and Transmission

Just one engine is used for the turbo Audi A5 but you now have a choice between two states of tune. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot starts at 201 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque while the more powerful version produces 261 horses and 273 lb-ft of torque. Each is assisted by a 12-volt mild-hybrid electric system and sends power to all four wheels via a smooth and sharp seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic automatic gearbox. The new base 40 TFSI engine promises to propel the Audi A5 Sportback from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, while the 45 TFSI promises a time of 5.4 seconds, although independent tests have shown that the real figure is almost in the four-second bracket. Top speed is limited to 130 mph on either version.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The A5 may not be an S- or RS-badged machine, but it is the basis for those incredible versions of Audi's A5 Sportback and as such is incredibly good to drive. The all-wheel-drive system is never flustered and apportions power brilliantly to give you a consistent and composed drive. Sure, it's not tail-happy, but it doesn't understeer like Audis of old either - it's just quick. It's easy to pick a line and stick to it, thanks to that quattro system and a brilliantly accurate steering setup that is perfectly weighted. On the top Prestige trim, these abilities are further enhanced if you opt for the available sport rear differential, but much like the adaptive suspension setup that can also be equipped, the A5 is sharp and comfortable enough to be left alone. Neither big nor small bumps fluster the chassis and the overall experience is calm yet enjoyable, giving you the confidence to drive with determination. The brakes are similarly good, proving easy to modulate and easy to trust.

Audi A5 Gas Mileage

No official EPA review is yet available for the newly hybridized A5 Sportback, but you can expect slightly better figures than last year's model. In the mechanically similar A4, the 40 TFSi engine returns figures of 27/35/30 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles while the 45 version of the A5 previously achieved 24/32/27 mpg on the same cycles. With more weight thanks to quattro, we expect the 2021 40 TFSI A5 to achieve figures somewhere between these two averages, while the addition of a hybrid system to the 45 should return better economy, particularly in the city. With a 15.3-gallon gas tank, it should return at least 413 miles with mixed driving.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    15.3 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/31 mpg
* 2021 Audi A5 Sportback Premium 40 TFSI quattro Sportback

Audi A5 4-door Interior

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Dashboard Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Central Console Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Dashboard 1 Audi
See All 2021 Audi A5 Sportback Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Audi interiors are still stunning places to sit and the Audi A5 four-door is no exception. The layout and design is similar to that of the Audi A4 and still seats five individuals, but that sloping roofline means that adults will find headroom a little less freely available at the back. In the front, each occupant gets an eight-way power-adjustable seat, swathed in leather, which is available in various colors. All perches are quite comfortable and can be occupied for hours without any complaints. The driver will also note that everything is in easy reach. Getting in and out is easy too, but again, the roofline will cause taller individuals to stoop slightly when climbing in the back.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.3 in
  • Front Head Room 37.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.0 in

A5 Sportback Trunk and Cargo Space

While the A5 Sportback is less accommodating for rear passengers than the A4, the cargo space more than makes up for this. The area behind the rear seats offers 21.8 cubic feet of volume but it's the large rear opening and power tailgate that really set it ahead of its sedan sibling. There's enough space for all occupants to comfortably bring weekend luggage along, but if you need more space you can always fold the rear seats in a 40/20/40 split for more space.

In the cabin, each door has decent pockets while cupholders, a glovebox, center armrest storage, and a spot ahead of the gear-lever ensure that you don't have to travel with your pockets full.

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Rear Passenger Seats Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Rear Angle View Audi
2021 Audi A5 Sportback Side View Audi
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    21.8 ft³

A5 Sportback Infotainment and Features

Features

The Audi A5 comes generously equipped, even in base form. It gets automatic LED headlights and LED taillights, a panoramic sunroof, a seven-inch driver info display, auto stop/start, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, heated power-adjustable wing mirrors, ambient lighting, tri-zone climate control, and heated front seats. A rearview camera, lane departure warning, and low-speed forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking are also among the included specs. There is a host of available features too, such as blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and vehicle exit warning, keyless entry and ignition, a 12.3-inch configurable driver info display, wireless charging, parking sensors, power-folding wing mirrors, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. In terms of driver aids, there are features such as adaptive cruise control with traffic sign recognition and traffic jam assist, lane keep assist, a surround-view camera, Matrix-design LED headlights with laser light and animation, a head-up display, and adaptive dampers available, too.

Infotainment

Audi's MMI infotainment interface is now one of the best in the business and features a 10.1-inch touchscreen display. It plays out to ten speakers and features USB and Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and voice control. If you want to upgrade, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system is available, but it's a little disappointing that navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio are both optional on the base model. Fortunately, the system works well and the graphics are attractive and easy to read while driving.

A5 Sportback Problems and Reliability

Thus far, neither the 2020 nor the 2021 Audi A5 have been subject to any recalls, indicating good reliability.

