After a number of false starts due to Covid-19 Audi has now been able to launch a Sportback variant to its latest Q5 model range. It joins the updated wagon-style Q5 SUV that arrived here earlier this year.

Sportback variants were first added to Audi’s range in 2010 on its sedan models to provide coupe styling with wagon practicality. The Sportback body style was first applied to an SUV in 2020 with the Q3 and is now been added to the Q5 and SQ5 range.

The points of distinction between the Q5 wagon / SUV and the Sportback are most noticeable when seen in profile where, as the name suggest, the roofline in the Sportback slopes sharply downwards from the B pillars, over a large spoiler, and onto the redesigned tail and rear bumper.

As was the case with the Q5 wagon, the Sportback gets a minor facelift along with refreshed interior, new user interface, advanced engine technology and additional equipment.

Like the wagon the Q5 Sportback comes with the choice of petrol or diesel engines: 40 TDI 2.0-litre diesel with peak outputs of 150 kW and 400 Nm; and 45 TFSI 2.0-litre petrol peaking at 183 kW and 370 Nm. The high performance SQ5 that we’ll be reporting on next week gets a 251 kW / 700 Nm TDI engine.

All three engines are enhanced by mild hybrid (MHEV) technology. In the Q5 these are 12-volt batteries.

All Q5 models have Audi’s all-wheel drive quattro system with ultra technology which allows the rear wheels to be disconnected in light cruising conditions.

Equipment levels in the Q5 Sportback models are slightly above the already high level of the wagon. Additional features in the 40 TDI include 20-inch alloy wheels; S line exterior styling; folding and auto dimming side mirrors; 360-degree cameras; and park assist.

Interior additions include sports front seats; aluminium inlays and black cloth headlining.

The 45 TFSI also has Matrix LED headlights; panoramic sunroof.; adaptive cruise control; turn assist; and collision avoidance assist. Inside the 45 TFSI there’s also Nappa leather seats, heated in the front; seat and mirror memory; sliding and reclining rear seats; and an enhanced sound system.

In addition to the S line package which is standard in both Q5 Sportback there are three option packages.

The Technik package in the 40 TDI, priced at $5600 adds Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators and washers, Bang & Olufsen 755-watt 3D sound; head-up display and privacy glass.

The 45 TFSI already has Matrix headlights, so the Technik package comes in at $5000 but also adds spectacular OLED tail lights with various flashing and pulsing signals.

A $1600 Comfort package is available in the 40 TDI and includes a rear seat bench, memory front seats and side mirrors and heated front seats. These features are all standard in the 45 TFSI.

Standard safety features include eight airbags; autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and attention assist; side assist; active lane assist; exit warning system; rear cross traffic assist; tyre pressure monitor; hill descent control; pre-sense rear to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions; front and rear parking sensors; and both reversing and 360-degree cameras.

Adaptive cruise control is standard on the 45 TFSI and an option with the 40 TDI.

Infotainment features are accessed through a 10.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen at the top/centre of the dashboard. Bluetooth pairing is intuitive and there is seamless integration with wired Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay.

Audi’s virtual cockpit plus display gives the driver information by way of a new 10.1-inch high-resolution MMI touch display while a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display in front of the driver provides drive information.

Additional features include Audi phone box light with wireless charging for mobile phones that have Qi standard. There are two simultaneous Bluetooth connections, Digital DAB+ radio and four USB outlets, two of them are in the rear.

We were able to take the Q5 40 TDI for a half-day drive out of Sydney. We chose to head up the Central Coast over the inland route through Wisemans Ferry and along the long and winding road to Gosford. Then returned to Sydney, non-stop, through the series of tollways (five in all at around $35 each way) that link the north to the south of the city.

Gear changing with the seven-speed S tiptronic is barely noticeable when cruising and then sharp and responsive when pushed along as it was during the rural segment of our route.

The Audi Q5 40 TDI is ideally suited to long-distance cruising but it is equally at home around the suburbs providing plenty of convenience for commuting, school runs and shopping trips.

Audi continues to provide a basic three-year unlimited kilometre warranty but does have a five-year service plan and five-year roadside assistance.

2.0 40 TDI wagon: $69,900
2.0 45 TFSI wagon: $70,600
2.0 40 TDI Sport wagon: $75,900
2.0 45 TFSI Sport wagon: $77,600
2.0 40 TDI Sportback: $77,700
2.0 45 TFSI Sportback: $86,300
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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