S5 Sportback

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2020 Audi S5 Sportback Overview

After debuting in 2018 and remaining relatively unchanged last year, Audi refreshed its A5 Sportback for 2020. The exterior changes include redesigned front and rear fascias, including a wider and flatter grille and a tweaked rear diffuser that incorporates trapezoidal tailpipes. The S5 Sportback, of course, retains its 4-door hatchback body, which offers the usability of a sedan while adding practicality and space (35 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down) of a rear liftgate.

Inside there’s a new 10.1-inch touchscreen supported by Audi’s MIB 3 infotainment system, which is up to 10 times faster than the MIB 2 system it replaces. The new screen is mounted high on the dash, which puts it closer to a driver’s field of view but also detracts from the interior’s otherwise finished look.

S5 Sportbacks come with a single powertrain. Power is sourced from a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 producing 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission directs torque to all four wheels.

Three trims are available: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Standard equipment on the base Premium trim includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, and a power-operated tailgate. Inside there’s 3-zone climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, and keyless engine start/stop. The S5’s diamond-stitched leather seats are heated up front and offer 12-way power adjustability. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included. The Premium Plus trim adds heated exterior mirrors, Audi Virtual Cockpit (a 12.3-inch configurable instrument cluster), keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, and lane-change assist with rear cross-traffic alert. Step up to the Prestige trim, and you’ll get a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, navigation, a surround-view monitor, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display (HUD).

Every S5 Sportback comes with Audi’s Drive Select modes, which alter control response and feel, as well as ride quality (on cars equipped with adaptive dampers) across multiple drive modes.

The Convenience Package, which adds several of the comfort and convenience features from the higher trims, is available on Premium-trim cars. Premium Plus and Prestige trims are available with packages and standalone options enhancing both performance and comfort. Those include the Cold Weather Package (floor mats, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats), the Warm Weather Package (vented seats, diamond stitching deleted), and the S Sport Package, which adds adaptive dampers, red brake calipers, and a torque-biasing rear differential that can direct more than half of the available torque to the outside rear wheel while cornering. Dynamic steering, which is available by itself, alters the steering’s quickness depending on vehicle speed. Larger 19-inch wheels are available on all three trims.

The S5 Sportback is a more pragmatic version of the S5 Coupe, thanks to its additional doors and greater cargo flexibility. Shoppers should also consider the A5 Sportback, which offers similar styling to the S5 and the same interior space with lower performance and a lower price.

Updated

Josh Jacquot is an automotive journalist who has held positions at both enthusiast- and consumer-based automotive publications for more than 20 years. With a far-reaching knowledge of all things automotive, his career has put him behind the wheel of everything from snowplows to 600-horsepower rallycross cars. His driving resume includes wins at the national level in NASA Rallysport competition and the California Rally Series in addition to one regrettable night at the inaugural 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Though he likes most anything that can be driven, he has a particular affinity for box flares, Campagnolo wheels, and gratuitous wings and ducts. Someday he will own an Renault R5 Turbo.

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S5 Sportback

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