Audi A5 Sportback

2.0 TDI quattro

Sport S tronic

Audi A5 Sportback, front
Audi A5 Sportback, front
Audi A5 Sportback, rear
Audi A5 Sportback, boot
Audi A5 Sportback, interior

IT may come as a surprise to some, but not everyone is enamoured with the current trend for SUVs.

I recently came across the Twitter handle ‘SUV? No thanks!' And not everyone feels the need for an estate - or Sports Tourer in the current vogue. So, what alternatives are there?

If you're looking for a premium yet practical family four-door, the Audi A5 Sportback is one - and you could do an awful lot worse.

It comes with a choice of turbocharged diesel and petrol power units matched to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic twin clutch automatic. And the four-cylinder, 2.0-litre, 187bhp is a real peach.

And, though it may be a practical family four-door, it's also a sharp and stylish looking low-slung coupe, with a low roofline that arcs to the tail. A little longer and ever so slightly taller than the two-door A5 Coupe, it is still a seriously good-looking car.

The A5 Sportback comes in Sport, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung spec levels. The Sport model comes with a host of infotainment and driver assistance systems including satnav, front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats, and the Audi pre-sense City, which warns the driver of an imminent collision and can initiate emergency braking.

All are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, and come equipped with xenon headlights aided by LED daytime running lights. There's also a three-zone electronic climate control system and a power-operated tailgate.

There's also a large 480-litre boot which expands to a very useful 1,300 litres with the rear seats down. The boot also come with handy tie-down points and luggage nets.

Sport models also come with an LED interior lighting pack, electrically adjustable - and very comfy - leather sports seats and satnav. In fact, the entire interior is extremely classy. You won't find much better without paying serious coin.

Quattro all-wheel drive is an option on the standard model but well worth it as it provides bags of grip and will make you feel so much more confident on wet and slippery roads. Great for peace of mind.

And there will be times when you want to let the A5 Sportback stretch its legs - it's fast, nimble through the corners, and, being so low-slung, shows impressive body control. The quattro system ensures all the power is transmitted to the road - this is a car with impressive road-holding and you can enjoy driving it.

Which is probably why I didn't get anywhere near the official miles per gallon figure. I did, however, get a fairly comfortable 40mpg.

That peace of mind is also aided by choosing the slick automatic transmission over the manual. It just makes this big Audi so much more relaxing to drive, especially on the motorway where it is amazingly refined. It is stunningly insulated from road and wind noise.

However, the A5 Sportback's sleek and stylish design does mean a compromise has to be made. That arcing roofline does reduce headroom in the back. There may be plenty of legroom but if you have tall adults in the back, you might not want to take on long journeys. It's also really a four, rather than five, seater when it comes to adults. No one is going to want to sit in the middle of the otherwise perfectly comfortable rear bench.

FAST FACTS

Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI quattro Sport S tronic

Price: £40,515

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

Max Speed: 146mph

0-62mph: 7.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 62.8

Insurance Group:30

C02 emissions: 117g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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