There’s no questioning the motor’s smooth yet formidable shove, however. I’ve put around 300 miles on it since it arrived but, since there are only about 500 miles on the clock, I haven’t been overindulging in fullbore launches. Thankfully, with more torque on tap than a Lamborghini Aventador, there’s no need to wring out every gear, but I’m interested to see if the rather laggy engine and gearbox calibration improves as the miles pile on. Far from a major flaw, it’s something you have to drive around a bit: wind in some throttle and it dithers for a second or two before finding the right gear and firing you towards the horizon.
Getting on the power earlier solves it, but even then you sometimes find that the gap in traffic you were aiming for has gone because it took that little bit too long to select a cog. Other things of note so far? Gone are the days when ride comfort seems to be a forgotten criterion for fast Audis with big wheels.
Granted, the 20in rims do induce some thumping and jarring over really pockmarked roads, but by and large the S5 Sportback is a well-resolved cruiser. It handles with more agility than you might expect, too, and while the four-wheel drive system detracts from any sense of playfulness, the security and stability is a worthy trade-off in everyday driving.
One thing I’m also hoping to see as the engine loosens up is an economy improvement. The first tank of fuel has delivered an indicated 34mpg figure – respectable for a performance car in mixed town and country driving but not remarkable for a diesel. A sole commute to the office has shown it can get well into 40mpg territory on a run, however.
While the four-door coupé silhouette of this S5 Sportback makes me think back to the Kia Stinger GTS we road testers ran in 2018, a glance at its spec sheet shows just how drastically those manufacturers differ when it comes to extras. Our Kia didn’t have a single option fitted; everything was included as standard.
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Audi S5 Sportback 55 TDI specification
Specs: Price New £50,930 Price as tested £69,310 Options Tango Red metallic paint £675, larger AdBlue tank £60, quattro with Sport differentials £1400, front and rear-view camera £1180, head-up display £1025, red brake calipers £350, matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lights £870, storage package £195, extended LED interior light pack £125, ‘Tour’ Driver Assistance Pack £2700, dynamic power steering £1025, Sport suspension with damping control £1000, panoramic glass sunroof £1400, black styling package £570, 20in alloy wheels £2460, gloss carbon inlays £475, Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system £850
Test Data: Engine 3.0-litre, V6, turbocharged diesel w/ electric compressor Power 345bhp Torque 516lb ft at 2500-3100rpm Kerb weight xxxkg Top speed 155mph (limited) 0-62mph 4.9sec Fuel economy 39.6mpg CO2 161-163g/km Faults None Expenses None