Audi RS 5 Sportback

Editors' Review

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As it turns out, there's such a thing as a car that's too good. Most of the quality cars out there, at any price point, still carry a few notable flaws that remind you that humans are still in charge of building these things. Rarely does a car come along that makes you wonder if the entire development team was replaced with impossibly scrutinous robots. The 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback is one such car, and its valedictorian antics are almost frustrating in their pitch-perfect execution.

So good on the road, it's maddening

It might sound counterintuitive to be aggravated by a car being too good, but that's how I felt after a week with the RS5 Sportback. Flaws add character. Whether it's getting a little loosey-goosey in the curves or being so loud it can wake the neighborhood, it's those minutiae that prevent a car from feeling like it was built by unfeeling automatons. The RS5 is the closest I've ever come to a car built for robots, by robots.

The 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 puts out 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, and it's ready to rumble at any spot on the tachometer. A press of the pedal is met with near-immediate torque, and the eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly, but these rapid gear changes don't come with a comfort trade-off. It just goes, all the time. Even though the $3,350 Dynamic package adds a sportier (read: louder) exhaust system, it's still quiet enough to sneak out of the neighborhood on a morning drive, although I'm not in love with the digital intake noise pumped into the cabin to supplement the note from 'round back.

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The Good The 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback is both attractive and incredibly capable.

The Bad It's so capable that the whole experience feels a bit sanitized.

The Bottom Line The RS5 Sportback is as close to perfection as you can get in this segment, but strangely, that leaves it feeling lacking.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 9
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 9

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