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- Highs Sports sedan reflexes, sleek, sexy looks, hatchback utility.
- Lows Fastback roofline gives up some rear-seat roominess, not as plush as we expect an Audi to be.
- Verdict The A5 Sportback rewards with joyful handling and performance, looks great, and packs the utility of a small SUV .
The A5 Sportback combines the features of several Audis: the sweeping lines of the A5 coupe, the four-door layout and cargo space of the A4 sedan, and the convenience of the Q5 SUV’s rear liftgate. Despite this Frankenstein formula, the A5 Sportback doesn’t look or feel cobbled together. Just the opposite. It’s rewarding to drive, with nimble sports-sedan handling and a spirited turbocharged four-cylinder. Its sheetmetal is Euro-chic, and inside, its high-quality materials and minimalist design look great—although the interior gives up some rear-seat spaciousness to its sedan sibling. But because of its playfulness and practicality, we’re happy to forgive the A5 Sportback its few small flaws.
What's New for 2018?
Like the rest of the Audi A5’s lineup, the A5 Sportback is all new from roof to road for 2018. This is the first year the A5 line’s “four-door coupe” body style has been offered for sale in the United States. The Sportback wears subtly sporty sheetmetal that is similar to what the A5 coupe and convertible are wrapped in but adds a larger cargo hold with easier access thanks to a large rear hatch.
- Premium: $47,475
- Premium Plus: $49,175
- Prestige: $51,175
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
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The A5 Sportback’s standard 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive make for a winning formula in both efficiency and performance. Smooth and sonorous, the 2.0-liter engine provides effortless power while the transmission shifts gears quickly and seamlessly; it’s a polished and well-matched setup made all the more capable by standard all-wheel drive. In our zero-to-60-mph and quarter-mile testing, the A5 Sportback outran all but the significantly more powerful 365-hp Kia Stinger GT. With performance that comes very close to its hotted-up S5 Sportback sibling, the Audi A5 Sportback is a true sleeper sports sedan. Its nimble handling even bests an Ultimate Driving Machine (the BMW 430i xDrive), and its ride is only slightly compromised by its athleticism. The A5 Sportback is everything a modern sports sedan should be. It’s composed, confident, and easy to drive fast through corners. Its agility belies its comfort, too; potholes and broken pavement do little to upset the Sportback, especially when it’s equipped with the optional adaptive suspension ($1000 on Prestige models). The well-weighted steering feels natural in the driver’s hands, and the front tires respond immediately to driver inputs, making this Audi a joy to pilot on twisty tarmac.
EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the Compare Side-by-Side tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
All A5 Sportback models come well equipped with luxury necessities such as power front seats, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, ambient interior lighting, and three-zone automatic climate control. Moving up the range to the Premium Plus adds heated front seats and memory settings for the driver’s seat; The $1250 S Line Sport package adds sport seats with four-way power lumbar adjustments (along with a handful of exterior appearance features) and is available on all trims. The A5 Sportback’s cabin isn’t as plush as some might expect from a luxury brand, but all of the materials are high quality, the fit and finish is superb, and there are enough high-end features to distance it from mainstream sedans. Rear-seat passenger space isn’t as generous as in the Audi A4 sedan, but it’s spacious enough for two average-size adults—and for the slight sacrifice in rear headroom, you get the A5 Sportback’s sloping roofline, which is far sexier than that of its three-box sibling. A hatchback in disguise, the A5 Sportback has a sloping rear roofline that hides a power-operated liftgate and a large cargo hold, making it far more practical than the Audi A4 sedan or the A5 coupe and convertible. It proved its mettle in our carry-on suitcase testing; despite having one of the smallest cargo areas by volume, the Sportback beat all but the particularly voluminous Buick Regal GS.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi’s MMI is one of the most pleasing infotainment systems among premium brands. It’s made even better by the A5 Sportback’s optional—and highly recommended—12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display. Premium and midrange Premium Plus models come with a 7.0-inch infotainment display that’s controlled by a clickwheel mounted on the console between the driver and the front-seat passenger. Audi’s MMI interface is easy to use while on the go, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard if users prefer to interact directly with their smartphones instead. A larger 8.3-inch screen is bundled with navigation, the Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster, and access to a suite of internet and vehicle-connectivity features called Audi Connect Prime and Audi Connect Plus. The package costs $2600 on the Premium Plus model; all of these features are standard on the top-of-the-line Prestige. A 10-speaker audio system is standard, but the A5 Sportback can be equipped with a more powerful 19-speaker setup by Bang & Olufsen. The premium audio arrangement can be added to the Premium Plus model for $950 as a stand-alone option but comes standard on the Prestige trim. Those who value a CD player should be warned: Ordering the upgraded stereo eliminates this feature.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
For more information about the Audi A5 Sportback’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.