Review: Audi A5 Sportback (2017)

Rating:

More practical than the Coupe. Impeccable build quality and finish. Quiet and refined. Good performance and economy.

Expensive compared to A4 saloon and A5 Coupe. Not as fun to drive as a 4 Series Gran Coupe.

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Audi A5 Sportback (2017): At A Glance

The 2017 Audi A5 Sportback combines the stylish looks of the 2016 A5 Coupe with extra practicality, thanks to its rear doors and more practical hatchback tailgate. The engine range is strong, with punchy performance and good economy, plus build quality is impeccable. A more pragmatic buyer will be better off with an A4, but if you want some extra style it’s hard to fault the A5 Sportback.

You do have to pay a few thousand pounds more over an A5 Coupe for those extra doors, but if you have children it’ll all be worth it. But even more useful is the huge, power-operated hatchback, which makes for easy access to the sizeable 480 litre boot. It’s far easier to get child seats and buggies in and out than in the A5 Coupe or even the A4 saloon.

Up front the A5 Sportback is, in typical Audi fashion, almost flawless. The driving position is excellent, material quality is superb and all the minor controls for audio or climate are easy to make sense of. It’s good to drive too, in an unflustered, capable sort of way – but if you’re a keen driver then a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will raise more smiles on a twisting country road.

Go for an entry-level 2.0 TDI diesel and you’ll get a manual transmission, but most A5 Sportbacks come with a smooth seven-speed S tronic auto. Engine noise is hushed even in the four-cylinder diesel and CO2 emissions are as low as 106g/km, which will keep company car tax bills down. Even the 252PS petrol has surprisingly low emissions of 136g/km. There’s also a 354PS S5 if you want serious performance.

Standard equipment includes three-zone climate control, Audi Smartphone Interface for connecting Android and Apple phones, Bluetooth, DAB, cruise control and active safety tech including auto emergency brakes. Going for higher grades adds largely cosmetic equipment, which leaves plenty on the options list including fancy Matrix LED headlights, along with numerous upholstery finishes. You can also get larger diesel and AdBlue tanks at no cost.

If you want coupe styling with an added sprinkle of practicality then the Audi A5 Sportback fits the bill perfectly – but the looks do mean rear passenger space is limited in comparison to an A4. The A4 is cheaper and has a broader engine range too, so it’s a smarter buy for a more pragmatic motorist – but if you are willing to pay more for good looks, the A5 Sportback is great.

What does a Audi A5 Sportback (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 (2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4712–4733 mm
Width 2020–2029 mm
Height 1382–1391 mm
Wheelbase 2824 mm

Full specifications

Inside, the A5 Sportback is beautifully finished. Material quality is excellent and everything feels sturdy plus there are lots of classy details like real metal inlays and dials, as well as a beautiful gear selector an cars with on automatic transmission.

At the top of the centre stack is a large, clear infotainment screen controlled via a rotary dial on the centre console. It’s intuitive and easy to use, plus it comes with Bluetooth and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto devices as standard.

The back row is surprisingly spacious, although leg and headroom are tighter than in the A4 saloon – so tall passengers might feel a little cramped. No such problems for kids though – and since the boot has a large hatchback instead of a small boot opening, getting pushchairs in is easy.

Load capacity is 480 litres, which is plenty for a couple of suitcases. Access is good, since the load deck is nice and low, plus the rear seat backs can be folded to free up some additional space. That said, there is a load lip and the sloping roof line means you’ll struggle with bulky objects like furniture.

While the A5 Sportback comes with a decent level of standard equipment, there are lots of desirable extras on the options list to ramp up the price, including Matrix LED headlights, along with a broad range of interior upholstery finishes, interior inlays, paint finishes and alloy wheel designs.

Standard Equipment:

SE is the basic trim level and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, Audi Drive Select, xenon headlights, leather seat upholstery, heated front seats, three-zone climate control, power tailgate, MMI infotainment with seven-inch touchscreen, USB port, Audi Sound System with 10 speakers, Bluetooth connection, 2x USB sockets, AUX in, cruise control with speed limiter, Audi Park System Plus, keyless go, electronic parking brake, auto emergency brakes.

