First drive review | Audi S5 Sportback

The Audi S5 looks like a power-packed car full of performance and speed, until you sit inside and drive it

Words by : Abhishek Kulkarni

Ah Audis! Like I have always mentioned, they are handsome, spectacularly designed and this one right here? The S5 Sportback is aggressive as hell! That’s the first thing that gets noticed as well as appreciated in facelift. Auto enthusiasts in India seem to have loved Turbo Blue colour in the S5. That makes it a head-turner for sure, something that we noticed while we had the car for a few days to review it. Audi was the first manufacturer who introduced the coupe sedans into the Indian market with the S4. Although this facelift, I can say, was the last one to get introduced after Audi’s racier rivals Mercedes and BMW launched the AMG C43 and the M340i respectively. When it comes to the looks, the S5 is very well designed to form a shape of something extravagantly premium and that too with the front grille with the fine studs making the car look even more aggressive as the car roars towards you, with a melodious soundtrack. Oh the shivers!

Once inside the car, apart from the roomy and power adjustable seats (on it in a bit), the dashboard feels expensive, the crystal clear instrument cluster feels rich, the high quality fit and finish of the center console and the overall interiors truly come together to give a new meaning to elegance and modernity. The highmounted 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen will take your attention for it is so beautiful yet user friendly.

The driver’s seat has been brilliantly designed for comfort as well as to hold you snug but not too tight, making the drive extremely comfortable at any driving position that the driver sets at. Which is why, you see the S5 can always be your first car and for a daily commute to work, gym and dinners as well as to your most awaited weekend farm trips as well. When it comes to driving, it feels and of course is incredibly powerful and yet, at the same time is very comfortable at normal or restricted speeds when you are whistling around in the city. However, what I personally feel is that its belly should’ve been a bit above the ground to avoid brushing the top of the uneven roads. Well, perhaps something to do with its performance or it simply boils down to the way it is directly shipped as it is from its home. However, on fairly decent Indian road conditions, the ground clearance is still more than enough. The steering is communicative and hence works very well on low as well as at relatively higher speeds. The S5 has just the right balance of firmness and weight which translates to how planted the car feels through stubborn curves. But that does not mean that it misses on effortlessness and elegance, hence making the drive comfortable and fearless not just for the driver but for the rest of the passengers as well.

Speaking of which, I must say that there can only be a maximum of four occupants comfortably seated in the car. I think it is anyway practical to state it straightforward since the middle seat in the second row gets quite uncomfortable for an adult due to the transmission tunnel passing by. Also, it might get a tad difficult for a taller passenger in terms of the headroom and shoulder room due to the coupe shaped rear, that is, the roof stooping towards the rear. But hey! That is alright since you already made up your mind before getting into the coupe as far as the comfort and head room is goes. This also means that as per the new normal, the other two passengers in the rear will be comfortable with a decent social distance as well in between them. Now, as far as the legroom is concerned, it is fairly decent in the rear for these passengers, however it might not be the best of places for really long distances. But who is going to sit there for long since this baby covers distances like a hungry giant.

And now, the most incredible part of this car. The power! What’s under its hood is Audi’s exceptionally powerful, 6 cylinder 3.0-litre TFSI engine that develops 354hp of maximum power and 500Nm of maximum torque. The eight speed torque converter automatic gearbox juices this out to Audi’s Quattro AWD with a 40:60 front-rear split to deliver a mouthful of quickness anytime and everywhere. But with all these aggressive numbers, it interestingly drives like an extremely calm everyday sedan in the eco mode, normally being known for the loudest roar on the other side.

Now, the car is priced at Rs 80.48 lakh (ex-showroom) and to my mind, it is a perfect buy for anyone who is looking for a sporty family sedan. Know why? Because firstly, from outside it looks like a sporty sedan, which it is, but from the inside, it is nowhere close to being an uncomfortable car, especially for a family of four, for it will keep your children safe in rear row and at the same time, it will keep the kid in you alive in the driver’s seat for it will give you joy in those short bursts of excitement whenever you want. And I don’t think there’s anything more one would want than these two rows of happiness.