WITH its low-slung stance and sweeping lines the Audi A5 Sportback is the antithesis of the chunky, high-riding SUVs that are currently so dominant in the family car market.
For those that prefer a more sporty style, though, this five-door version of Audi's smaller executive coupe offers some decent space and practicality to go with its appealing looks.
A characteristic raked roof is complemented by a muscular front end with a prominent honeycomb grille and eye catching alloy wheels, with our S line test car also getting version-specific bumpers and side skirts as well as a lowered sports suspension.
This sits above Sport and below Edition 1 and flagship Vorsprung grades in the model range - all of which have their own individual design touches in what, in my opinion, is one of the most stylish motors in the Audi stable.
Power comes from a range of turbocharged petrol or diesel engines or, available for the first time in 2020, a mild hybrid system - although no fully hybrid or plug-in options are available - all of which are mated to an automatic transmission with either seven or eight speeds.
Our car had a 2.0 litre petrol unit under the bonnet kicking out 190ps and mated to the seven speed box which offers more than enough pace for all but the most serious petrolheads - with a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds and top speed of just under 150mph.
Performance is punchy and responsive in traffic, makes light work of overtaking and effortlessly eats up motorway miles, with the transmission going about its job smoothly and largely imperceptibly.
The sports suspension keeps things well controlled, providing solid grip alongside some agile handling, while the steering is light and accurate but weights up nicely to offer decent feedback at speed and generally the A5 Sportback offers plenty of driving enjoyment.
The sportier set-up gives the ride a firm edge occasionally but it never really strays into uncomfortable territory and everything is pretty refined, with wind and road noise rarely noticed.
Inside, the combination of top quality finishes, creature comforts and an abundance of high-tech gadgetry demonstrate why Audi interiors are among the best in the business.
The dashboard is dominated by a 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia interface, which replaces the rotary controller previously preferred by Audi and offers impressive graphics and an intuitive user experience.
All cars also get Audi's digital cockpit set-up which offers a further 12.3-inch, high definition driver's display screen boasting three different configurations, with the information displayed controlled via the multifunction steering wheel.
The leather and alcantara upholstery in S line trim creates a plush look and feel fully in keeping with the brand's reputation and the A5 is a pleasant and comfortable car to travel in.
The raked roofline does mean that the head room in the rear is tight for the tallest folk, and sitting three across the back is probably not something you'll want to do too often or for anything but short journeys.
For four people, though, there is room enough for comfortable everyday motoring and longer haul travel, with a boot of 465 litres also offering enough capacity for the weekly shop, a fair amount of luggage or, given the likely demographic of many buyers, a set of golf clubs.
Equipment is, as you would expect of a premium brand, also generous, with S line models getting heated sports front seats, a drive mode selector, climate control, digital radio, Apple and Android smartphone connectivity, automatic emergency braking, cruise control, powered tailgate, keyless ignition and rear privacy glass.
Annoyingly, Audi insists on keeping some bells and whistles, such as rear view cameras and lane keep assist, for range-topping models or options packs.