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2021 Audi S5 Sportback Review: Premium, Practical and Performance to Top Things Off

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The Audi S5 Sportback was launched in India last month at a starting price of Rs 79.06 lakh (ex-showroom).

What makes a car special? Well, it could mean a lot of things to a lot of people but it can be safely said that a special car should either be doing a lot of things well enough or focus on doing one thing unlike any other. Today we talk about the 2021 Audi S5 Sportback find out what kind of special it is? Or even if it is special at all.

Let’s start off by talking about the design and it’s more of an update rather than an all-new one. But all the changes on the car result in the S5 looking a lot more aggressive than before.

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I’d go on to say that gone are the sleeper/luxury looks car and instead, what you have here is a properly aggressive looking car. I especially love what they have done to this new, larger grille which gets chrome embellishments and is surrounded by a rather aggressive bumper design. The updated headlamps look nice and the updated tail lamp looks spectacular. At the back, the S5 now also has a more pronounced spoiler which again, works towards making it bold.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

And of course, being a ‘Sportback’ as Audi calls it, it has a sloping roofline that merges seamlessly into the back. Lastly, on the sides, you now have bigger 19-inch alloy wheels which fill up the wheel arches better and accentuates the wide, sporty stance of the car.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Once you step inside the cabin the big change is the infotainment system which has grown a lot in size and has caught up with the times as well. Gone are the rotary controls that you had in the centre console as the screen is now a touchscreen. The graphics, touch input, animations, everything is top-notch.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

In front of you, you have this chunky, flat-bottom steering wheel and behind it is the all-digital instrument cluster which Audi calls the Virtual Cockpit. Now, remember, it was Audi that was the first to bring this digital instrument cluster feature to its cars so it’s no surprise, really, that they are the absolute best at it. Nothing comes close to this in terms of the layout design and how intuitive it is to use with the steering wheel controls.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The S5 also has these wonderful, super-high quality buttons and dials which are just so satisfying to use. Lastly, the quality of the cabin is, in typical Audi fashion, right there at the top.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Additionally, the car comes with part-Alcantara part-leather seats which look the part of a sporty Audi and the car also comes with features like a Heads-Up Display, support for Android Auto and Apple Carplay, a large sunroof and the Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Now coming to the rear seat experience of the S5 and well, despite having the sloping roofline, the headroom is decent enough for people about 6 foot tall. I’m 5’10” and I had all the space that I could need except for headroom which was just good enough.

And talking about space, the Audi S5 is very high on practicality with lots of compartment spaces on the inside as well as the fact that the boot lid opens up along with the rear glass panel. This opens up a huge amount of space so packing for long distances or taking the S5 for airport runs will not be a problem at all.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

And now that we are done talking about the design, practicality and interiors, let’s get to the exciting bit – the engine. This is a 3.0-litre V6 which with the help of twin-scroll turbocharging makes 354 hp and a juicy 500 Nm of torque. And this makes the car capable of going from 0-100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds and will go all the way to a top speed of 250 km/h.

And I do not doubt that claim at all as the car is genuinely quick. On top of that, when you put your foot down, the S5 has a raspy exhaust note to add to that sporty feel.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

As for the driving dynamics, for me, this is where the car really stands out from the rest of the competition. If I had to sum it up in one word, versatile is what it would be. That is because the S5 can adapt to several driving conditions. If you want performance, put it in Dynamic mode and the car, with its quick 8-speed automatic transmission and signature Quattro all-wheel-drive system makes for an engaging drive. The engine is responsive and delivers a linear performance whenever you ask for it. On top of that you have a very capable chassis and that, along with the stiff suspension setup sort of makes the car not only quick around corners but makes it feel more compact than what it is.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the Efficiency mode which dials things down and makes for a calm and relaxed drive. The ergonomics are wonderful and if there’s only one thing that feels amiss, then that would be the steering feedback at high speeds. In the city, however, you will have nothing to complain about.

2021 Audi S5 Sportback. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

So at the end of the day, the Audi S5 is special and it is of the kind that can do a lot of things well enough to make it stand apart. My takeaway from spending time with this car is the fact that this can very well be your primary and only car that scratches your itch for performance and can adapt itself to a very usable and practical everyday car. The fact that it is this quick is only the cherry on the cake.

first published:April 05, 2021, 09:47 IST