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Sportback is top of the class.

WITH sweeping lines and eye-catching design quality, the Audi A5 Sportback is guaranteed to stand out in any crowd.

With a spec list to impress even the fussiest of techno geeks the German car giant has certainly produced another in its winning line of models, but there is one slightly niggling issue - the price tag.

With the extras alone - pounds 11,000-plus - you could buy yourself a very nice city runaround and the overall cost of pounds 44,000 is quite a big ask to the average would-be buyer.

But, believe me, if you can afford it, it's worth every single penny.

The class of workmanship throughout is amazing and the level of performance could never fail to impress.

The Sportback model supplied for the test is very much based on the A5 coupe but its wheelbase is longer and it also has a wider wheelbase which results in additional leg and shoulder room inside.

This added luxury simply adds to the all-round comfort levels for driver and passengers alike.

From the moment you set foot in the A5, it seems like it was almost designed specifically for you with heated leather seats that are automatically adjusted to find the ideal position and all controls, dials and levers positioned perfectly for ease of use.

The A5 Sportback boasts top notch features such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an electric slide and tilt glass sunroof, 18in alloy wheels and a Bang & Olufsen sound system to name just a few.

So surrounded by pure class, what about the drive itself? Well, believe me, it doesn't disappoint.

Admittedly, visibility through the rear window is a tad limited due to the streamlined design, but that aside it really is hard to find fault. In and around town, the A5 is responsive and moves smoothly through the automatic transmission as required. Then out on the open road the sheer power delivered by the 3.0-litre engine is enough to produce an edge of the seat ride.

And, of course, the A5 protects its occupants with cutting-edge technology. Full-size airbags stand at the ready in case of a frontal collision. A sensor reports the seating position to the control unit so that it can adaptively trigger the belts and airbags. That means the best possible protection for passengers large and small in all types of collisions.

Added to this are numerous other class-leading features that really prove Audi cares about its reputation for providing some of the safest cars on the road today.

All in all, the A5 may dent the bank balance a little, but if you are thinking of splashing out, it's certainly worth considering.

FAST FACTS Model: Audi A5 Sportback 3.0 TDI SE S-tronic Price: pounds 33,235 Mechanical: 240ps, 2,967cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox Max speed: 155mph 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds Combined mpg: 42.8 Insurance group: 17 CO2 emissions: 174g/km BIK rating: 20% Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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Maxine Ashford SHEER CLASS The Audi A5 Sportback has an amazing level of workmanship and performance.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 12, 2009
Words:513
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