Audi A5 Sportback review 2019

Find out more about the Audi A5 Sportback in the latest MOTORS Review

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Out of 5


  • Luxurious interior
  • Great choice of engines
  • Refined and comfortable


  • Limited rear seat space
  • Rivals are better to drive
  • Do you really need one over an A4?
Model Review

The A5 first nameplate was first used in 2007 for Audi’s stylish mid-size coupe, which served as the coupe version of the A4 in the manufacturer’s range. A cabriolet followed soon after, and at a similar time, Audi showed off this — the five-door Sportback.

Unveiled during the year of the German manufacturer’s 100th anniversary in 2009, the A5 Sportback offered additional practicality over the coupe, thanks to its extra doors and lengthened wheelbase. A range of petrol and diesel engines were available from launch, with Quattro all-wheel-drive versions available later in the year. Impressive standard equipment and driver alerts were also available, which were particularly modern for the time.

Audi continued to expand the engine line-up throughout its time on sale, with a sporty S5 version also launched.

Latest model

Following in the footsteps of the A5 Coupe, the 2016 Paris Motor Show saw the unveil of the second-generation A5 Sportback.

The elegant design of the last model continued to this iteration and it remains one of the best-looking models in Audi’s range.

Inside, it features the German firm’s latest MMI infotainment system, with a smartphone interface offered as standard, while the new model boasts improved interior space over the previous model.

As with all new cars, safety technology is ever-more important. Adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and multi-collision brake assist also feature and make the A5 one of the safest cars on sale in its class. As with most Audis, a comprehensive range of petrol and diesel engines are also on offer.

From 2019, Audi also offered the A5 with two new trim levels — Black Edition and Vorsprung. The former comes with a black styling pack and 20-inch alloy wheels, while the range-topping Vorsprung grade benefits from a huge list of standard equipment such as a Virtual Cockpit, Nappa leather seats and a whole host of safety kit.

Value for money

The A5 Sportback is not a cheap car, with prices starting from £33,945, which is noticeably more than the Audi A4 Saloon’s entry price, if somewhat less than the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

It comes well-kitted out for the price, though, with entry-level models still coming with Xenon headlights, leather seats, heated front seats and an electric boot.

High mileage examples of the A5 Sportback start from as little as £5,000. Around £7,500 will pay for a 2.0-litre diesel 2011 example in mid-spec SE trim with 70,000 miles on the clock. Expect to pay around £1,000 more for the more desirable S line model.

The latest A5 Sportback has held onto its value reasonably well, with the cheapest models starting from around £22,000 at the time of writing, for an entry-level SE car (discontinued on new A5s)  with around 15,000 miles on the clock. You don’t have to pay much more for a nearly-new model, with a one-year-old A5 with the  2.0-litre TDI engine and in Sport spec costing from £24,000, which is fantastic value for money.

Looks and image

The A5 Sportback is a car to appeal to those who want something more stylish than an A4, but not without compromising on practicality or luxury. Xenon or LED headlights — depending on model — give the A5 a premium look on the exterior, with its imposing bonnet, large grille and sleek lines giving it real presence on the road. A range of intricate wheel designs are available as options, as well as Audi’s bold range of ‘Exclusive’ colours if you fancy something to stand out from the crowd, although few used models are painted in these rare colours.

The interior is quite simply the best in its class. I offers a premium, modern and techy cabin, which is a class above even what BMW can offer with its 4 Series. A minimalistic dashboard features with an intuitive layout, while the touchscreen is great to use and looks the part. It’s just a shame that it’s permanently wedged onto the dash and doesn’t recline like the systems fitted to past Audis did. All models also come with leather seats, while S line brings an Alcantara interior.

If comfort and refinement are your key priorities behind the wheel, the A5 would make an excellent choice. Even with larger alloy wheels, the ride is hardly affected, too.

It can’t match BMW’s offerings when it comes to the way it drives, but it’s still a sharp car behind the wheel. In the corners it’s composed, without much lean. If you opt for the more expensive Quattro versions, you’re welcomed by impressive grip levels. There’s an excellent number of engines to choose from on both the petrol and diesel side. Our only reservation would be to look away from the 148bhp petrol and diesel engines if you cover a lot of motorway miles, as the extra grunt from the more powerful engines won’t go amiss.

