Audi A5 Sportback Review
The Audi A5 Sportback is a more practical, but still stylish, model in the sporty A5 range
Strengths & weaknesses
The Audi A5 Sportback is the most practical model in the A5 range, offering four passenger doors, a hatchback boot opening and more space in the back for occupants than the other versions in the range. The other options include the two-door A5 Coupe model, the A5 Cabriolet and faster, more powerful S5 and RS5 models.
The A5 Sportback is even more similar to the Audi A4 Saloon than the A5 Coupe; both cars use a common set of parts, and both have four passenger doors. However, the A5 Sportback features a swept-back roofline, long bonnet and more dramatic styling - it’s worthy of consideration for those who want something a little more smart-looking than the plain A4.
It’s quite a niche model, being halfway between a proper two-door coupe and a four-door saloon, but the A5 Sportback does have at least one very close rival: the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. This model also features sporty looks but has four doors, a hatchback and extra room for passengers over the equivalent coupe model.
The A5 Sportback has been on sale since 2017 but there was an update in 2020 that gave it a fresher look - though underneath the skin the changes were fairly minor. The A5 Sportback has always offered the same benefits: a sportier look than an A4, but thanks to the extra doors, it’s still a practical option and is comfy and easy to drive.
Should I get an Audi A5 Sportback?
✔ Excellent interior quality and comfort
✔ Engine choices to suit most people
✔ More stylish than the A4 Saloon
✘ Can be quite expensive new compared to the A4
✘ A BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is more fun to drive
✘ Not as roomy inside as you might think
The Audi A5 Sportback is a worthwhile option for people who want something a bit more stylish than an A4 Saloon, but without having to sacrifice practicality too much. You’ll have to put up with there being less space inside, but the stylish looks will be enough for many to overlook that - especially if you only occasionally carry passengers.
It’s a good daily-driving option for those with a longish commute because this Audi is comfortable and the interior is really high-quality. This means it’s a pleasant place to spend a lot of time, and the engine range is suited to long trips as well - the petrols are punchy and the diesels offer good fuel economy. It’s worth remembering that the Audi A4 is the more pragmatic choice, as it’s very similar underneath and is more practical - and cheaper to buy.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Best A5 Sportback for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
Audi A5 Sportback
The Audi A5 Sportback is the most practical model in the A5 range because it has four passenger doors - the Cabriolet and Coupe models have only two, and not as much space in the rear seats either - plus a hatchback, for easy access to the boot.
There are plenty of engine options, from more efficient motors to tuned-up 2.0-litre petrols with plenty of performance. The diesel engine options include more efficient versions as well as a six-cylinder unit that’s both economical and powerful.
There are different trim levels depending on whether you choose a pre- or post-2020 model (this is when there were some cosmetic changes, also referred to as a 'facelift'). The earlier models start at SE but the later ones start with Sport, and you’ll find S line, Edition 1, Black Edition and Vorsprung versions, too. The lower trim levels are better value, as they bring plenty of kit without the high prices of the top-spec cars.
Other Audi A5 models (reviewed separately)
We’ve reviewed the other models in the A5 range separately, so we’ll mention them briefly here and you can read more about them on their respective pages on the site.
The Audi A5 Coupe is the two-door model with a fixed roof - it looks a lot like the A5 Sportback without rear doors, but you’ll notice the longer front doors that give it a slightly more handsome side profile. Meanwhile, fans of roof-down motoring will enjoy the A5 Cabriolet.
There’s also the S5, which is available in Sportback, Coupe and Cabriolet forms - it’s a sportier model with a large six-cylinder engine for extra performance. Then there’s the RS5, which turns things up even more with a mighty 450hp six-cylinder engine and stiffer, sportier suspension.
