Review: Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017)

Rating:

Svelte coupe looks with large hatchback practicality. Plenty of space and headroom in the back. Low emissions from 2.0 TDI 170.

Starting to feel dated. Firm ride on S line models. Oil consumption problem with 2.0 TSI.

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Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017): At A Glance

Launched in 2009, the A5 Sportback established itself as the elder statesmen of the Audi range and has plenty of executive appeal for those who want an attractive and spacious 5-door coupe. Despite the name, the A5 Sportback is actually based on the same platform as the A4 and boasts similar dimensions, with a cabin that’s large enough for four adults and a 480 litre boot.

Like all Audi cars, the Sportback is supported by a strong range of engines, which includes two petrols and two diesels. The petrol range starts with a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol, with 170PS, which returns a claimed 48.7mpg and 136g/km of CO2. The larger 2.0-litre unit is hooked up to quattro four-wheel drive and packs 225PS, which will propel the A5 Sportback from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. 

The diesel line up is varied, with choice of a 2.0-litre or 3.0-litre V6 units and both engines offer a good balance between power and efficiency, with the former being the most frugal. Indeed, the most efficient diesel in the range is the 2.0 TDI 136PS unit, which returns a claimed 63.2mpg and emits 117g/km of CO2. The 2.0-litre engine is also available with 155PS and 177PS, but if power is your thing, then the 3.0 quattro with 245PS will be for you, although economy and emissions drop to 49.6mpg and 149g/km of CO2.

On the road the A5 Sportback is calm and comfortable, but does show its age with vauge handling and a hard ride in S line trim. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range, but again this gearbox is disappointing, with a clunky operation that requires constant work.

Audi offers five trim levels - standard, SE, SE Technik, S Line and Black Edition - and all get DAB radio, climate control and cruise control as standard. S line trim includes sport suspension and 18-inch wheels, while the range topping Black Edition gets 19-inch wheels, Bang & Olufsen sound system and black polished radiator and matt black fog light surrounds.

Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI 2009 Road Test and Video

Audi A5 2011 Facelift Road Test

What does a Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017) cost?

List Price from £34,790
Buy new from £26,289
Contract hire from £254.39 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4711–4718 mm
Width 1854–2020 mm
Height 1382–1391 mm
Wheelbase 2810–2811 mm

Full specifications

As is typical with Audi’s interior architecture, the A5 Sportback has an abundance of high quality materials and all the major fittings and trims feels like they have been put together with a sense of longevity. The dashboard is a standard Audi affair, with a simple layout and a clear set of dials, while all of the switches and buttons have a satisfying action – with a nice ‘click’ or ‘clunk’.

On the downside, the driver’s view of the road is rather limited for such a large car, with a small windscreen and thick pillars, which makes it awkward to identify the corners when parking or performing tight manoeuvres. We also disliked the offset of the pedals, which point to the right and makes it difficult to get your foot flat on the floor.

However, the A5 is extremely comfortable and even the entry level cloth seats are supportive, but no match for the superb leather seats that come standard on SE trim. The steering wheel is fully adjustable too and the mounted controls make it easy to operate the cruise control and audio.

The A5 Sportback does have a colossal boot, with 480 litres that can be extended to 980 litres by folding the rear seats. Unlike some of its rivals, the A5 Sportback’s rear seats fold completely flat and this makes it ideal for carrying large items as they can slide along the boot floor without obstruction.  

Entry level models get air con and Audi’s Driver’s Information System (DIS) as standard, which offers fuel saving tips and gearshift indicator on the trip display. The system is simple to use, but does feel a little dated, with slow responses and uninspiring two tone display. If you spec up to SE trim you get a colour system, but it still lacks the interactive nature of the new infotainment systems you find in the newer Audi models, like the A3 Sportback.

S line trim bolsters the interior with leather sport seats, Matt-brushed aluminium inlays and perforated leather gear knob. The range topping Black Edition takes things one step further with Bang & Olufsen sound system, Flat bottomed steering wheel and piano black inlays.

Child seats that fit a Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017) like to drive?

The A5 Sportback is offered with an impressive range of engines, which includes two petrols and two diesels. If truth be told, there’s not a bad engine in the bunch and all of the powerplants return good levels of performance and economy.

The petrol range starts with the turbocharged four-cylinder 1.8-litre unit which has a sprightly 170PS and returns a claimed 48.7mpg. The larger and more powerful 2.0-litre unit is better for straight line speed, with 225PS and is also hooked up to Audi’s famous quattro four-wheel drive.

Most A5 Sportback buyers will be choosing a diesel and there’s a choice of two - a 2.0-litre or a 3.0-litre V6. The 2.0-litre strikes a good balance between performance and economy, with the choice of three outputs – 136PS, 150PS or 177PS. For us, the 177PS unit is the best, with a claimed 60mpg and just 127g/km of CO2. But if you prefer more punch from your diesel then the 3.0-litre V6 with quattro all-wheel drive will fulfil all of your high octane needs. It is a monster of an engine and boasts 245PS, with 500Nm of torque. What's more, the V6 will return 50mpg, yet cover 0-62mph in less than six seconds.

