2018 Audi S5 Sportback Review: The One To Get

– Los Angeles, California

A few months ago, I reported a neat factoid: the best-selling version of the BMW 4 Series is actually the four-door Gran Coupe. That’s kind of a weird statistic at first blush, but after living with the similarly shaped Audi S5 Sportback for a week, I get it. This swoopy S5 looks cooler than the traditional A4 or S4 sedans, and the hatchback configuration makes it more functional, to boot. Plus, it has four doors, so you can easily throw backpacks and grocery bags (and, you know, people) in the rear seats – no need to flip the front seats forward, like in a two-door A5/S5 Coupe. If I were shopping Audi A4/A5/S4/S5 models, this S5 Sportback is definitely the one I’d buy.

 

 

Pros

Looks rad (mostly). I love, love, love Audi’s Sportback models – the last-generation A5 (which we didn’t get in the U.S.) was a real looker, and the larger A7, well, shut up and take my money. Up front, I do think the angular headlights of the S4 sedan would look better here, but as soon as I see this car from the profile, or from the rear three-quarter angle, I’m smitten. The 19-inch wheels and red-painted brake calipers on this car are nice, sporty touches, too.

Sounds rad. Switch the exhaust setting to Dynamic and there’s a warm, raspy noise coming from behind. I’ve often criticized Audi products for being too quiet – read my SQ5 review, for example – so it’s nice to have a sporty S car with an appropriately sonorous howl.

A fire inside. When I first tested the S4 on the m...