Our Fleet Test Drive: Audi A5 Sportback - 1st Report
29 November 2010
Author: Guy Bird
 A5's innards continue the handsome tradition
|P11D price:|| £29,310|
|Key rival:|| BMW 3 Series|
After long-term testing an array of practical but uninspiring family-oriented vehicles it is a pleasure to evaluate a car that promises more driver fulfilment and kerbside cache.
However, I have to admit that when the original A5 three-door coupe came out I was a non-believer. At the motorshow unveil in the company of the A4, A6 and A8 it seemed unremarkable. But having seen the car steadily increase in numbers on the road, its subtle shape and gently undulating side feature line  has grown and grown on me. Better still for drivers with human cargo, the Sportback five-door still retains those elegant coupe proportions while boasting a large and practical hatchback opening  with split-folding fold-flat rear seats that boost the 480-litre basic luggage space to 980 litres.
On interiors, Audi can seemingly do no wrong. The A5's innards continue the handsome tradition  , and despite the lack of crowd-pleasing top-spec S-line trim, this SE model still feels rock solid, high quality and functional.
Our engine and transmission choice - the business-appropriate 143hp 2.0 TDI SE with Multitronic CVT automatic and gearshift paddles - places this model in the middle A5 Sportback price range at a P11D of £28,702 and offers official combined economy of 48.7mpg and 152g/km CO2 (equating to a 22% BIK tax band). For that money you get sporty leather seats and 17-inch alloys, but overall the list is a little light. Luckily our car is supplemented with £3275 of added options, namely metallic paint (£615), 'Tech Pack High', including full-colour satnav, cruise control and a glovebox-based iPod music interface (£1995), heated front seats (£280) plus Bluetooth (£385).
The first two options are already earning their keep with the Tech Pack High in particular making this car feel 'classy'. As to the latter two, as I don't live in Alaska or suffer from bad buttock circulation issues, and need to abide by strict BusinessCar phone-driving rules, I suspect I'll have little need of them. Of greater interest will be whether this highly desirable car stays so in six months' time. Looking forward to keeping you posted already.
|Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI SE Multitronic 143hp|
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||26.9mpg|
|Model price range||£25,455-£38,725|
|CO2 (tax) ||152g/km/22%|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£107/£215|
|Service interval|| up to 19,000mls/2yrs|
|Boot space (min/max)||480/980 litres|
|Why we’re running it||To see if the A5 really |
can combine practicality
with style in everyday living
|Positive||Classic exterior |
quality and design
|Negative||None so far|