2018 Audi S5 Sportback Review

S5 Sportback

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2018 Audi S5 Sportback Overview

The Audi S5 Sportback debuts for 2018, finally bringing a 5-door 5-passenger hatchback to the A5 family. It benefits from the A5 and S5 redesign with updated styling, premium features, and advanced technologies. The S5 Sportback will be offered in Premium Plus and Prestige trims, and a cheaper A5 Sportback variant with a less powerful engine is also available.

The new S5 Sportback takes its styling cues from the A7 Sportback, with a wide, low stance, a flatter grille, and a pronounced shoulder line. The front gets full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals round out the rear. The S5 Sportback also features unique styling elements like aluminum-optic side mirror housings, a Platinum Gray grille with matching aluminum-optic double horizontal blade bars, an S-model rear diffuser with a honeycomb structure, and chrome-tipped quad exhausts. 18-inch 5-double-spoke-star wheels with summer performance tires come standard but can be upgraded to 19-inch 5-spoke-cavo wheels.

The interior of the S5 Sportback provides seating for 5 passengers and 35 cubic feet of cargo room when the rear seats are folded down. Cabin materials are rich and welcoming, with leather and Alcantara trimming and diamond-stitched S sport front seats with side bolsters and a massage function. The front seats are heated with 8-way power adjustability, 4-way power lumbar support, and memory for the driver, and the 3-zone automatic climate control comes with a digital display at the rear. Optional features include a heated 3-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters, heated rear seats, and ventilated front sport seats.

Power for the S5 Sportback comes from an all-new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission for an output of 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is 155 mph when equipped with summer performance tires, and the S5 Sportback can reach 60 mph just 4.5 seconds. Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) is standard, with a self-locking center differential and wheel-selective torque control for optimal handling in any conditions. Audi drive select offers Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual drive modes that adjust the shift points, steering, damper control, and available adaptive cruise control. The optional S Sport package adds red brake calipers, sport adaptive damping suspension, and a rear sport differential.

Technology offerings in the 2018 S5 Sportback are top notch, starting with the available Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch color display and Google Earth navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, a reversing camera, and a power sunroof come standard, and options include a full-color head-up display and a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. Also available is MMI touch, which adds handwriting recognition and a unique function-key layout with 2 touch-keys to the standard MMI infotainment system.

The S5 Sportback gets a number of advanced safety and driver-assistance technologies for 2018—Audi “pre sense basic,” for example, comes standard and will close the side windows and panoramic sunroof and pretension the safety belts in the event of an imminent collision. Audi “pre sense city,” which operates at speeds up to 52 mph, detects pedestrians and other vehicles and will initiate full braking if a collision is expected. Blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors are standard, and available features include adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, lane-keep assist, high-beam assist, and traffic-sign recognition.


Nicole Wakelin's passion for cars started on the day she went for a ride in a bright red Ferrari as a teenager. She writes reviews and covers everything cars for CarGurus, The Boston Globe, BestRide, AAA, Autobytel, and numerous other outlets.

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