I think it’s quite clear by now that when it comes to any two- or four-wheel automotive creations, the Germans are heads and shoulders above everyone else. Perhaps it’s their iconic German efficiency or their industrial schools that churn out peerless engineers but the cars and bikes that German automobile brands produce are always a pleasure to drive.
The new Audi A5 Sportback is no exception. While we’re generally ambivalent about automotive blends (I’m looking at you Crossovers), the new A5 Sportback is one we actually like. Combining the spaciousness of a sedan with the versatility of a hatchback, the Audi A5 Sportback is the car for the hardworking family man who enjoys living it up on the weekends.
The drive is typical Audi, smooth and stable, and corners beautifully without any alarming body lean even when you gun it. The 2.0-litre TFSI engine variant we tested provides good power from low to high revs, and accelerates smoothly without any lag nor imperceptible jerks, a common problem in turbo engines. It also easily devours the gravel when you gun the accelerator although we recommend putting it in Comfort mode for the smoothest ride. Plus it saves petrol.
It’s the interior that will win you over. The plush leather seats, subtle ambient lighting and handsome inlays are a dream. The driver’s experience in an Audi has always been top-notch but the dashboard in the Audi A5 Sportback is a whole other level. The controls are placed in sensible positions and the Audi Virtual Cockpit Display is like JARVIS if he lived in a car. It’s responsive, sharp and gives you just the right amount of information without distracting you from the drive. Unfortunately, the infotainment system cannot be hidden with the push of a button but it can be switched off it you find it too glaring, and it doesn’t hinder your view of the road.
The boot too is cavernous, with expandable storage (the backseats can be folded) that can hold up to 480 litres of cargo or about six rowdy kids. And the most important point: the new Audi A5 Sportback is practically a steal.
One of the main criticisms of Audi vehicles, save for the Audi R8 sports car, is that they tend to look similar from one model to the other and perhaps a tad too safe and unimaginative. Granted, the new Audi A5 Sportback won’t win any design awards. But with a drive this pleasurable and an interior so magical, I forgive them for this minor flaw. Conservative evolution is the German way after all, and if that means that superb engineering continues to be the result, I am all for safe designs.