Sleek, stylish Audi A5 Sportback is a 'polished performer'

Hugh Maguire

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Hugh Maguire

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Sleek, stylish Audi A5 Sportback is a 'polished performer'

The updated A5 Sportback range boasts some detail cosmetic changes with new LED Matrix lights, new wheel designs, a larger touchscreen and trim upgrades but they have also updated the 2.0 TDi diesel engine to be lower on emissions.

As before the range includes petrol and diesel engines, with manual or optional automatic gearbox’s. Also as before there is an extensive options list which be warned can very quickly tot-up to a tidy sum. My test car this week was the new Audi A5 Sportback 35 TDI in S-Line specification.

So has it got street cred?

I love how it looks! It is an imposing car that simply oozes understated class. The sleek lines of the car give it a very purposeful profile. It is a very classy looking machine.

What’s it like inside?

The revised cabin is beautifully crafted. The materials are of the highest quality and the fit and finish simply beyond reproach. The test car had the “traditional” analogue instrumentation which I really like. I am less enthusiastic about the new huge 10.1” centrally mounted touchscreen which looks like an afterthought plonked on top of the dash.

Also Audi have taken away the rotary controller so now its touchscreen only to operate the functions. I fail to see how this is good for keeping drives eyes where they should be, on road! Give us back some switches which do not require you to take your eyes off the road to use!

That said the functionality and graphics are good with live parking updates, traffic, weather and so forth, though I found it glitchy at times and slow to load.

The S-Line is very generously equipped and too much to detail here, but highlights include, 20” Alloy wheels, Leather/Alcantara Sports Seats, High Beam Assist front and rear LED lights with dynamic turn, Sports suspension, Acoustic glazing, Voice Control, and much more.

What's under the bonnet?

Powered by the VAG creamy smooth 2.0 litre TDI diesel and mated to a 7-Speed dual clutch auto with power going to the front wheels, and 163 bhp on tap this A5 Sportback moves along very nicely indeed. It sips diesel burning just 5.8 litres per 100km over my test and road tax is €190.00. Its a lovely silent, refined new engine.

Will I enjoy driving it?

The ride and handling of the A5 Sportback is equally impressive. The sports suspension set-up of the S-Line is a good blend between comfort and rewarding handling making the new A5 an enjoyable car to drive. Its not as dynamic or involving as its arch rival the new BMW 3 series but will satisfy most 99% of the time.

My only gripe here was that traction off the line on damp roads was not great. I feel this car is set up as an all wheel drive and the two front wheels slip quite easily when pulling away on wet roads.

The car proves to be superbly refined with wind, road and engine noise all very well suppressed. Accommadation is good with adequate amounts of leg and headroom for four both front and rear along with a decent sized boot and a space saver wheel.

Verdict

The updated Audi A5 Sportback is beautifully crafted, stylish and does have that upmarket feel to it. The styling is sharp, distinctive and classy. I really enjoyed every KM behind the wheel. This is a truly beautiful car that offers plenty in terms of practicality but appeals to those who want the more dynamic sporty style of a coupe without the compromises! Prices start from €53,502.