The Audi A5 Sportback was originally launched back in 2009 and until 2015 it remained unchanged. 2016 saw the new A5 launched to the international markets with the first of the new models arriving on Irish shores in 2017. That previous model was already a good-looking car and one, which caught the eye as soon as it was introduced. In many ways this was a new age for modern Audi’s as they strived to produce sleek, sporty family cars that didn’t look like sales rep motors. The newest incarnation of the A5 Sportback is no different and if anything, it’s the best-looking A5 to date. Audi has significantly revised the exterior, with the front end getting a lower, wider stance. The singleframe nose with a honeycomb grille is flatter and wider with the iconic ventilation slits above the grille reminding you of the classic Audi Sport quattro from the early 80’s.
Sitting into the new A5 Sportback you will soon realise that no expense has been spared in ensuring that the materials used throughout are of the finest of quality. In S line trim, my test model had the added benefit of sport seats finished in leather and alcantara. Space throughout the cabin is plentiful, while storage is reasonable. With its new MMI touch system, the Audi A5 is more like a giant smartphone than a car. A 10.1-inch touch display with acoustic feedback replaces the rotary pushbutton used models of old. The graphics are clean and the menu structure is pretty simple to use. It also has what Audi call natural-language voice control and understands many sentences commonly used in the car. Like the last model you can control the full-HD, 12.3-inch display from the multifunction steering wheel and can choose between three views. We preferred to have dials when motorway driving but if you have a destination to navigate to, be sure to use the main driver screen with the addiitional head-up display that projects important information into the driver’s direct field of view. Trust us its hard to go wrong! The Audi A5 also comes standard with a Wi-Fi hotspot for extra connectivity!
As with all cars of recent it’s now about satisfting the limits of the Euro 6d-temp emissions standard and the A5 does that with a four engine choices equipped with a mild hybrid system (MHEV). These engines utilise a belt alternator starter, which is connected to the crankshaft and allows the engine to recover energy during deceleration and braking. This stored energy is harvested in a small lithium-ion battery. With the four-cylinder engines, the MHEV system is integrated into the 12-volt electrical system and into a new 48-volt main electrical system in the S TDI models. As expected all A5 models are equipped with an automatic transmission, either a seven-speed S tronic or an eight-speed tiptronic. For those that need all wheel drive stability, there is a quattro version as an option for the mid-range engine variants and comes standard with the three most powerful versions. Audi now ask punters to purchase cars more on their power needs rather than engine size. Our test car had the 163hp 2.0 Diesel which is now badged 35 TDI and in our opionion its still all the engine you will ever need in a car like this.
Like many Audi’s the A5 can brake on its own with standard automatic emergency braking, while adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and other active safety tech are reasonable options. It has a host of airbags and ISOFIX child seat mountings, Blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning systems. The active safety features include Audi Pre Sense Side, which can detect impending collisions from the side, and Audi Pre Sense Rear, which includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. There’s also a rest-recommendation system, which analyses your steering and pedal inputs. If the system detects a change in your driving patterns, it can warn you visually and audibly that you might need to take a break for that much needed coffee.
Prices for the new Audi A5 Sportback kick off at around €46,000 plus delivery and related charges. Our test car in Glacier White was coming in at €53,502 plus options. On the options front our car had the glorious 20-inch Alloys, a Panoramic Sunroof and Interior Ambient lighting which all come as part of the Style Package for an additional €2,205. Add to this the black exterior mirrors at €152 along with the Black Styling Package at €775 and the price quickly rises to €57,900.
Our time with the Audi A5 Sportback was enjoyable to say the least. We found ourselves out around some great driving roads in Sligo and enjoying all the A5 had to offer. With 380Nm of torque and that seamless gearbox it was more than powerful enough whilst still returning 6.3 litres per 100km. It feels like a well-built and cleverly engineered car on the road. Even on Sports suspension the damping still feels adequate to help the 20-inch wheels soak up rough surfaces and even in this two-wheel drive version, it felt surefooted at all times. Would we have it over the normal A4 Saloon? Well yes because it’s a better looking car although I fear our hearts would still lean towards the A4 in wagon/estate trim for that extra practicality in particular if you have children to ferry about. We will leave that difficult choice to you but be sure to take a test drive from your local Audi dealer nationwide. Audi are dishing out some fine cars at the moment.
Slightly cramped headspace in rear