Motor Trend drives the Audi S5 Sportback

We’ve long been proponents of the Audi S5 Sportback. A few months back I had an S5 Coupe on test for a week and I loved it. As a daily sports car, it’s near faultless. During my week with it, the only real point of improvement I could see was practicality. Having a child under one year old, and all of the accessories that come with him (car seat, stroller, diaper bag), means that a coupe just isn’t as practical as I need it to be. Thankfully, Audi makes something that would allow me to have my cake and eat it, too — the S5 Sportback. Motor Trend just recently tested it, to see how compromise can be a good thing.

The Audi S5 Sportback is a four-door version of the S5 Coupe with a liftback tailgate. That means it sports the same 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 that makes 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. So it’s capable of 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, which is damn quick for a daily-driven sports car. For comparison’s sake, that was Audi R8 speed a decade ago.

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But it’s not just fast, it handles just as well as its coupe sibling. So its steering is sharp and precise, even if it is low on feel and feedback. To the latter point, though, I’ve always felt that I can live with numb steering so long as it’s accurate and makes the car do exactly as I ask. The S5 does that, so the lack of old-school steering feel doesn’t bother me, personally. Plus, the S5 Sportback out-handled the Mercedes-AMG C43 in MT’s handling tests, which makes it a pretty good sports car.

The S5 Sportback’s real party trick, though, is its ability to also be a practical sedan. It has four doors, can seat five (so long as at least one passenger in the back is relatively small) and its trunk is quite capacious. Being a liftback hatch, rather than a traditional trunk, it can swallow up more luggage than the S4 sedan. So for someone like me, who needs a daily to be more than just fun but usable as well, the Audi S5 Sportback is near-perfect.

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Plus, it looks damn good. Who would have thought that adding two doors and a hatch to a coupe would make it better looking. Somehow, though, the S5 Sportback is even better looking than its coupe counterpart.

So if you’re looking for a do-everything, be-everything daily sports car, the Audi S5 Sportback is hard to fault.

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.