It seems like with each passing week there’s a new niche-busting model. All manufacturers are at it, too, and Audi is one of the most accomplished at finding space in its line-up where there appeared to be none.
The bulk of the changes reside around the car’s looks. The rear end dips considerably more than that on the regular Q5, which there’s a higher rear bumper which gives the Sportback a more ‘pinched’ appearance.
Though that sloping roof does impede boot space a touch, Audi offers an optional sliding rear seat which can be used to increase outright luggage capacity.
What’s under the bonnet?
There’s a good variety of engine choices available with the Sportback, with two diesels, one petrol and a single hybrid there to select from. The entry-level diesel produces 201bhp and 400Nm of torque, while mild-hybrid assistance helps to boost efficiency, too.
Above this sits the more powerful SQ5 which utilises a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel unit with 336bhp and 700Nm, yet can return up to 34mpg and emit 222g/km CO2.
Two variants of the same plug-in powertrain are available - pushing out wither 295 or 362bhp - but they promise up to 188mpg and CO2 emissions of 37g/km.
We tested the 45 TFSI petrol, which produces 261bhp and 370Nm while returning 32mpg and emitting 202g/km CO2.
What’s it like to drive?
The thrummy petrol engine is just as punchy as the numbers might suggest and brings more than enough performance for a car of this size. It even sounds good, delivering a turn of pace which will be plenty for the average driver.
However, the Sportback does the more relaxed side of driving impressively well too. The adaptive air suspension plays a starring role in this, bringing a real sense of refinement to the way the car travels down the road.
How does it look?
Audi’s range of SUVs has a real presence to it and this is particularly evident with the Q5 Sportback. The large front grille, wide side air inlets and striking LED headlights all result in a ca which is hard to miss.
At the back, that sloping roofline has been successfully integrated into the car’s overall design, while the rear window seamlessly blends into a small spoiler-like section. A chunky lower bumper helps to beef up the car’s looks even further.
What’s it like inside?
As you’d expect from a modern Audi, the interior of the Q5 Sportback is a high-quality and well-made affair. It might not be the most interesting to look at, but it certainly feels well put together and as though it’ll stand the test of time.
The central infotainment screen is easy to navigate through and good to look at, while it’s pleasing to find physical buttons and dials for the climate controls - it’s often annoying to find these positioned within the screen
What’s the spec like?
Even in base-level Sport trim, the Q5 Sportback incorporates a lot of standard equipment. Priced from £44,495, you get 18-inch alloy wheels, LED head- and tailights, twin-leather sport seats and a variety of high-end finishers for the cabin. You’ll also find that 10.1-inch infotainment screen fitted as standard too, alongside a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit.
Move up to S Line - priced from £47,495 - and you’ll find 19-inch alloy wheels added alongside S Line sport suspension, Alcantara and leather upholstery and aluminium interior inlays. Top-spec Vorsprung models start from £62,645 and boast 21-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension and a panoramic sunroof - among other features.
The Q5 Sportback arrives a real all-rounder, bringing fun and refinement as well as that all-important practicality. Despite the more dynamic looks this is a sensible and spacious SUV which manages to ride beautifully well - even when using larger alloy wheels.
However, these are all of the attributes you get with the regular Q5 without the boot space penalty. It’s unlikely that those opting for the Sportback will be left disappointed, but it’s definitely a decision to be made on looks alone.