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Audi A5 Sportback hatchback (2009-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

Almost all Audi A5 Sportback models are quick

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.7 out of 5

The strongest aspect of the Audi A5 Sportback’s performance is undoubtedly the engine range. With the exception of the eco-friendly Ultra model, which itself isn’t terribly sluggish, all the engines are punchy, quick and refined.

Audi A5 diesel engines

The model we recommend is the 187bhp version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel, which is capable of 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds (or 7.4 with Audi’s automatic gearbox). The 242bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged diesel is the one to go for if you want the quickest A5 Sportback in the standard range – it can do 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds and has plenty of power for overtaking.

Petrol engines

Although a diesel A5 is certainly the way to go, the 175 and 227bhp petrol engines are both quick, with the latter taking 6.5 seconds to get to 62mph from a standstill. They certainly aren’t bad if you prefer the character of a petrol engine to a diesel.

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When it comes to handling, the A5 Sportback is sporty without being razor-sharp. It’s better to think of it as a stable, controlled and refined car rather than an all-out sports coupe. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe falls broadly into this category, too, but the A5 Sportback’s steering feels more artificial and less positive than that of its main rival, which means the BMW is more fun to drive.

The standard suspension makes for a smooth, comfortable ride, but the higher-spec trim levels add larger alloy wheels and firmer, lower suspension that helps the car’s performance through corners but can make it uncomfortable on poorly surfaced roads. The S line and Black Edition Plus models come with sports suspension as standard, with the option to upgrade to S line sports suspension.

Some drivers will like the enhanced cornering performance and taut feel that these setups provide, but others will find them wearing, particularly on long journeys. Our advice would be to consider what you’ll mainly be using the car for and then test-drive a model with the firmer setup to see which you prefer. We think the firmer setup compromises ride quality too much on UK roads.

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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.

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