Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI S tronic Review
Easy Driver

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
13 Jan 2021
 

The Audi A5 Sportback may not be the most entertaining of compact executive cars out there, but it sure offers an extremely well sorted and refined drive. 

The concept of a four-doored coupe has definitely put up quite a bit of a debate. There are those who would probably think that the idea of one is utter blasphemy, and there are those who see the good in them. For myself, I tend to lean to the latter, and the Audi A5 Sportback is my favourite body shape of all of the A5 range.

Why sure, a 4-doored coupe blurs the lines of what is deemed as a true coupe, or what is a proper sedan. But with manufacturers thinking out of the (3) box to entice buyers, we are now at the better receiving end, being more spoilt for choice.

The Audi A5 range has gone through a model refresh, together with its A4 sister car. In a time where the SUV has gained even more traction, the Audi A5 Sportback quietly breaks from the norm of the ubiquitous sedan, and especially now, the equally ubiquitous SUV.

The mid-life facelift includes a restyled grille, that has three slots above, that pays homage to the legendairy Audi Ur-Quattro. Also included is a new sill design, and new front and rear bumpers, that add a little more visual girth to the A5. 

The headlights are now Matrix LED units, while the taillights have been redesigned to keep things a little fresher. Billed as a coupe, the A5 Sportback features more stylish frameless windows, a pleasant touch… the only inherent downside is that the doors do not close with a ‘thunk’ like in the A4.

The base model A5 gets 18” rims shod with 245/45 tyres as standard, and you can opt for 19” or 20” affairs, which includes a range of more premium Audi Sport designs.

Inside

Where Audis tend to shine the best, is within their interiors, where quality materials join up without a squeak. What is different though, is their newest MIB3 Multi Media Interface (MMI), which for the A5, comes standard with Navigation Plus; that sits within a 10.1” touch display.

With the touch display, Audi has also gotten rid of the large trackpad in-front of the gearshift lever, leaving behind a void in its place, ideal for little knick-knacks, and for some perhaps a space large enough for a small bowl of potpourri.

The new MMI is arguably the quickest-responding system available, which is also very good at recognising doctor quality scribbles, as you doodle in your destination. The myAudi app ensures mobile connectivity for both Apple and Android devices, and can support up to seven different user profiles.

The bulk of the interior of the A5 has been otherwise retained, which includes a 12.3” Virtual Cockpit for the driver, sports inspired seats in the front that can be optioned in supple Nappa leather, or even have them ventilated - the latter which will set you back at around $2,400.

While the lower roofline may hamper slightly, entry through the rear doors for occupants who may be 1.8m and above, the A5 does boast sedan-like practicality, and most adult passengers at the rear will have no issues with its sloping roof.

In a traditional sense, the A5 is technically a fastback, meaning that the rear-end opens together with the windshield, making access to the generous 465 litre boot (the A4 is 460 litres) much easier.

The Drive

With the A4 and A5 updates, Audi has introduced mild-hybrid technology for better overall efficiency. But unlike most mild-hybrid vehicles we know, the ones in Audi do not supplement the drive in the cars. Instead, it is designed to keep the electrics running while at the lights, or when the engine shuts off when you lift off to glide down the road.

The base A5 gets an innovative 2.0 turbocharged B-Cycle engine, delivering 148bhp and 270Nm, the latter from between 1,300 to 3,850rpm. To me, the output is quite decent, especially if you are not one who is too keen on a spirited drive, as proven by its 9.1 second century sprint; but would be more interested in the A5’s refinement. That said, the A5 Sportback does handle well, perhaps it is still less fun than the slightly pricier BMW 318i, but again, we like its refinement.

The drive is delivered to the front wheels via an efficiently quick 7-speed S Tronic transmission. The A5 does a very good job in keeping the driving experience near-seamless between the engine shutting down when you lift off the throttle at speeds above 55km/h, and when it re-engages where you choose to accelerate. There is only a short learning curve needed for you to get used to, for how much gas to give, to achieve desired smoothness, when you re-fire up that engine to put the drive back into the wheels.

With the 12V mild-hybrid tech, Audi claims savings of up to 0.3 l/100km, but for small countries like ours, where there are lesser undisturbed stretches, we believe that the savings from the mild-hybrid technology are not going to be very significant. The savings you do get however, will be from that B-Cycle engine, that behaves like a 2.0 under heavier loads, but sips fuel more like a 1.4 litre while cruising. The A5 Sportback delivers a respectable lab-tested 15.6km/l, though we achieved an approximate 12.5km/l, but with considerable traffic volume.

Our Thoughts

The Audi A5 Sportback may not be the most entertaining of compact executive cars out there, but it sure offers an extremely well sorted and refined drive. 

It is pretty well equipped, and well… the coupe body style, day-to-day practicality, coupled with a sub-200k price*, makes the Sportback variant of the A5 an attractive executive sedan alternative.

*accurate when published 13 Jan 2021

In Summary

We Like

Subtly more aggressive styling. Efficient powertrain and transmission. Day-to-day practicality.. Overall build quality.

We Don't

Could use a little more grunt.

Verdict

If you are one who thinks that a compact executive car has to be a sedan, the Audi A5 Sportback is just half-a-step in a different direction… a stylish one, and is priced quite competitively too.

Car Loan Calculator - Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI

SGD 199,900 (7 Jan 2021)

Based on OMV, this car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 11.7:1
Bore x Stroke ( 82.5 x 92.8)mm
Power 150bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque 270Nm @ 1300rpm
Power to Weight 102.7 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 9.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 201 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.6 km/L
Drag Coefficient 0.270

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed 7-speed S tronic transmission
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4757 x 1843 x 1398) mm
Wheelbase 2824 mm
Kerb Weight 1460 kg
Boot Capacity 465 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 54 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs