The Audi S5 Sportback is a sleekly-styled five-door version of the Audi S5 Coupe. Audi hit upon a successful formula with the original ‘five-door coupe’ A5 Sportback range, and hopes the appeal continues with this all-new second-generation one.
Engine and performance
S5 branding means it’s the sportiest one currently on sale. Under the more curvaceous bonnet sits a 3.0-litre turbo V6 petrol, putting out 349bhp and 369lb/ft of torque. Audi’s fitted an eight-speed automatic gearbox and, to help traction, quattro all-wheel drive is standard.
It’s a swift and powerful machine on the road. 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds is promising, and the on-road delivery is enjoyable. Ordinarily, it surges forward with a hint of rasp from the exhausts. Dial up the Dynamic driving mode and this becomes much more loud and aggressive, particularly as it rushes to the redline.
Audi S5 Sportback
Engine: 3,0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic driving all four wheels
Top speed: 155mph
Economy: 38.7mpg (combined)
CO2 emission: 166g/km
Ride and handling
Impressively, Audi has worked hard to make this S5 Sportback more engaging to drive than the old one. It delivers more feedback and feels better balanced through corners. OK, it’s still not ultimately as engaging as something like a BMW 4 Series, but it’s a big improvement on before.
The ride is better as well. The old car could thump and bang around a bit, but this achieves a near-perfect balance in all models. It’s at its most supple in Comfort mode, reacting well to changing road conditions and remaining peaceful within the cultured cabin.
And what an interior the new S5 Sportback has. It’s beautiful, with more appeal than any other car in its class, even ones from BMW and Mercedes. The test car had the optional 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument display, for added allure. In every way, this impeccable interior is superb.
It’s roomier as well. Length, width and wheelbase are marginally up, and the new MLB platform creates more space inside for passengers and their luggage. External height is a bit down but you’d never notice. You’re more likely to spot the 85kg weight cut, particularly as this helps the S5 Sportback deliver really impressive fuel economy. Its 38.7mpg combined is excellent.
Given all this change, you could be forgiven for overlooking it, seeing as it looks so much similar in the pictures. Best wait until you see it in the metal. There, the step-on is much more apparent. There are more curves, tighter lines and painstaking attention to detail that makes this look even more like a precision-cut possession.
So it’s a big step on, the new S5 Sportback. Across the board, it’s more appealing – better to drive, roomier, more comfortable and more fuel-efficient. Need a sporty, classy five-door executive car that oozes quality in every way? You could do a lot worse than this.