Sadly, when it comes to handling, the A5 Sportback is not as accomplished as its engine line up. For sure, it has plenty of grip and will lurch around corners without too much fuss, but we found its steering to be sluggish and vague. We also took issue with the manual gearbox, which we found to be notchy. Opting for S line trim – with sports suspension – fixes the numb handling issues to a point, but transforms the ride into an uncomfortable and bumpy experience. 

However, on the motorway, the A5 Sportback transforms into a comfortable and tranquil car. Clearly, Audi has built its executive saloon to munch the motorway miles and we found it to be the perfect cruiser for running at 70mph for hours on end. But be warned, the A5 Sportback is not a driver’s car and even the addition of Audi’s famous quattro all-wheel drive does little to improve its disappointing B-road handling. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.8 TFSI 170 49 mpg 8.2 s 136 g/km
1.8 TFSI 170 multitronic 48 mpg 8.4 s 136 g/km
1.8 TFSI 177 44–46 mpg 8.2 s 141–148 g/km
1.8 TFSI 177 multitronic 44–46 mpg 8.4 s 144–149 g/km
2.0 TDI 55 mpg 8.7 s 134 g/km
2.0 TDI 143 54 mpg 9.7 s 135 g/km
2.0 TDI 143 multitronic 49–59 mpg 9.4–9.7 s 127–152 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 multitronic 57–59 mpg 9.4 s 127 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 60 mpg 8.5 s 120 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 multitronic 59 mpg 7.9 s 127 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 quattro 55 mpg 8.2 s 134 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 quattro S tronic 53 mpg 7.9 s 139 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 57–61 mpg 7.8 s 119–132 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 multitronic 57–63 mpg 7.8 s 119–131 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 quattro 53–58 mpg 7.5 s 128–141 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 quattro s tronic 50 mpg 7.4 s 147 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 quattro S tronic 52–55 mpg 7.4 s 135–142 g/km
2.0 TDI quattro 50–55 mpg 8.2–8.6 s 134–147 g/km
2.0 TDIe 63 mpg 8.7 s 118 g/km
2.0 TDIe 136 67 mpg 9.5 s 109 g/km
2.0 TFSI 44–45 mpg 7.1–8.1 s 144–152 g/km
2.0 TFSI 211 44 mpg 7.1 s 152 g/km
2.0 TFSI 211 multitronic 39 mpg 7.4 s 169 g/km
2.0 TFSI 225 quattro 40–43 mpg 6.5 s 152–164 g/km
2.0 TFSI 225 quattro S tronic 42 mpg 6.5 s 155 g/km
2.0 TFSI 230 quattro 40–41 mpg - 159–164 g/km
2.0 TFSI 230 quattro S tronic 39–41 mpg - 159–166 g/km
2.0 TFSI multitronic 39–46 mpg 7.2–8.6 s 144–169 g/km
2.0 TFSI quattro 39–42 mpg 6.6–6.7 s 152–172 g/km
2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic 38–41 mpg 6.5–6.6 s 155–175 g/km
2.7 TDI 44 mpg 7.9 s 169 g/km
3.0 TDI 204 multitronic 58 mpg 7.1 s 129 g/km
3.0 TDI 245 quattro S tronic 46–50 mpg 5.9 s 149 g/km
3.0 TDI multitronic 58 mpg 7.1 s 129 g/km
3.0 TDI quattro 42–49 mpg 6.2–6.3 s 152–176 g/km
3.0 TDI quattro S tronic 43–50 mpg 5.9–6.1 s 149–174 g/km
3.2 FSI quattro 30 mpg 6.6 s 216 g/km
S5 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic 36 mpg 5.1 s 184 g/km
S5 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic Sportback 36 mpg 5.1 s 190 g/km
S5 Sportback 3.0 TFSI 30 mpg 5.4 s 219 g/km
S5 Sportback 3.0 TFSI S tronic 36 mpg 5.1 s 184 g/km

Real MPG average for a Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

77%

Real MPG

20–57 mpg

MPGs submitted

280

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Audi A5 Sportback (2009 – 2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

The clutch is slipping on a used car we bought four months ago - should the warranty cover this?

I purchased a second hand 2014 A5 Sportback in October 2017. We received a six month warranty with the car and now the clutch is slipping. The warranty company are stating that the clutch has to be completely broken to be repaired and that as slipping isn’t ‘broken’ then this isn’t covered. Is this true?
Forget the warranty insurer. The dealer who sold you the car is liable for any major fault that could have been present or developing on date of sale for six months from the date of sale. He has to fix it. See: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
Answered by Honest John
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