We drive Audi's latest drop top contender, the new A5 Cabriolet
Pros: Class-leading interior, great engines, spacious
Cons: More expensive than rivals, A5 Coupe more engaging to drive
When the sun is shining in Ireland, there are few better places to be, and that’s especially true when you’re driving a convertible car. Audi’s all-new A5 Cabriolet has just arrived in time for summer, and with sharper looks, a more spacious interior and new engines in the mix, it seems more grown up than its predecesor. We were impressed with the new A5 Coupe when we drove it earlier this year, but does the Cabriolet live up to the same expectations?
What is it like?
The A5 Cabriolet’s styling has changed only slightly from before, with an updated front grille design, new side sculpting and reshaped front and rear lights. While the styling changes are subtle, the new A5 Cabriolet has a more muscular appearance, and the floret silver paint scheme and contrasting black soft top roof of our test car makes for a particularly tasty combination. The A5 Cabriolet demands attention out on the road when its soft top roof has been dropped.
As is the case with the Audi A5 Coupe, the Cabriolet’s interior quality and space has improved noticeably, and the overall layout of the dashboard is clearer too. Although the new display screen fixed in place to the centre of the dashboard looks a little awkward, the display itself is excellent and Audi’s MMI infotainment system is incredibly user friendly. Our test car also has Audi’s gorgeous Virtual Cockpit display behind the steering wheel, which is an optional extra.
The A5 Cabriolet’s roof drops down swiftly with the touch of a button in just 15 seconds and at speeds of up to 50km/h, which is very useful in Ireland’s changeable weather conditions. Boot space is good too and adds an element of practicality; with the roof in place, the A5 Cabriolet’s boot offers 380 litres of space, reducing by 60 litres when the roof is folded down. The roof also boasts a new design and is available in a number of different colour choices.
Our test car is fitted with the entry engine in the range, Audi’s 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 190hp. It offers brisk performance and has lots of low down grunt, with 0-100km/h taking 8.3 seconds. While the 2.0-litre TDI isn't quite as fast as other cars in its class, there are two more powerful engines to choose from, a 2.0-litre TSI petrol (252hp) and a larger 3.0-litre TDI diesel (218hp) unit, but we expect the 2.0-litre TDI to be Ireland's best-seller. All are equipped with Audi’s S-Tronic automatic transmission and it’s a delight to drive with silky smooth changes.
The A5 Cabriolet is lighter than before and gets similar chassis updates to the A5 Coupe that we drove, so it has improved from a driver’s perspective too. The Cabriolet isn’t as rigid as the Coupe due to the drop-top roof, so it doesn’t handle quite as well, but it comes very close and there’s plenty of reassurance and grip from the front-wheel-drive system. It’s very comfortable at speed too and despite the soft top roof, noise levels aren’t an issue at motorway speeds.
Prices for the new Audi A5 Cabriolet start from €60,730 in Ireland for the entry SE model with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, which is higher than comparable cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabrio. That said, standard equipment is strong with Audi’s MMI Navigation system, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED interior lighting, front and rear parking sensors, Audi’s Smartphone interface and more as standard. Our test car is the higher specification S-Line model and benefits from additional features like full LED headlights, S-Line interior and exterior styling add-ons and a gorgeous S-Line flat-bottomed steering wheel, and while it’s a significant extra investment for this spec, it’s ultimately the one to have!
Carzone verdict: 4/5
So, has the new Audi A5 Cabriolet improved in the right areas? Well, the answer is most definitely yes. Although it doesn’t look incredibly different, the new A5 Cabriolet is more comfortable, spacious, refined and it also packs more connectivity than before, thanks to Audi’s latest MMI system. The A5 Cabriolet’s interior is a class leader, and the roof system is similarly impressive too. While the new A5 Cabriolet isn’t quite as engaging to drive as the A5 Coupe, it comes very close indeed and it’s on par with the best Convertible cars in its class.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Audi A5 Cabriolet
Prices from: €60,730
Price as tested: €73,437
Annual Road Tax: €270
Engine: 1968cc four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Top Speed: 231km/h
0-100km/h: 8.3 seconds
Transmission: 7-Speed S-Tronic Automatic Transmission
Body style: Cabriolet
Boot Space: 380 litres