Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Audi A5 Sportback (2021) driving

The A5 Sportback receives the more powerful engines from the A4 range and as a result, even the slowest model gets to 62mph in a brisk 8.0 seconds. Go for an automatic model and this drops to 7.9 seconds, while the all-wheel drive version cuts that to 7.4 seconds, with barely any wheelspin as power goes to all four tyres.

As all engines aside from the entry-level 150hp petrol are available with Quattro all-wheel drive – the more powerful models including it as standard – the Sportback has no problem transmitting its power to the road. The S5 features an eight-speed standard automatic gearbox.

The S Tronic gearboxes are super-slick and quick to change gear, making the only downside the more-than-£1,500 premium. For a car of this size that is likely to see its fair share of long journeys, this gearbox suits the car very well – both with the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines.

Despite being the range-topper, the S5 gets a less sophisticated standard automatic gearbox. In comparison this is slow to change gear and much less suitable for fast driving, pausing notably between you pressing the throttle and it changing gear – making for a frustrating driving experience.

Audi A5 Sportback (2021) driving

Handling

Whether you go for a two- or four-wheel drive version, the A5 Sportback feels safe and secure on the road. The steering is direct and provides a reasonable feeling of control, proving light enough for easy manoeuvring, while weighing up nicely at speed.

Go for a front-wheel drive diesel and the Sportback has precise steering and offers plenty of grip in the bends, though the all-wheel drive petrol we drove felt like it rolled more in the corners, offering less confidence in the level of grip available.

We also tried a 2.0-litre diesel with Quattro and the £600 optional Damper Control suspension. This model felt very planted around bends, absorbing bumps without being thrown off course despite the large 19-inch alloy wheels fitted to our test car.

The S5 Sportback proves sharper still, with total traction from the all-wheel drive system and very sensitive steering at lower speeds in our test car, which was fitted with the £950 Dynamic Steering option and Damper Control – in this case £900. Use the full power of the engine, however, and the car feels soft, with the suspension allowing a little too much roll in turns to satisfy faster drivers.