The new Audi S5 Sportback was named 2018 Compact Luxury Car of the Year during the 2018 Auto123.com Awards ceremony, held this past November 22nd in Toronto. It beat out the two other finalists in the category, the Alfa Romeo Giulia and MINI Countryman.
The Audi S5 Sportback is a solid alternative to the SUV-or-perish mentality that has taken over the design centres of almost every major automaker. In fact, it wonderfully bridges the gap between sedans and utility vehicles. This model is of course based on the two-door A5 coupe, but it emulates the larger A7’s distinctive silhouette by adding two extra doors and a rear hatch. This has a pleasing impact on the proportions of the car, which manages to conceal its wide-track bulk as muscle rather than flab.
The 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine motivating the S5 Sportback develops 354 horsepower and teams up with Audi’s excellent quattro AWD system, plus an eight-speed automatic transmission. Add a first-class interior with plenty of available features including a virtual cockpit and this becomes a paradise on wheels. Sure, rear-seat occupants may be a bit short on headroom, but other than that there’s not much to complain about. The generous trunk behind them expands to 991 litres when it’s possible to fold the seats.
A final note about the drive, which is highly satisfying with a lag-free surge at all speeds. Gear shifts are just as quick as if they were executed by a dual-clutch transmission.
What Audi has to say about the car…
“Mix sport and practicality in equal measure; the result is the Audi S5 Sportback. Featuring the flowing lines of the S5 Coupe with the advantage of two rear doors and a hatch, the S5 Sportback delivers all you need and more. The powerful, flowing silhouette and strong shoulder line of the S5 Sportback leave you in no doubt this is a performance machine. Worthy of an S badge, the newly developed turbocharged V6 engine pushes out 354 hp and rockets the S5 Sportback to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds. With performance this strong, this head turner causes sore necks in more ways than one.”