Choosing between a beautiful two-door coupe and a boring four-door sedan is an eternal battle between the head and the heart. Does it make sense to spend more than Rs 60 lakh on, what many might think, an impractical, inefficient alternative to the older diesel Mercedes-Benz C-Class parked in the garage?
That’s where the Audi S5 Sportback comes in. It’s not too large, has four seats, is comfortable and easy to drive, looks pretty darn good and, most importantly, has that sweet-sounding 3.0-litre V6 engine that doesn’t fail to entertain. The S5 Sportback’s supercharged 3.0-litre V6 puts out 440 Nm of torque, with Audi’s claims of 0-100 kmph time of 5.1 seconds.
Like all other Volkswagen dual-clutch transmissions, this slick 7-speed S tronic transmission is swift and precise. It also gets Audi’s Drive Select with four modes—Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic and Individual. In Dynamic mode, the gear-shifts are served up faster, the throttle sensitivity increases and the exhaust opens up fully to give a sharp bellow that puts a smile on your face. For best results, switch to manual and use paddle-shifters. The car also gets larger discs that do a pretty good job of bringing it to a standstill from three-digit speeds.
The S5 Sportback, like all other Audis, is a very friendly car to drive—make a mistake and it’ll cover up for you without a hiccup, thanks to the Quattro system. The big let-down, though, are the 245-section Pirelli Cinturato tyres. Sure, these low rolling resistance tyres claim to help with the efficiency, but they squeal when pushed around the bends. To add to that, the car feels a little too light: At 1,820 kg, it isn’t, but over crests at high speeds, the car feels like it’s almost taking off. Over roads that have a lot of crests and corners, this can be a little unnerving.
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(This story appears in the 15 April, 2016 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)