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AUDI THIS WORLD Audi's updated A5 Sportback is a breath of fresh air for the premium brand

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Audi A5 Sportback in 'Glacier' white

Audi A5 Sportback in 'Glacier' white

Audi A5 Sportback steering wheel and driver's view

Audi A5 Sportback steering wheel and driver's view

A view to a grille: Audi A5 Sportback

A view to a grille: Audi A5 Sportback

Audi's impressive infotainment screen

Audi's impressive infotainment screen

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Audi A5 Sportback in 'Glacier' white

I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that I had just got out of a gigantic Ford Raptor monster truck but when I sat into the sumptuous driver’s seat of the refreshed Audi A5 Sportback just before Christmas I felt like I was driving just inches from the tarmac.

I have driven the A5 Sportback before; in fact it was my very first test car after I got this job three and a half years ago, so I definitely have a soft spot for the slick executive-style saloon.

The term executive is usually only coined when talking about the big German premium brands (Merc, BMW and Audi) but lately that has been expanded to include models like the Jaguar XE, Volvo S90, VW Arteon or Lexus ES. Dare I even throw the Peugeot 508 into the mix? I probably shouldn’t but on looks alone it definitely warrants an application into the old boy’s club at the very least.

Audi has an abundance on gorgeous saloons with the A4 right up to the A8 all selling well here in Ireland (even the A3 saloon does well), but when you add the word Sportback to the title you get a tweaked chassis that is sublime and there is no more obvious example of that than the A5.

The A5 Sportback is, quite simply put, there for those who want something sportier and sexier than the traditional and perfectly acceptable A4 but who also find three-door coupes impractical. Even the frameless doors add a little something special to your driving experience. Honestly, it sounds stupid but the whole thing oozes class.

Last summer the Audi A5 was given a similar batch of updates that the A4 received in 2019 which included a subtle-but-effective exterior styling refresh including new grille and lights, a new body kit and the option of Matrix LED headlights. Inside has a new 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

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Audi's impressive infotainment screen

Audi's impressive infotainment screen

Audi's impressive infotainment screen

There’s also an updated, entry-level 2.0 TDI diesel engine that now has 163hp (my test car for the week) and at the top-end, an S5 V6 twin-turbo diesel.

This being the basic with just 163hp under the bonnet it won’t win a drag race against some of its perceived peers. But with an estimated 380Nm of torque at your disposal you won’t feel like you are travelling slow either.

A very surprising feature that Audi should probably shout about a bit more is the economy of this stunning vehicle. I had a long week in it and even managed a road trip 240km road trip one evening and managed slightly over the manufacturer’s estimated 6.3litres per 100km despite flooring it on motorway for large portions of the drive.

Audi prides itself on its quality finish inside the cabin and while some may think the A5 exterior can be dated absolutely no one can deny it is a thing of beauty inside.

It is smooth and comfy and loves to be drive. It has well-weighted steering and takes corners in its stride. Both front seats have ample space, comfort, security and gadgetry but the ‘Sportback’ element of the design means that it is a little pokey in the back. Both my daughters and their car seats had no problems fitting in but a middle child would have been a struggle. But a three-kid family would never buy this so it’s only a tiny flaw and certainly not a deal breaker.

The boot is huge too. It boasts 480 litres on any given day and up to 1,300 litres with the seats folded down.

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A view to a grille: Audi A5 Sportback

A view to a grille: Audi A5 Sportback

A view to a grille: Audi A5 Sportback

Standard features in an Audi aren’t your average list of as-standards. Like the headlamp washer system, heated and power-folding and auto dimming of both sides, 4-way electric lumbar support, front sport seats in Alcantara-leather upholstery and an extended pedestrian protection system.

Of course there are dozens of other more ‘normal’ as-standard features lumped in too like heated front seats, ISOFIX child seat anchor for outer rear seats with top tether, auto-dimming frameless rear view mirror, tyre pressure monitoring system, Matrix LED headlamps and LED rear lights with dynamic turn signal, privacy glass, USB charging for rear passengers, rear view camera system and Audi’s lovely S-line bumpers.

Some optional extras that I had in my test vehicle include their Style Package, the delicious 20” alloys and a panoramic glass sunroof all of which I love in this vehicle. The ‘Glacier White’ paint job would cost you an extra €1,266 also, which I like but I’d find hard to justify on a €53k car (although the A5 with the Sportback element would be €3k less than that). And if I did want to fork out that kind of money on a slick paint job I would opt for the Navarra Blue option. So all in you would have to pay around €57,900 to drive this bad boy away from the showroom.

IG: @Daragh_Keany
Twitter: @DaraghKeany


DARAGH KEANY

Sunday World


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