Skip advert
Advertisement

Audi A5 Sportback hatchback (2009-2016)

“The Audi A5 Sportback is due to be replaced soon, but its saloon-like practicality and coupe-style good looks still appeal.”

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Stylish looks
  • Great engine range
  • High-quality interior

Cons

  • Firm ride
  • Expensive options
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is better to drive

The Audi A5 Sportback is, like its big brother the A7 Sportback, a cross between a coupe and a saloon. That means you get some of the appealing styling elements of a coupe, without having to sacrifice too much in the way of outright practicality. While the A5 Sportback has slightly reduced rear headroom as a result of its tapered roofline, you do get a hatchback boot, adding an extra degree of practicality over the (previous generation) Audi A4 saloon on which it’s based.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Sitting as it does in a relatively niche class, the A5 Sportback has very few rivals – although the Mercedes CLA-Class and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe are designed along similar lines. Unlike both these cars, however, the A5 Sportback is beginning to feel its age slightly now, having been on sale for almost seven years. It’s by no means a bad car, but while its interior is luxurious, it can’t match the Mercedes CLA’s, while newer Audis – like the TT – feature more appealing dashboards.

Audi offers the A5 Sportback with a familiar range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as its quattro four-wheel-drive system on some models. The cheapest engine is the 1.8-litre petrol, which goes from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds, returns 46.3mpg and costs £145 a year in road tax. The other petrol engine offered is a 227bhp 2.0-litre, which comes with four-wheel drive as standard. This is faster, if less economical: 0-62mph is reached in just 6.5 seconds, but fuel consumption of 40.9mpg and an annual road tax bill of £185 make it the costliest model to run. Audi also makes the performance-orientated S5 Sportback, which features a 3.0-litre 328bhp petrol engine. But at over £40,000 and with fuel economy of 35.8mpg, it’s an expensive choice.

The diesel engines are more popular. Most efficient is the 2.0-litre 134bhp Ultra model, which is capable of an impressive 67.3mpg, costs just £20 a year in road tax and is liable for 21% Benefit-in-Kind tax, making it the best choice for company-car drivers. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is also available with either 148 or 187bhp, and these both cost £110 a year in road tax and return 58.9mpg. The extra power of the 187bhp engine means it doesn’t need to be worked hard, so it's able to offer the same economy as the 148bhp engine.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Aside from the standalone S5 model, the four-wheel-drive, 242bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine is top of the A5 Sportback range. While this is expensive, a 0-62mph time of just 5.9 seconds, combined with fuel economy of 46.3mpg means this engine is not without appeal.

On the road, the Audi A5 Sportback isn’t as enjoyable to drive as the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, while its firm suspension means it corners with little body lean, but can become slightly uncomfortable on poor surfaces – something that becomes more of a problem when the A5 Sportback is fitted with the sports suspension and larger alloy wheels of higher trim levels.

Entry-level SE Technik trim includes staples like cruise control, air-conditioning, heated leather seats and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as sat nav and DAB radio. S line trim features stiffer suspension, upgraded leather, sports seats and a sporty bodykit, while the top-spec Black Edition Plus includes larger alloy wheels, black exterior and interior styling details and an upgraded Bang & Olufsen stereo. In truth, SE Technik has all the kit you’re likely to need.

Reliability is a bit of a mixed bag. True, the A5 Sportback feels very solid and its interior features high-quality materials, but Audi’s reputation for reliability has suffered somewhat in recent years. A 21st-place finish (out of 32 brands) in our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey indicates that while the prospect of driving an Audi is tempting, the actual ownership experience may be less alluring. There are no such concerns over safety: the Audi A4 (on which the A5 Sportback is based) scored the full five stars in its Euro NCAP tests.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Hot car deal: premium Audi A5 Sportback for £287 a month
Audi A5 Sportback deal
Deals
29 Feb 2024

Hot car deal: premium Audi A5 Sportback for £287 a month

Audi A5 Sportback hatchback review
In-depth reviews
21 Sep 2023

Audi A5 Sportback hatchback review

Most Popular

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed
Alpine A290 front quarter
News
13 Jun 2024

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024