The car the A5 Sportback is based on, the A4, scored full marks in Euro NCAP crash assessment when put to the test in 2015. It chalked up a strong 89% for adult occupant safety and 87% for child occupants.
Meanwhile, it was rated at 75% for pedestrian safety and safety assist – the active systems that help to avoid a crash in the first place. Several optional safety packs are also available including the Driver Assistance Pack – Tour, Parking Assistance Pack and Parking Assistance Pack Advanced.
The first pack includes adaptive cruise control, which can maintain a safe distance behind the car from a standstill to the car’s top speed on automatic models, with manual-equipped models functional above 20mph. Automatic A5s can also move forward automatically in stop-start traffic, talking control of steering, brakes and accelerator up to 40mph, making driving in traffic much less stressful.
This pack also makes the automatic braking function work across the cars’ entire speed range, with the addition of Collision Avoidance Assistant – which helps to avoid a crash should the car lose control, by using sensors to read the road ahead and adding steering interventions to avoid obstacles. Other kit included consists of technology that reads road signs and presents these on the dashboard and Active Lane Assist that helps the driver to stay in their lane above 40mph.
The Parking Assistance packs add a 360-degree camera and Park Assist that can park the car for itself. The Advanced pack includes these elements plus systems that warn driver and passengers of approaching cyclists when parked, and vehicles approaching from behind.
Boot space for the A5 Sportback exactly matches its main rival – the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe – at 480 litres with the rear seats in place and 1,300 litres with them dropped. This means the boot is the same size as the Audi A4 saloon with the seats in place, but much larger with them dropped – though it still lags a little behind the A4 Avant.
Another benefit comes with the addition of a hatchback, which means that loading large items should be simple. The rear seats, however, are a mixed bag. Those in the outer seats should be pretty comfortable, with good back support and ample room for heads and legs, though access is a little trickier than in models with higher rooflines.
The middle seat is much less comfortable, with barely any headroom for grown adults, making this very much a four-seater. Large cup holders in the front win back some brownie points, as does a boot net and lashing points to help secure items in the boot.