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Audi A5 Sportback: Test Drive Review

Date: 01 February 2012   |   Author:

Category: Sports
P11D price: £31,840
Key rival: VW Passat CC

As is the norm for Audi, this is a subtle mid-life revision to its A5 range that hides increased efficiencies behind the exterior of minor styling tweaks.

A gentle reshaping of the bumpers, grille, bonnet and light clusters across the A5 range of Coupe, Convertible and, driven here, five-door Sportback models is more obvious on the S-line models, which now get standard LED daytime running lights that are optional on the rest of the range.

The interior is subject to a series of subtle fine-tuning measures while the Coupe's Sport trim is also dropped to bring it in line with the standard, SE and S-line alternatives of its siblings.

The Sportback has the option of a five-seat layout for the first time too, rather than the previous arrangement of two individual rear seats.

But it's under the bonnet where the biggest changes are made. Audi claims that the A5 now has the lowest CO2 and benefit-in-kind payments, plus the best economy and most competitive pricing in the sector.

The 177hp 2.0 TDI diesel is "heavily modified" and the "efficiency standard-bearer" of the range, according to the German brand, emitting just 120g/km in manual form or 127g/km in eight-speed multitronic auto guise. That compares with 125g/km for the BMW 320d Coupe, although that's only a three door.

Emissions reductions follow suit through the range, with the more efficient 204hp 3.0-litre from the A6, A7 and A8 ranges replacing the old 2.7-litre unit, while the entry-level 170hp 1.8-litre petrol engine replaces the 180hp 2.0-litre TFSI, cutting emissions by 21%. As well as downsizing engines, the efficiency gains also come about through a series of measures including stop/start technology across the range.

The mid-life refresh slightly enhances the A5's strengths although there's no driving improvement, an area where the BMW 3-series range still has the edge. However, the prettier A5 is now more efficient and a better ownership proposition than before.

Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI SE
P11D price£31,145
Model price range£25,540-£41,840
Fuel consumption54.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 137g/km (20%)
BIK 20/40% per month£104/£208
Service intervalvariable miles
Insurance (1-50)group 27
Boot space min/max480/980 litres
Engine size/power1968cc/177hp
Top speed/0-62mph142mph/8.7secs
On sale December 2011
Verdict More efficient and
still very desirable


More efficient and still very desirable