There’s a lot of talk about certain brands wanting to move away from sedans. After hearing Audi exec Hildegard Wortmann, we know that Audi is not one of those brands. However, there is one sedan in Audi’s lineup that may not be needed anymore — the Audi A4. Why would the most popular car to wear four-rings not be needed anymore? Because of another sedan in its own lineup. The Audi A5 Sportback.
As it stands right now, the Audi A5 Sportback has a starting price of $44,200 before destination. That comes with Quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as-standard. For a Quattro-equipped Audi A4, you’ll have to jump up from the base “Titanium” trim to “Premium” trim, which will set you back $42,000. So the Sportback only wears a $2,200 premium over the Audi A4 Quattro.
Both cars come with pretty similar standard equipment, options and package prices, so I won’t get into how they compare as you go through the options list. However, the Audi A5 Sportback comes with two things that the A4 simply can’t be optioned with and those two things are absolutely worth the price premium: style and practicality.
The Audi S5 Sportback is special among sedans because rather than sporting a traditional trunk lid, it has a lift-back tailgate, similar to a hatchback. That gives it even more trunk space than the standard A4. Quite a bit more, if we’re being honest. It also makes stuffing larger items in the trunk easier, as the opening is far bigger.
Typically, when adding practicality, you lose some style. That’s not the case with the Audi A5 Sportback. In fact, it actually looks better than the A4. A lot better. I saw an A5 Sportback in Nardo Grey on the road today and it’s a gorgeous car. It looks so much more special than the standard A4 I see hundreds of every week. That extra style makes ownership that much more fun because the car will force a smile every time you walk up to or away from it. It looks special and that means something when you have to pay for it every month and use it every day.
As for the rest of the car, it’s essentially the same as the A4. Inside the cabin, under the skin and under the hood, the Audi A5 Sportback is almost identical to an A4. It’s a touch lower, a smidge longer and an even smaller smidge wider, so it’s a bit sharper to drive but not by much.
What you’re really paying the extra money for is that body style that’s both better looking and more practical. If you ask us, that sleek, seductive body is well worth the premium over the A4 and makes the Audi A5 Sportback the car to get over the A4. So much so that it essentially makes the A4 obsolete.
Now, we obviously don’t want the A4 to be killed off. It’s one of Audi’s most iconic cars. However, we do think it would make some sense if Audi gave the A4 the A5 Sportback’s body style and killed off the latter. In other words, make the A4 a sleek sedan with a lift-back tailgate. That would be the best of all worlds; it would still keep the iconic name while also having the more styling and practical body style. Until then, go for the A5 Sportback.