We love the engines, but Audi's end of term report is a definite case of 'could do better' on ride, handling and refinement
Too many irritations: offset pedals, limited visibility and fussy controls
Standard kit is comprehensive and optional high-tech warning systems will do their best to keep you out of trouble altogether
Not a match for the car's quality but no worse than average
Available in four or five-seat versions; all have a high boot lip, high-rising tailgate and rear seats that don't fold far enough for a flat loadbay
SE models are a safe bet; go for S line if you want sportier touches or S5 for the full works
The entry-level engines are strong and flexible enough to make spending more on the car a matter of choice rather than necessity. Although there's a choice of suspension settings, none fully resolve the A5 Sportback's ride and handling dilemmas. It grips the road reassuringly, but the car can't seem to decide whether to waft along gracefully, grand tourer style, or instead play the sports car role and pick up every ripple in the road. Wind noise is a little intrusive, due to its pillar-less doors, while racket from the tyres and exhaust can also become irritating.
As you'd expect, the A5 doesn't leave the house looking anything less than immaculate. It's very comfortable to sit in, too. The premium feel of the cabin is let down by a few annoying niggles. The pedals are too far offset, and the clutch pedal sits in a recess which is enough to irritate every time you change gear. Visibility isn't great, either.
For rear passengers, choose between two individual seats or a bench for three either way there's lots of room. The boot is a reasonable size but has a high lip to haul luggage over, although a high-rising tailgate aids access. Unfortunately, the rear seats don't fold far enough to create a fully flat loadbay.
Standard safety kit is comprehensive and optional high-tech warning systems will do their best to keep you out of trouble altogether. Euro NCAP hasn't crash tested the A5, but the A4 on which it is based scored an impressive 93% for adult safety, and 84% for children. Despite feeling beautifully built, the A5 was ranked 'below average' for mechanical reliability in the latest JD Power survey - a disappointing result.
There's a big mark up over an A4 saloon, but as well as the extra style and practicality, resale values will be stronger for the A5 Sportback. Even the cheapest engines offer good performance. The 1.8 turbocharged petrol version is perfect for low-mileage drivers, while the 2.0 diesel is much more efficient, with low emissions that make it a great choice of company car. All are fitted with stop-start technology to keep fuel costs down, but SE trim adds most of the kit you'd want (and future buyers will expect) in a £30k car, such as leather seats and rear parking sensors.