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The Top Gear car review:Audi A5 Sportback
For:The Sportback definitely says something about you... we’re just not quite sure what.
Against:Not brilliantly entertaining to drive. It's all about the styling
What is it?
Audi surprised precisely nobody when it revealed this thing at the Paris Motor Show, because it looks more or less identical to the Coupe on which it’s based (and the car it replaces) – save for the extra pair of doors that signal a larger, more practical cabin. Conservative evolution is, of course, the German way. And we’ve no problem with that whatsoever because, done correctly, it produces rather good-looking cars. And you can hardly blame Audi for broadly sticking with a design it knows that A) works, and B) sells cars. It’s just good business.
So, this is the four-door version of the two-door Audi A5 Coupe, itself the two-door version of the regular four-door A4. It is, therefore, not entirely unfamiliar to us, because it shares an interior, engines and its entire technology suite with all the other cars based on the MLB Evo platform, which is basically every big-ish Audi released in the last two years except the R8 (which sits on its own, bespoke platform Audi shares with Lamborghini). This means you get one of the very best interiors around at the moment, quality infotainment (the Virtual Cockpit is a must-spec’) and safety tech’, punchy, frugal engines, and a competent yet uninvolving drive.
The new A5 and S5 are very deja-vu in appearance, save for sharper lines down the side, headlights that have slightly invaded the bonnet and a grille big enough to shame an Australian beach party. Would you expect anything else?