What is it?
First came the all-new two-door A5 Coupe and following closely behind is this – the second-generation version of the more practical five-door Sportback hatchback and we’re trying the Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDi 190 Ultra Sport Sportback .
Like the second-generation Coupe, Audi have been clever to not move too far away from the attractive original, but this is an all new car that’s lighter, is supposed to offer a sharper drive, together with lower emissions.
Well, the second-generation A5 Sportback has finally hit UK shores and we’ve got the expected best-seller here – the 190bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel, which with its ‘Ultra’ Audi fuel-saving technology has 106g/km emissions and is capable of an impressive 68.9mpg on the Combined Cycle.
We’ve tried this new A5 Sportback in Sport trim, but SE and S-Line trims are also available.
- The 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which accelerates to 60mph in just 7.9 secs and has a top speed of 130mph. Like the Coupe, the Sportback has been on a diet and is now 60kg lighter, meaning that despite the Sportback’s additional doors, it is still capable of 68.9mpg on the Combined Cycle and emits just 106g/km. It is well-matched to the slick-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission equalling a 23% tax band for 2017/18.
- Even with the addition of a pair of extra doors and the hatchback boot access, we reckon Audi has managed to make the Sportback better looking than the two-door Coupe on which it’s based. Although, like the Coupe, the Sportback has the same neat 3D definition to the shoulder line. Other changes are as the Coupe, and include the larger, lower and wider front family grille. There’s a curvier look to the standard xenon headlights and the bonnet. The back of the Sportback is neatly styled too, with the hatchback neatly added along with the built-in rear spoiler, plus the 3-D design of the rear lights.
- Audi may have played with the A5 formula, but like the Coupe, the end driving result remains composed and competent. It might have ‘Sport’ badging, but we reckon the BMW 4 Series is still more fun to drive. Still, the electro-mechanical steering remains pleasingly precise, plus body control remains pleasingly tight in corners.
- Inside, apart from those rear doors and seating for five, the Sportback feels exactly the same as the latest four-seater A5 Coupe. This means the now expected high quality, the same horizontal look to the dash, plus the premium feels to the trim and switchgear. The driving position is comfy and multi-adjustable and the front seats supportive. The longer wheelbase means a welcome extra 24mm of leg and 11mm of shoulder room and there’s even a larger, more practical 480-litre boot!
- Sportback or not, you get the same impressive level of standard safety kit, with Adaptive brake assist, Forward collision & stop and a Lane Departure Warning all fitted.
- On top of this A5 not feeling particularly sporty, our test car was fitted with optional 18-inch alloys which don’t help the stiff ride, kick up plenty of road noise and will increase the CO2 emissions – a key consideration for company car buyers as that will raise the first year VED and benefit-in-kind rate.
- The Audi Drive Select adaptive damping system is fitted as standard, but it’s difficult to tell the difference between the drive settings.
- Despite more knee and shoulder room in the new Audi A5 Sportback, there’s still not a great deal of rear space – we reckon it’s probably better suited to carrying a couple of kids rather than adults.
Verdict on: Audi A5 Sportback 2.0TDI 190 Ultra Sport
We think that in Sportback 2.0TDI 190 Ultra Sport form, this is the best of the current crop of A5s and will do deservedly well with business buyers. Why? Well despite the extra doors and bigger hatchback boot, it remains a fine drive, looks even sharper in Sportback form and still has the enviable performance/consumption balance.
So how does it compare to its key rival – the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe? Closest model to the A5 Sportback 2.0 TDi 190 Ultra Sport, is the 420d Sport Auto. The Audi is looking good from the start as it’s cheaper by £105.
The BMW might be the sportier drive with higher top speed, although for an SME the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Audi is stronger, with 106g/km for 23% BIK for 2017/18 versus 114g/km of the BMW which means higher first year VED and 24% tax band.
The lowdown on: Audi A5 Sportback 2.0TDI 190 Ultra Sport
|Road Tax (VED) from April 2017:||£140 first year/£140 p.a.|
|Company Car Tax Band 2017/18:||23%|
|Doors and body style:||5-door hatchback|
|Engine/gearbox:||2.0-litre, 4cyl diesel/seven-speed automatic transmission|
Audi A5 Sportback 2.0TDI 190 Ultra Sport and company car tax
- Discover how much you need to pay – click here
Audi A5 Sportback 2.0TDI 190 Ultra Sport and fuel benefit tax
- We’ll tell you how much ‘free’ fuel will cost you – click here
Sporty fastback rear profile for the five-door A5 Sportback