In the event of an issue, the car is covered by a limited and powertrain warranty for the first four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. One year or 10,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance is also included, an improvement over the 2020 model where all maintenance had to be paid for by the buyer.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 80,000 Miles

A5 Sportback Safety

Thus far, the IIHS has not yet conducted a comprehensive safety review for the Audi A5 for 20201, but the 2020 model got a strong overall rating of Good for all major crashworthiness tests. At the NHTSA, these sentiments were echoed by testers as the 2020 A5 scored a full five stars in this agency's ratings too.

In the event of an untimely and sudden deviation from the road, you will be pleased to know that the A5 comes standard with six airbags (along with optional rear side airbags), a rearview camera, lane departure warning, forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, rain-sensing wipers, and LED headlights with auto high beams. Available features include Matrix design LED headlights with laser light tech, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and vehicle exit warning, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and traffic sign recognition, a surround-view camera, park assist, parking sensors, lane keep assist, and a head-up display.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2021 Audi A5 Sportback a good car?

The 2021 Audi A5 Sportback is pretty much perfect. Even in base guise, it looks good and drives well. The interior is stylish, tech-forward, ergonomic, and for the most part very comfortable. The infotainment system is also highly attractive, as is the available 12.3-inch driver info display. Yes, rear occupants may have an issue with how much headroom is available, but that will be the case in any car of this style. The A5 also rides comfortably, is light on gas, is spritely off the line, has a very slick gearbox and a joyful steering setup, offers plenty of standard and available features, and has plenty of trunk space. Besides these rational reasons to consider it, the A5 is simply incredible to look at too. Overall, this is a brilliant, athletic, and capable all-rounder, and we see no reason to look past it. If you can afford one, take it for a test drive - this thing is really hard to fault.

🚘What's the Price of the Audi A5 Sportback for 2021?

For 2021, the price of the Audi A5 base model is lower than before. In the USA, the Premium trim now has a starting MSRP of $41,800 before a $995 destination charge, while the Premium Plus is on sale for $46,700. Opting for the more powerful engine option on either of these trims adds $2,200 to the price of the Audi A5 Sportback. On the top Prestige trim, the lesser engine will result in a price of at least $52,400, but the jump to more power only costs $1,350. A fully loaded A5 Sportback will come in with pricing just under $60,000 with the destination charge included.

See All 2021 Audi A5 Sportback Trims and Specs

🚗What Audi A5 Sportback Model Should I Buy?

We would normally recommend opting for the mid-level Premium Plus model on the A5 Sportback. You get the bigger 12.3-inch driver info display in this version, keyless entry and ignition, more safety equipment as standard, and more options too. We'd also recommend the 45 TFSI engine as the extra grunt and the potential for a sub-four-second real-world 0-60 mph dash are highly attractive to us. However, the difference between the two engines costs less on the top trim and the other added features are so impressive that the higher cost is justified. On the Prestige, you get heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, navigation, lane keep assist, a head-up display, Matrix LED laser headlights, park assist, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system - all as standard. For once, the top trim on a luxury German car seems to offer true value for money.

2021 Audi A5 Sportback Comparisons

Audi A4 Sedan Audi
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe BMW
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Audi A5 Sportback201 hp24/31 mpg$41,800
Audi A4 Sedan 201 hp24/31 mpg$39,100
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe 248 hp23/34 mpg$44,750

2021 Audi A5 Sportback vs Audi A4 Sedan

The A4 is very similar to the Audi A5 in many ways. It comes with the same engines and produces the same output, but as a sedan, it's less practical. It also looks far less appealing in our opinion. It's also a little smaller and, as a result, it's lighter and more economical, but less prestigious and less practical. Still, the A4 does come in at a base price of under $40k in the US, which makes it more affordable. In addition, it's more comfortable for rear-seat passengers. Thus, we'd suggest you drive both and weigh up your requirements for a new car before making a decision. If you need practicality and value looks and handling ability, the A5 is a sure winner, but the A4 - although less interesting - is still a great alternative.

See Audi A4 Sedan Review

2021 Audi A5 Sportback vs BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is arguably the only real direct rival to the A5 Sportback. It's a more expensive car though, with a base price of almost $45,000. However, its base engine produces less power while returning slightly less impressive economy figures and the cargo area offers less space. In addition, it's an aging car and until the new 4 Series GC comes out, it's at a serious disadvantage. Another issue is that it's nearly impossible to find someone who thinks the 4 Series GC is a more handsome machine. Still, it has its benefits with rear-wheel-drive and the option of a straight-six turbo with 320 hp. For driving fun, the Bimmer is a better choice, but for style, modern tech, and practicality, the Audi wins hands-down.

See BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Review

Audi A5 Sportback Popular Comparisons

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