Latest report: Audi A5 Sportback long-term test
18 May 2017
Author: Debbie Wood
|P11D price £37,390|
|As tested £43,255|
|Official consumption 65.7mpg|
2nd report - Heading Down Under
Going on holiday is always fun, but I have to admit the one thing I don't enjoy is packing, and having booked a three-week trip to Australia, I knew that this year would prove to be even more difficult.
I'm not a light traveller and need to have as many creature comforts around me as possible when I go away. So it was absolutely essential to have a car capable of transporting all of my luggage to the airport.
Time to find out if our A5 Sportback could rise to the challenge. Happily, thanks to its 480 litres of bootspace, fitting in the two large suitcases proved a breeze and the automatic tailgate - standard on our test car - meant I didn't need to worry about fumbling around opening the boot with my luggage either.
The boot lip is also low enough that I didn't struggle too much with the heavy cases, and a wide opening made loading easy too. Inside there's enough space to place bags in the rear-seat footwells, and thankfully there's lots of other practical storage options around the cabin too.
The glovebox was spacious enough to place all my holiday documentation and the large cupholders secured the (much needed) coffee en route to the airport too. We've already talked a little about how good the Apple CarPlay system is in previous reports, but one of my favourite functions when using Google Maps is when it offers a faster alternative route. There's always a bit of hesitation as you debate whether to fully trust its judgement, but on many occasions it's helped me to avoid getting stuck in traffic, and on this particular day the maps enabled me to avoid a three-mile jam on the M25 that could have made me very late for check-in.
Now that the engine is getting a few more miles under its belt, fuel economy is improving too. We've already passed the 50mpg mark and I'm expecting that figure to keep improving as the miles rack up.
The 100-mile journey to the airport was a stress-free and relaxing affair, testament to our A5 Sportback's excellent comfort levels, and a great start to my holiday.
Our average consumption 50.2mpg
First report - Chauffeuring teenagers
First of all, let me apologise that there are no pictures of the people I refer to in this article. Anyone who currently has a teenage daughter will understand that having the appropriate amount of make-up applied and the hair styled is apparently absolutely essential for even a quick trip to the supermarket, which ultimately means you'll wait forever and a day to go anywhere.
That time doubles when there's a camera involved and I just wasn't prepared to wait four hours for the girls to be ready for a quick snap. So instead I've chosen to take a few more pictures of our A5 Sportback long-termer on its own - no bad thing by any stretch.
Technically a hatchback but closer to a coupe in looks, the A5 Sportback has some serious kerb appeal, perhaps not as much as the Coupe, which we said goodbye to in our previous report, but its sleek lines and distinctive front-end make it very easy on the eye.
We have two cars on our driveway at home: a Ford Focus and the A5 Sportback. It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which of the two is more popular with the teenagers.
I'm not usually the first person to put my hand up to playing 'taxi' when Abigail's friends come over and stay, but the A5 Sportback is so easy and comfortable to drive that it makes it far less of a chore - even with the hours of teenage angst I had to endure as a result.
Our long-termer is loaded with tech, but unsurprisingly the one feature that proved particularly popular was Apple CarPlay. As smartphones are so integral to a teenager's existence, any car that can replicate your phone's screen and allow you access to your text messages and Spotify on the move is always going to go down well with the younger generation - they'll never plug their own phones into the USB ports, though, as adults are not allowed to be within easy reach of a teenager's smartphone after all.
Although space in the back is not as generous as its saloon stablemates, the new A5 Sportback is 21mm longer, 5mm lower and 9mm narrower then the previous model, and that growth spurt means more legroom, especially noticeable to those in the rear.
Headroom will still be an issue for anyone over six-foot; however, for our current passengers, there was more than enough space for them to stretch out. Boot space is generous too, at 480 litres - easily adequate for the many (many) bags apparently needed for an overnight stay.
The rear air-con controls came in handy, mainly because girls these days tend to go around fairly scantily clad (showing my age here) - they need Sahara desert temperatures blowing to stay warm. The large, leather seats proved comfortable too, and the 10-speaker sound system got the thumbs up - even if my music taste did not.
Storage space is also plentiful, with large rear-door pockets that can fit a bottle of water, magazine holders behind the front seats, and a practical rear armrest that includes cupholders and a thin cubby.
So the A5 Sportback was a big hit with the kids, and I'm sure it'll continue to be first choice on the driveway the next time Abi's friends come to stay. Whether I decide to let them back in the car depends on if they can learn to wash their hands properly after applying make up - having to clean up orange handprints are a deal-breaker for my taxi services.
Audi A5 Sportback 2.0TDI 190 S line S-Tronic
|P11D price £37,390
|As tested £43,255
|Official consumption 65.7mpg
Standard equipment: Xenon headlamps, Audi Drive Select, cruise control, keyless start, 7in touchscreen system, three-zone climate control, rear parking sensors. S line: 18in alloys, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay, sports steering wheel, Black leather/Alcantara front sports seats, sports suspension.
Options: Driver Assistance Pack (£1,250), flat-bottom steering wheel (£100), high-beam assist (£150), storage pack (£175), pneumatic lumbar support (£450), headlight washers (£250), smoking pack (£50), virtual cockpit (£250), Assistance Pack (£1,350), MMI Navigation (£1,100)