Audi A5 Cabriolet convertible (2009 – ) review
Read the Audi A5 Cabriolet convertible (2009 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
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With the roof up or down, the Audi A5 Cabriolet is a stylish and svelte-looking car. Audi has stuck with the traditional method of using a cloth roof, rather than the more expensive coupe-cabriolet metal roof route that BMW has gone down with the 4 Series Convertible. The A5 Cabriolet adopts the same nose treatment as the rest of the A5 family, along with the swooping side profile from the coupe and neatly proportioned rear end.
The A5 Cabriolet adopts the top quality, if a little-staid looking, dashboard that populates the majority of the Audi line-up. The design is safe and unlikely to offend, and makes use of top-quality materials and soft-touch mouldings. All of the controls are nicely weighted and feel solid and built to last, though some of the buttons are small and difficult to differentiate once on the move. Thanks to a wide choice of different colours, textures and materials, it is easy to personalise your A5 Cabriolet.
With room for four inside, the A5 Cabriolet is as practical as it is stylish – though the tallest of passengers won’t want to travel too far due to the sloping roof line and limited rear legroom. With the seats in place, there’s 320 litres of space – enough for several squashy bags and flight cases, with the seats folded it opens up to 750 litres. Though convertibles aren’t usually known for towing trailers or caravans, the A5 Cabriolet can tow between 1,500 and 2,100kg, depending on engine choice.
Ride and handling
The A5 handles well, with impressive levels of grip, but is let down by a ride that is unacceptably harsh on sporty S line and S5 models. Standard and SE models are better but not perfect. Steering feedback could be better too, with a vague feel to it, meaning that the Cabriolet is unexceptional to drive. Wind and road noise are both kept in check with the roof in place, but with it folded down and at faster speeds, there’s a fair bit of wind buffeting. All engines are refined and smooth, with low levels of noise intrusion.
The Cabriolet is offered with a choice of seven engines. There are four diesel and three petrol engines ranging from a 158bhp 1.8 TFSI petrol engine, up to the 328bhp flagship 3-litre turbocharged S5 quattro. For diesel lovers, the line-up kicks off with the 168bhp 2-litre TDI engine, up to the 237bhp 3-litre V6 TDI unit with quattro four-wheel drive. The most popular engine in the range is the 2-litre TDI engine, which produces 168bhp, 258lb/ft of pulling power and has a top speed of 138mph. Acceleration is decent with the 62mph mark passed in 9.3 seconds.
All A5 Cabriolet models equipped with the four-cylinder 2-litre TFSI and 2-litre TDI engines and manual gearbox come with a stop and start system and brake energy regeneration technology. This helps to keep CO2 emissions well in check and deliver better fuel economy figures. For instance, the best selling A5 Cabriolet achieves an average 51.4mpg on the combined cycle and emits CO2 emissions of 144g/km, which compares favourably with the Mercedes E-Class Convertible.
Although the A5 Cabriolet is too new to appear in reliability surveys, the coupe model which it is based upon performs above average in recent reports. Audi dealers trade on their good reputation and customers report that they receive excellent service.
Audi’s A5 hasn’t been subjected to an Euro NCAP crash test either in coupe, cabriolet or Sportback guise, but a4 saloon on which it’s based been tested. Back in 2008, it achieved a five-star safety rating and with the A5 adopting the same safety structure, it can be assumed that it would perform in a similar way. All A5 Cabriolet models come equipped with front and side airbags, with the provision for ISOFIX child safety seat fasteners in both the front and rear seats, along with a passenger airbag deactivation switch. Some models come with the added reassurance of quattro four-wheel-drive, while all models come equipped with electronic stability programme and traction control. Audi also offers a lane departure warning system and blind spot monitors at extra cost.
Every A5 Cabriolet comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, air-con, electric windows, electric park brake, an intelligent key system, front fog lights, a power folding hood that can be used at speeds up to 31mph, and an MP3-compatible audio system. Mid-range SE trim adds leather seats, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, a rain sensor, three-zone climate control and a wind deflector, while S line trim comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, leather sports seats, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and an S line body kit. Top of the range S5 quattro comes with 19-inch alloy wheels and a full body styling kit. The most popular options are larger alloy wheels, sat-nav, and a Bang and Olufsen audio system.
The A5 Cabriolet is one of the most stylish cabriolets on the market. It is well-priced, offering decent levels of safety kit and equipment for your money along with highly competitive CO2 emissions and fuel economy.