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Audi A5 Sportback

Motoring Review

Audi's entire A5 model line-up has recently undergone a mid-life facelift. As part of the re-vamp, the A5 Sportback comes out classically elegant and still looks just as 'swoopy' as a coupé but with its versatile fifth door still intact and a new 2 litre turbo-diesel option added to the line-up.

In a completely different class of its own, part Coupé part Avant, the 5-door Audi A5 Sportback has an elongated and three-dimensionally carved bonnet. The re-designed slim optional xenon headlights with an integrated LED daytime running light strip and larger air inlets catches the eye while its flat roof stretches elegantly over its frameless side doors. A sporty shoulder line accentuates large wheels and the A5 Sportback's short overhangs and a longer wheelbase design create a dramatic effect. At the back the body is streamlined and resembles a Coupé. The LED brake lights are integrated into the tailgate and creates a nice flow from the sharp side flanks. For the ultra sporty, an optional S line exterior package is available and includes: Front and rear bumpers, side grilles in a striking sporty design; body coloured side sill strips; a platinum grey diffuser insert; S Line logos on the front wings and door sill trims; and chrome-plated surrounds for exhaust tailpipes.

Inside specifications are of a high standard. The A5 Sportback is now optionally available as a five-seater. An optional S line interior package drapes the inside in black with sporty looking accents; a sport suspension lowers the vehicle body by 10 millimetres; and 18-inch wheels round off the package. Buy a car like this and you'll want to add that special something from the many more customisation options available. Back seats are spacious and there is ample leg room thanks to a lowering by 100mm in the chassis and there is a generous boot area (480 litres or 1283 litres with the back seats folded down) which features a hinge on top of the rear glass - meaning the entire rear section opens hatchback style. An advanced MMI navigation plus feature is optionally available and includes a high quality 7 inch colour display, a hard drive and a Bluetooth online car phone with WiFi hotspot.

The Audi A5 Sportback is available in a wide range of powerful engines. The three A5 Sportback petrol engine variants use the economical TFSIR technology and Audi says are among the most economical and cleanest injection engines currently available world-wide. The diesel engines (two available) also combine sportiness and efficiency by uniting high torque forces and low fuel consumption. New to this range is the A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI 130kW/380Nm which makes for a nice balance of performance versus fuel consumption.

The A5 Sportback enlists extensive safety assistance systems in order to avoid dangerous driving situations. Two examples of this is the optional 'Audi active lane assist' which will warn the driver if the vehicle is drifting out of its lane and gently intervenes in the steering if necessary, while 'Audi side assist' monitors the areas to the left and right and behind the vehicle and issues a warning during lane changing if there is a vehicle in the way.

With variety being the spice of life, the range of Audi cars is extensive and engine variants within each range just as big. The new A5 Sportback comes to market with just as many engine variants and options as the A4 and A6 models, but fills a tiny and unique niche market with its exterior style and design. The addition of the 2.0 TDI in the Sportback range is a welcome contender, albeit already covered by not one, but two A4 models and a couple of slightly down-market Volkswagens as well. In terms of pricing, expect to pay around R439 000 for the A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI multitronic, optional extras not included.  (Prices may vary according to various factors so please consult your dealer for the latest price.)

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