Sport adds Sport interior and exterior styling, LED interior lighting pack, MMI navigation.

S line adds 18-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, S line styling, LED headlights and rear lights with dynamic indicators, Sports seats.

Child seats that fit a Audi A5 Sportback (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.

Which car seat will suit you?

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

If you opt for the 190PS 2.0-litre TDI diesel in your Audi A5 Sportback you’ll get low CO2 emissions, strong economy and the choice of a manual or automatic transmission, as well as front- or quattro all-wheel drive. There’s also a 2.0 TFSI petrol with 252PS and a 3.0-litre TDI diesel with 218PS, both of which only come with an S tronic automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.

The 190PS 2.0 TDI will be fine for most buyers. It’s quiet and responsive, with a substantial 400Nm of torque from 1750-3000rpm. That’s enough for punchy performance, making light work of slip roads and overtakes. It comes with a six-speed manual as standard but it’s far better with an S tronic auto, which shifts gears quickly and seamlessly. It makes driving effortlessly easy, especially in traffic jams or on the motorway.

Not only is the 190PS engine capable, it’s cheap to run. Official economy figures vary depending on wheel size and trim level, but are up to 70.6mpg, with emissions of as low as 106g/km. That’s good news for company car drivers, since it keeps the Sportback in a low BIK bracket for company car tax. Opting for the more powerful engines doesn’t mean poor economy, surprisingly – both have low emissions and decent official economy figures.

While at its best on motorways, the A5 Sportback is still good to drive on a twisting road, with nicely weighted controls, strong brakes and loads of traction, even if you go for front-wheel drive instead of quattro all-wheel drive. Body control is very good through corners, so there isn’t too much roll, yet ride quality is very good, with the suspension ironing out most lumps and bumps quietly. Larger alloy wheels can thump over potholes, though.

Both of the higher-powered engines bring more character as well as better performance and, since they both come with quattro all-wheel drive as standard, they cope well almost regardless of conditions. Greasy and wet roads are no problem, and yet fuel economy and emissions are surprisingly decent, considering the level of power and torque on offer.

And if you want to go seriously quickly, there is an S5. This has a 354PS V6 petrol engine and an eight-speed auto transmission, as well as quattro all-wheel drive. 0-62mph takes less than five seconds and top speed is limited to 155mph. But if you want all that excitement prepare to pay for it – the S5 Sportback costs almost £50,000. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 TFSI 150 S tronic 50–52 mpg 8.9 s 124–128 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 66–67 mpg 9.0 s 109–111 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 S tronic 66–67 mpg 8.9 s 110–113 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 64–69 mpg 7.9–8.0 s 108–115 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 quattro S tronic 61–63 mpg 7.4 s 117–121 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 S tronic 66–69 mpg 7.9 s 106–112 g/km
2.0 TFSI 190 49 mpg 7.5 s 131–132 g/km
2.0 TFSI 190 S tronic 50–51 mpg 7.5 s 124–128 g/km
2.0 TFSI 252 quattro S tronic 44–48 mpg 6.0 s 136–141 g/km
3.0 TDI 218 quattro S tronic 59–61 mpg 6.4 s 119–124 g/km
3.0 TDI 286 quattro S tronic 50 mpg 6.4 s 147 g/km
35 TDI S tronic - - 118–119 g/km
35 TFSI S tronic - - 134–135 g/km
40 TDI quattro S tronic - - 137–138 g/km
40 TDI S tronic - - 117–119 g/km
40 TFSI - - 135–137 g/km
40 TFSI S tronic - - 135–137 g/km
S5 3.0 TFSI quattro S tronic Sportback 38 mpg 4.7 s 170 g/km

Real MPG average for a Audi A5 Sportback (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

74%

Real MPG

21–58 mpg

MPGs submitted

43

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.