What a cruel joke the American automotive market continues to play on the once-proud station wagon. At a time when new car buyers seem determined to turn their backs on traditional sedans in favor of SUVs and crossovers of all shapes and sizes, manufacturers are equally resolute in their desire to leave the just-as-practical wagon in the lurch. Audi, a company which produces beautiful long-roofs that are sold everywhere but here, has been forced to play the game, too. In doing so, however, it’s tapped into a level of style that has produced some of the most appealing luxury options for the cargo-friendly set: the Audi A7 / S7 twins, and their new, more affordable siblings, the 2018 Audi A5 and S5 Sportback.
It’s a familiar strategy, of course: tap into the success of a strong-selling high end model by creating a smaller version at a more affordable price. If self-indulgent, four-door ‘coupe’ imitation were the sole inspiration behind the new A5 Sportback (and its ‘sportier’ S5 Sportback counterpart), then the end result wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.
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