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Audi A5 Sportback

BRANDS HATCH? (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Audi's second generation A5 Sportback may be hard to pigeonhole but it's a tempting proposition. Jonathan Crouch reports on the improved version.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 62

When it comes to prestigiously-badged compact executive German cars, traditional thinking suggests that estates are fine but five-door hatchbacks aren't. Audi however, hasn't made it to the top of the pile by traditional thinking and their second generation A5 Sportback continues to turn such thinking on its head, with coupe styling married to a couple of rear passenger doors and hatchback practicality.

Backgroundword count: 146

Back in 2010, the original version of Audi's A5 Sportback was the first hatchback in the compact executive segment, the area of the market dominated by models like Audi's A4, BMW's 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. Previously, we'd seen estates in this sector, but never a hatch. The A5 Sportback changed that - and was so successful that BMW was forced to copy its concept with subsequent 3 Series Gran Turismo and 4 Series Gran Coupe models. Audi though, reckons that the original is still the best and aims to underline that perspective with the second generation version we look at here. Like the MK2 model A5 Coupe which shares this car's underpinnings and engineware, this Sportback is sharper-looking, more efficient and lighter than its predecessor. It's also much better equipped and more technologically advanced. Time to check it out in a little more detail.

Driving Experienceword count: 239

You'd think, when it came to driving dynamics, that this A5 Sportback would be starting out with a disadvantage over 4 Series Gran Coupe rival. Its front-driven layout will, after all, never reward an enthusiast in quite the same way as a rear-driven BMW. But in originally developing this car, Audi was convinced that it could be made to feel almost as good. To prove the point, three different suspension systems are being offered, two of them passive and one featuring adaptive damping. Whatever your choice, you'll find the set-up firmer than it would be in an equivalent A4 saloon. Under the bonnet, a range of TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines are being offered, with outputs ranging from 163PS to 347PS. Four A5 engine variants are equipped with a mild hybrid system. Here, a belt alternator starter, which is connected to the crankshaft, recovers energy during deceleration and stores this in a compact lithium-ion battery. With the four-cylinder engines, the MHEV system is integrated into the 12-volt electrical system and a 7-speed S tronic auto gearbox is mandatory. There are of course the usual quattro 4WD options. The S5 TDI six cylinder models, now diesel-engined and offering 347PS, use a 48-volt MHEV electrical system, an 8-speed tiptronic auto and of course have quattro 4WD. The top RS5 Sportback uses a 450PS 2.9-litre petrol V6. As usual, quattro 4WD is either optional or standard-fit on all more powerful models.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

5.1

9.5

Combined mpg:

35.8

67.3

Extra urban mpg:

43.5

76.3

Height (mm):

1382

1391

Length (mm):

4712

4718

Max Speed (mph):

127

155

... and 6 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
80%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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