Video review

Space and practicality

Sitting above the A5 Coupe and below the A4 Saloon in the practicality stakes, the A5 Sportback holds an unusual position in the range.

While front occupants will have no complaints when it comes to the space on offer, rear passengers might not be quite so impressed. The elegant sloping roofline might look the part, but it eats into headroom which could be a problem for taller passengers. Rear legroom isn’t as generous as you might think, either. If you seldom carry taller passengers in the rear this won’t be an issue. However, if you do, we would recommend looking at the mechanically-similar Audi A4.

Luggage space is far more generous, and while it matches the A4 Saloon’s boot capacity of 480 litres — thanks to its hatchback bodystyle — it’s more practical thanks to its wider opening.

The A5 Sportback was safety tested alongside the A4, which it shares many parts with, and both cars received the top five-star rating by Euro NCAP. All models come with an impressive amount of standard kit — such as autonomous emergency braking — as well as technology that can stop the car after an accident, to help the car causing any further incidents. Lane-keeping assistance and technology that helps when reversing out of car parking spaces is available as an optional extra.


Audi offers three petrol engines and two diesel options on the A5.

The diesel units tend to be the most popular, with buyers having the choice between two 2.0-litre diesel units, which produce 148bhp and 187bhp, and are badged as 35 TDI and 40 TDI respectively. Both come paired with a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox as standard, with the more powerful unit having the option of Quattro all-wheel-drive technology. Audi used to offer a powerful 3.0-litre diesel engine, but it has since been discontinued on new models.

As for the petrol choices, there are three 2.0-litre engines, which produce 148bhp (35 TFSI), 187bhp (40 TFSI) and 242bhp (45 TFSI). The mid-size 187bhp engine is the only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the other options coming with the same-speed automatic gearbox as the diesels.

Those wanting something with more power also have the option of the sporty S5 and RS5 performance models.

Running costs

All engines in the A5 Sportback will be cheap to run — even if you go for the petrol engines. The 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine is the most efficient, with Audi claiming a fuel economy figure of 61.4mpg and low CO2 emissions of 118g/km. This means it will be ideal for drivers wanting to keep their annual running costs down. The more powerful 187bhp diesel engine is best for those covering long distances because of its improved performance, and will still manage 54.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 137g/km. Even the thirstiest petrol engine can return 42.2mpg, and offers CO2 emissions of 155g/km.

Insurance groups are quite high, although they are comparable to rivals. Bandings range between 30 and 41, depending on trim level and engine. Models costing over £40,000 will also require an extra £310 to be paid in annual road tax for the five years after first registration as they’re placed above the threshold.

What to look for

Audi has a solid reputation when it comes to its cars’ reliability, and the latest A5 is no different, with no known issues yet, although it’s still a relatively new model. First-generation A5s were known for their heavy oil consumption on 2.0-litre petrol models, while the S tronic automatic gearbox doesn’t have the best reputation for being reliable.



The Audi A5’s Sportback closest rival is undoubtedly the BMW 4 Series, which is also offered with the same variants as the A5 — a five door hatchback (Gran Coupe) as well as a coupe and convertible. Other coupe-styled models in this class include the Mercedes and Kia Stinger, while you could also look at more conventional saloons such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, which will offer extra practicality.


While Audis are known to hold their values well, there are some fantastic deals to be had on the A5 Sportback. Earlier examples with low mileages can be bought for as little as £7,500, while up to £10,000 is available off one-year-old examples, which seem fantastic value for money. It’s also a great way to avoid that initial depreciation.


  1. Superb build quality
  2. Loaded with tech
  3. Vorsprung trim level is laden with kit…
  4. If very pricey
  5. Good range of engines
  6. Practical boot
  7. Not as good to drive as the class best
  8. Classy looks
  9. Great value on the used market
  10. A well-rounded and classy executive model

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