What’s it like?
…Now. Without this system in place, the A5 Sportback is at best underdone below decks and at worst, over the choppy, poorly maintained roads that snake over Tuscany’s hills and mountains, dreadful.
In one fell swoop, the electronics umbrella changes all of that. The differences are immediate, even before we’ve left the driveway. Bumps we braced for and dips that tested the bump stops are treated disdainfully in Automatic mode.
Where these types of systems often trend towards a wallowing (read: American plush) ride in their Comfort modes, the Sportback does no such thing. Instead, it seems to focus its attention on the elimination of lateral head-toss as much as it does vertical thumps, and it also reduces the otherwise-tremendous noise of the bumps entering the cabin.
Automatic mode is the default setting and that’s where most people will leave it, so it’s a relief to find that it also gets the job done a lot better than those poor, unfortunate A5 Sportbacks with standard suspensions, but the star of the show is Sport.
In Sport mode, this car goes from being adequate to terrific. The steering tightens up and delivers more feedback to the driver. The seven-speed double-clutch gearbox holds gears further up the rev range and downshifts more aggressively, with a loud throttle blip (or you can just shift manually on the steering wheel’s paddles).
The throttle response is also faster and the suspension behaves itself so well that you know the settings were confirmed by the engineering department, not their colleagues in marketing.