Audi A5 Sportback 40

TDI quattro Black

Edition S tronic

Audi A5 Sportback, side static
Audi A5 Sportback, rear static 2
Audi A5 Sportback, front static 1
Audi A5 Sportback, front static 2
Audi A5 Sportback, rear static
Audi A5 Sportback, dashboard
Audi A5 Sportback, boot
Audi A5 Sportback, rear seats
Audi A5 Sportback, front seats
Audi A5 Sportback, dash detail
Audi A5 Sportback, engine

IF you fancy the car you see here you'd better get a move on and visit an Audi dealer soon - or you'll miss it.

And fancy it you well might, even before slipping into the driver's seat and pressing 'go'.

I hope you agree this is a good looking machine. Swoopier than the deliberately more practical Audi A4 that provides much of this car's mechanical bits, and only a little less svelte than the A5 coupe as it plays hatchback boot opening and four doors against the coupe's two and a boot lid.

The result is a car whose plunging roofline robs the back seats of a little headroom and makes getting in and out slightly more of a faff but not enough to rob it of four seat (or five at a pinch) practicality.

All of which will remain when the latest version of the A5 appears in the spring of 2020 with modest changes to the outside (you'll notice a slightly more aggressive look to the front) and more far reaching modifications inside.

Principal among them is the loss of a nicely knurled wheel ahead of the gear lever that lets you twiddle settings on the big screen set high into the centre of the dash.

It's been a posher Audi signature fitting for ages, but is being replaced by more presses of the new screen and steering wheel buttons.

I'll miss the twirlable wheel but thankfully Audi has retained properly physical controls for heating and ventilation in the upgrade, resisting the temptation to play iPad roulette on a bumpy road.

No prices yet on the facelift model, which will introduce mild hybrid engines to the range but I'd expect a modest hike.

But back to the current car, seen here in Black Edition trim which aims to add a more sporty feel and look to the car, with firmer suspension and big 20in alloy wheels as standout features.

Both of which are very much in play on our dreadful roads, often feeling too unforgiving when the bumps appear. Lesser versions have more supple springing and smaller wheels and, inevitably, will ride better but not look as race track ready.

Under the bonnet - and some way from race track refugee - sits a diesel engine with an ever present growl and enough power to provide useful performance and a respectable 44.1mpg average over 500 test miles.

There's quattro all-wheel drive to reassure on the worst of winter roads and an automatic gearbox that smooths progress but sometimes acts like a grumpy child when asked for instant action at roundabouts and road junctions.

No complaints about the way the A5 Sportback makes you feel sitting inside its handsome shell. Audi has long been master of finely fettled interiors and this one is bang on target, with obvious use of high class materials in evidence everywhere.


Audi A5 Sportback 40 TDI quattro Black Edition S tronic

Price: £42,890

Mechanical: 187bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 146mph

0-62mph:7.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 62.8

Insurance Group: 30

C02 emissions: 119g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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