IT’S post match at Twickenham’s Stoop in west London on Saturday, January 13. Harlequins have just pulled off a major upset against rivals Wasps by managing to lose for 79 minutes, and then win it in the eightieth – and final – minute.
It was also a cold night. So I offered to give a lift back to some of my friends who were there: including a former ex-GB rower and aspiring rugby youngster currently turning out for London Scottish A team.
So big blokes – I’m the lightweight of the bunch.
It was going to be nothing less than a squeeze getting six-sixers in the back but the Sportback did, despite the low roofline that gives the car such an appealing shape.
Admittedly the middle rear passenger was in something of a squeeze, but when I dropped off a couple of the boys and he popped off the middle rear perch he was surprised at how accommodating the rear seat was. Even for a six foot sixer.
Ride and handling so composed
Me? The thing that really impressed me was how exceptional and composed the ride remained. Speed humps and potholes were dispatched with little more than a shrug despite the combined weight of my rugby-going friends.
Indeed, when I was speaking to Tom Brennan recently, who is head of fleet for Audi, I asked him what was the most underrated feature of new Audi cars.
The ride and handling.
I would agree 100%.
You almost take the brilliant build quality as a given; the exceptional quality of the interior; the intuitive haptic response from the buttons and controls you touch. But the ride and handling…this has always been an area that Audi has failed to fully grasp. Until now. Like the ride quality and tenacious handling on the Sportback’s saloon and estate A4 counterpart, it is quite unlike anything you have experienced on Audis before. It’s another tick in the premium brilliant box.
Anyway, back to the Audi A5 Sportback as a load carrier. This time without passengers. You can drop the rear seats and get a really usable space for lengthy objects – as my wife does often for her interior design business, or I do for taking no longer required items to the municipal dump.
It all adds up to making the Audi A5 Sportback rather more than a smart-looking coupe styled five-door with the sharpest of lines; it also makes it a thoroughly practical one too.
Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI ultra S line S tronic 190PS
- Power – 190PS
- Torque – 400Nm
- Transmission – seven speed dual clutch auto
- Top speed – 146mph
- 0-62mph – 7.9 seconds
- CO2 emissions – 112g/lm
- Company car tax band 2017/18 – 24%
- Fuel consumption (official) – 65.7mpg
- Fuel consumption (actual) – 48.3mpg
Read the previous long term review of the Audi A5 Sportback
Click here for Blue is the colour