- AUDI A5 COUPE BUYERS' GUIDE
- AUDI A5 CABRIOLET BUYERS' GUIDE
- AUDI S5 BUYERS' GUIDE
- AUDI RS5 BUYERS' GUIDE
|Limited stock: The entry-level models were still well-equipped and got 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, climate control and a seven-inch media system. They also came with autonomous emergency braking (which can automatically brake the car at low speeds) and parking sensors.
|From £21,589: Sport comes with 18-inch alloys, LED lights and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit setup that replaces the dials with a screen to show your driving information, maps and more. You also get upgraded leather seats as well.
|From £12,600: S line comes with LED headlights, suede seats and different suspension to make the handling a bit sharper at the expense of comfort. There are some extra sporty trim bits on the exterior too.
|Limited stock: Edition 1 has lots of extra black-themed trim pieces but it’s fundamentally very similar to S line, so there’s not much reason to choose this unless you really love the look.
|From £21,900: Black Edition was available before 2020 and is a lot like Edition 1 - it added black trim for a sportier look but not a whole lot of actually desirable kit. It's worth a look if the price is right but we wouldn't pay extra for one.
|Limited stock: The Vorsprung is the top-spec model, and it gets the most kit by far - at the highest price, of course. There’s 20-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, more leather for the interior and an upgraded sound system.
The A5 Sportback engine range includes plenty of choice. Earlier models are easily spotted by their engine names, which are just the size of the engine - 2.0 TSI and so on - whereas later models have a more cryptic naming system where a higher number indicates more power rather than representing the size of the engine.
So, for example, the 35 TFSI - the entry-level model - is a 2.0-litre petrol, but as it has just 150hp, it has the lowest number in its name. You can get more power by choosing the 40 TFSI where this same engine is tuned up to have 204hp. The 45 TFSI is more powerful again with 265hp.
Then there’s the 2.0-litre 35 TDI, which is a diesel engine with 163hp. The 40 TDI follows the pattern too, with 204hp. Earlier cars were available with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel as well as the 2.0 TDI Ultra, the latter of which is very economical.
We reckon the best all-rounder is the 40 TFSI model - this 2.0-litre petrol engine is punchy, powerful enough and doesn’t use too much fuel. If you do a lot of motorway trips, though, a diesel model will be a better bet, as these are typically good value and very economical.
We’re focused on the A5 Sportback here, so we’ve picked out models from this specific range for our choices below. It’s worth remembering that if, for example, you care most about performance, then the sporty S5 and RS5 models might be a better option. Yet for practicality and family life, the A5 Sportback is the best A5 to pick.
Engine choice will be a big factor too, as the diesel models are great for long trips but not much cop if you spend most of your time driving short distances to town or to the supermarket, for example. The petrols are better all-round options.
|Audi A5 Sportback 40 TFSI Sport: The best-value trim level combined with the most appropriate all-round engine option is our pick for value for money. It won’t be as cheap to run as a diesel, but is likely to be cheaper to purchase and more refined.
|Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI Ultra Sport: For family trips, the older ‘Ultra’ models are great. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is tuned for fuel economy and it delivers this very well on motorways, so it’s great for any lengthy drive with the family on board.
|Audi A5 Sportback 45 TFSI S line: This engine has 265hp, so performance is excellent - and the S line trim’s stiffer suspension means it handles corners a bit better as well. Choose an S5 Sportback for even more performance, though.
|Audi A5 Sportback 40 TDI Vorsprung: The top-spec A5 Sportback isn’t very good value as the huge alloy wheels remove some comfort and you really don’t need all the bells and whistles - go for a cheaper model for more bang for your buck.
There’s only really one direct rival for the Audi A5 Sportback, and that’s the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Both are five-door versions of coupe models with four passenger doors and practical hatchback boot openings. The BMW is a better option for those who like a sportier drive, as it’s a bit more fun on a twisty road.
There are some other options to consider, though. The Volkswagen Arteon is another smart-looking German four-door coupe, and it’s a bit more affordable than the A5 Sportback. It even comes with a similar engine range, as VW and Audi are part of the same parent company.
Then there are the sportier-looking saloons that rival the A5’s closely related sibling, the A4, but are more smartly-dressed. These include the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia. Technically they are plain saloon cars with no hatchback or sleek silhouette, but their stylish designs might win you over.
