Audi A5 Sportback quattro 2021 Review : Cruiser Weight Champ
Singapore - If something like a D Segment luxury sedan seems too mainstream for you, there are three obvious alternatives you can choose from. You could opt for an SUV, an estate car, or you could choose a four-door coupe. Audi’s A5 is available both as a coupe in a traditional sense, and one like this, with four opening doors.
But why a coupe with four opening doors, given you can simply get similar practicality in a regular sedan for less money? Well, that is quite irrelevant if styling is king to you.
The Audi A5 Sportback is the smaller of two 4 door coupe offerings from the brand that gave us Quattro. The other is, the A7 Sportback (meanwhile in China, there is a sedan version of the hatchback version of a sedan version of this thing).
While the years are getting on, the A5 Sportback has received a midlife freshening up, so that it can take on BMW’s 4 Series Gran Coupe, which we recently drove it during its launch over here and over there. While the BMW comes across as a little louder visually, the A5 carries its own, with a cooler and slightly more reserved design approach.
The one we have here is the more powerful version of two 2-litre variants available, there is also a quicker V6, and a quicker-er RS badged V6 completing the range.
On the inside, there is that air of quality Audi familiarity, complete with switches that go click in that certain signature way. What is new though is a larger, more advanced infotainment MIB 3-powered touchscreen, and the omission of the touchpad in-front of the gearshift lever.
Other than that, the A5 Sportback’s interior looks the same, carries people the same, and even smells the same; which means that it is a pleasant place to be in, where despite its sloping roofline, there is still ample headroom for three adults at the rear.
Audi has also ensured optimum versatility, with a liftback style bootlid, complete with a double floor, and a removable parcel shelf.
If refinement is important to you, there is plenty here… well perhaps short of the S5 variant with that silky-smooth V6 engine. The four-cylinder produces 249hp and 370Nm, and delivers probably as smooth as a four cylinder can. Maximum torque is easily available from between 1600rpm to 4500rpm.
This, when starting off, translates to a consistent and satisfying push into the seat. On full whack, the A5 Sportback manages 100km/h in 6 seconds, and it does this with near-seamless shifts from its 7-speed S Tronic transmission.
While there is plenty shared between A5 Sportback and its A4 sibling, it does feel quite different once you are behind the wheel. This is due to the lower and more reclined seating position you would adopt, as compared to an upright one in the sedan.
The A5 Sportback with its quattro AWD system feels even more sure footed than its lower-powered front drive sibling, and to my delight, it also gives an impression that it is a rear-driven vehicle, since the AWD is rear-biased.
Slip it into a bend, and while most of the power comes from its rear, the driving front wheels play their part to tuck the nose in the direction you point the car, and it is truly confidence-inspiring, turn by turn.
But away from driving the A5 in a spirited manner, what is most important here is how comfortable it really feels when cruising on the highway. With this facelift, Audi has, like in its sister car the A4, fitted the A5 with a 12V mild hybrid system, which allows the engine to turn off when you lift off the throttle, thus helping you save a few cents in the process. The hybrid system unfortunately does not drive the car, which would have been ideal especially since Singapore’s dense traffic would often have you needing to vary your speed.
While it is no S-badged A5 Sportback, this 4-cylinder with Quattro is truly the next best thing, and truly a stylish car to roll up into a party with.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow
Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 quattro
Engine 1984cc, inline 4, turbocharged
Transmission 7spd S Tronic dual-clutch
Top Speed 250km/h
Fuel Consumption 7.1l/100k