2017 Audi A5 Sportback – REVIEWED
By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist
There are lots of luxury German cars on the motoring market – and the 2017 Audi A5 Sportback is one of them.
The latest A5 is powerfully built, but it has a subtlety to it that warms the heart. It’s certainly not in your face ‘chav’, but then Audis have never been about that. They are understated cars – built for the person who enjoys a car but also needs a serious commuting tool. And let’s not beat around the bush – the four rings do say a little bit about your status – whether you like it or not.
The second-generation Audi A5 Sportback, which went on the market in January 2017, comes with all the usual safety kit you’d expect of any modern car. And this Audi, like its siblings, has been built to take a hammering. This means it is bound to stand the test of time.
On the road, the car is a glorious machine. The A5 Sportback, tested here in S line 2.0 TDI quattro 190PS S tronic guise, delivers a substantial 190PS and 400Nm of torque. From a standing start, it will dart past 62mph in just 7.4 seconds, and can reach 146mph.
The A5 Sportback’s eight-speed tiptronic transmission is a delight to use. It’s so smooth and aids the car’s mpg by freewheeling for efficiency gains when you ease off the pedal. When the car pulls away strongly, you’re shoved satisfyingly into your seat. And when you enter bends hard, you won’t break into a sweat because, thanks to Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system, the A5’s grip is like superglue.
The fresh A5 Sportback has grown considerably inside. The interior length has gained 17mm, the shoulder room in the front up to 11mm, and the rear knee room 24mm. The chic materials and colour schemes and outstanding build quality in the cabin are unquestionably characteristic of Audi. The arrow-straight architecture of the instrument panel creates a sense of roominess. Indeed, there is room for four adults to sit contentedly. The optional ambient lighting, with 30 colours to choose from, induces a fitting interior mood, too.
From a practical point of view, with 480 litres of luggage capacity, the Audi A5 Sportback is among the best in its market segment. The rectangular-shaped layout of the luggage compartment makes it outstanding in terms of practical use. What’s more, the rear seat back splits 40:20:40 as standard – and with the seats folded, the latest Sportback can hold 1,300 litres worth of luggage.
Behind the wheel, everything is intuitive. As an alternative to the standard-fit analogue instrument dials, the Audi virtual cockpit, with its various display options, brings you added convenience. The large, high-resolution TFT monitor (12.3 inches) presents richly detailed graphics. There’s also an optional head-up display that throws all relevant information onto the windscreen as easily comprehensible symbols and digits. This basically enables you to keep your eyes firmly on the road as you indulge in the Audi’s clout.
The all-new Audi A5 Sportback has almost too many other cabin toys to list. Audi’s flagship infotainment version is MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. It includes such features as 10 GB of flash storage, a DVD drive, Audi connect services and an 8.3-inch monitor. Audi MMI navigation plus works in close co-operation with many of the assistance and safety systems. The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android phones in an environment specifically developed for them in the MMI. The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna to provide superior reception quality. It also charges the smartphone inductively, without the need for wires. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System, with innovative 3D sound, opens up the spatial dimension of height and gives you the sense of sitting in a recital hall. Its amplifier supplies 755 watts of awesome power to 19 loudspeakers.
A5’s grip is like superglue
If the Audi A5 Sportback’s talent for satisfying the senses is not enough, its official average fuel economy figure of 62.8mpg is to be commended. Driving on mixed roads around Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire for an hour or so, I averaged 56mpg. That’s not bad, considering how enthusiastic my right foot can get.
Expect to pay £38,970 for the S line 2.0 TDI quattro 190PS S tronic. It’s reasonable at first glance, but realistically you could end up forking-out a wedge more if you indulge in the options list. For example, my test car’s total price came to £48,455 on the road. Still, how much you spend on a well-made, sophisticated car like the Audi A5 Sportback is your prerogative.
PROS ‘N’ CONS
- Looks √
- Build Quality √
- Potent √
- Efficient √
- Pricey Options X
- Max speed: 146 mph
- 0-62 mph: 7.4 secs
- Combined mpg: 62.8
- Engine: 1968cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo diesel
- power (PS): 190
- CO2: 121 g/km
- Price: £38,970.