2018 Audi A5 And S5 Sportback First Drive: Hatchbacks Are Sexy Again

– Seattle, Washington

If a slight humpback is what it takes to make hatches handsome again, I will take it. And in the case of Audi’s new 2018 A5 and S5 Sportback, at least the vehicle is actually practical and great to drive. Who needs a crossover when you’ve got a car like this?

The Sportback body style – essentially a four-door sedan with a liftback instead of a trunk – was first introduced into the Audi lineup with the A7 at the end of 2010, arriving later in the U.S. as a 2012 model. Having done well for the A7, adding the Sportback variant to its A5 offerings was only a matter of time for the German automaker. And with its lower, wider profile, the A5 Sportback isn’t simply a sleek daily driver but a household hauler, too.

Developed on Audi’s MLB platform (same as the A4 and Q5), the A5 Sportback is dimensionally identical to its coupe and cabriolet siblings up to the C-pillar. Then things get humpy, but not in a protruding camelback way. In yet another example of German restraint, the designers knew when to lift up their pens.

2018 Audi A5 Sportback: First Drive

 

With its lower, wider profile, the A5 Sportback isn’t simply a sleek daily driver but a household hauler, too.

The rear styling of the A5 Sportback is elegantly sedan-like, yet the vehicle’s functionality is anything but. That extra bit of roofline affords the sportback model more interior room with increases of 0.4 inches in front headroom, 0.9 inches in rear headroom, and 2.9 inches in rear legroom (35.1) compared to the coupe. There’s roo...