Audi A5 Sportback practicality: dimensions and boot space
The A5 Sportback is 4.8m long, 1.8m wide and 1.4m tall, so it’s almost the same as the A5 Coupe but a bit longer to accommodate the extra doors. It’s over two metres wide with the mirrors out, so tight parking spots can be a bit of a challenge, as with many medium and large modern cars.
It’s about the same size and shape as the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, so there’s no significant difference in terms of dimensions between the two - the Audi is a little longer but not by enough that it would make much difference to most drivers.
|Length 4,757mm - 4,765mm
|Height 1,386mm - 1,384mm
|Weight 1,510kg - 1,820kg
The Audi A5 Sportback has a useful 465-litre boot, which is more than you get in the A5 Coupe but not as much as in the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, which has 480 litres (or 470 in the 2021-on model). The key thing to remember is that the A5 Sportback has a hatchback boot opening where the rear windscreen lifts with the boot, so there’s a good opening for loading in larger items. It’s much more practical than the A5 Coupe as a result.
You can also fold the seats down for a total of 1,280 litres of space. This is still less than you get in the BMW, but it’s by a barely noticeable 20 litres. The boot is a useful feature and makes the A5 Sportback potentially even more practical than some of its saloon rivals.
|Seats up 430 - 465 litres
|Seats down 1,245 - 1,280 litres
The Audi A5 Sportback should be just as reliable as the other A5 models as well as the mechanically-related VW Arteon, as all these models use a similar set of engines. However, survey data shows that Audi doesn’t have the best reliability record overall.
In the wide-ranging Driver Power customer satisfaction surveys, Audi has traditionally scored poorly - in 2021 it came in 23rd place, for example. Other upmarket brands also score poorly, because customers have high expectations that often aren’t met.
Audi has a very standard warranty of three years, covering 60,000 miles in that time - it’s the same as most of its rivals. The first two years have no mileage limit, as it’s only the third year that has a 60,000-mile limit. This means that newer models on the used market should have manufacturer warranty left even with fairly high mileage.
You can buy extended warranties from Audi, too. The brand offers four-year cover for up to 75,000 miles and five-year cover for up to 90,000 miles. Those looking to buy a new model can check the latest prices online but they are quite reasonable and could be worth a look.
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £643
The key thing with the Audi A5 Sportback is that it offers the stylish looks of the A5 with a bit more practicality, so it works better as a family car. However, if you are more of a pragmatic buyer then the cheaper A4 Saloon might be an even better choice. Still, if you love the way the A5 Sportback looks, its comfort, satisfying handling around corners, high-quality interior and excellent engines mean it’s a great choice.
The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is more fun to drive, but the A5 Sportback is still enjoyable enough, and it’s easy to drive, well-equipped and practical enough for most. High-spec versions on sporty suspension and big wheels aren’t as comfortable, so we’d stick to the lesser, more comfortable and better-value versions.
BuyaCar prices Limited stock
The Audi A5 Sportback 40 TFSI Sport offers the best value for money and is fairly common, because it’s a mid-range model with a popular engine. The petrol motor delivers good performance without sacrificing fuel economy too much, while the Sport trim has all the equipment you need.
If you do a lot of long trips then go for the Ultra model, because its 2.0-litre diesel engine is really efficient on the motorway. It’s pretty quiet and comfortable, too.
Meanwhile, if you want a high-performance version of the A5 Sportback then think about the S5 Sportback. This includes a larger six-cylinder engine for excellent performance and refinement. It’s a bit more expensive, though.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example
|APR rates available
|Cash price £12,000
|Value of loan
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12
|Annual mileage of 8,000pa
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55
|Term 48 months
|Optional final payment £4,285.79
|Loan value £12,000
|Total amount payable £14,755.55
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.
The Audi A5 Coupe is stylish and desirable - but neither the most high-tech or exciting car
The Audi A5 is a stylish coupe that offers plenty of comfort and a high-quality feel throughout, with a broad choice of engines