Which to Buy: Audi A5 Coupe vs Audi A5 Sportback

We’ve waited quite some time to get an Audi A5 Sportback in the U.S. market. While Europeans have been driving them since the first generation, we had to wait until the second-gen and it’s just recently launched in North America. So you’d think that Audi fans will want to buy them as soon as possible. However, there might be another enthusiast options that keeps them from doing so and buying the A5 Coupe.

While the Audi A5 Sportback has coupe-like looks, it’s still a four-door hatchback. There’s still no beating the seductive looks of the A5 Coupe, which is just a great looking sports car. But it’s not its devilishly handsome looks that make the A5 Coupe more tempting than the Sportback. It’s a transmission option.

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If you purchase yourself an Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T, you have a choice between two transmissions — the as-standard seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic gearbox or the no-cost option six-speed manual. That’s right, the new Audi A5 is finally available with a three-pedal ‘box. That makes it hard to turn down for enthusiasts who’ve been begging Audi to bring more manuals to America.

At the same time, though, those same enthusiasts have been begging Audi to bring more interesting body styles across the Atlantic, like Sportbacks and Avants. But if they go for the Sportback in America, they can only get it with the dual-clutch auto. So it creates a bit of a conundrum for enthusiasts.

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On one hand, we want to increase manual sales so that Audi realizes there is, indeed, a market for row-your-own cars. This will insure that Audi keeps selling manuals in the U.S. On the other hand, we want sales of Sportbacks to increase to show Audi that we’re willing to buy funkier body styles. If the A5 Sportback takes off, it’s possible we could see an A3/S3 Sportback or some Avants in the future. Also, who doesn’t want a sporty, coupe-like Audi with added hatchback practicality and good looks? So it’s a tough choice.

Personally, I’d go with the Audi A5 Sportback. While I’d love to daily a new Audi manual, I could really use the added practicality of the Sportback. Plus, modern Audis are so high-tech and electronic that a manual might feel a bit weird. Also, Audi’s dual-clutch gearbox is rapid and makes the A5 Sportback even faster. So, as much as a manual is very enticing, I’d really love to own the funky A5 Sportback.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.