Build quality, refinement, interior, design
Not as sharp as its key rivals, expensive
What is it?
It’s possible there are stones out there as yet unturned, but in the world of premium German automobiles you’ll struggle to find them. Audi’s upper-middle A5 Coupe arrived in 2007, and along with its Sportback and Cabriolet siblings has quietly established itself as a seductive alternative to whatever finely sliced iteration of BMW 4 Series or Mercedes C-Class previously floated your boat.
The A5 Cabriolet – which underneath is little more than a two-door, roofless A4 – sits at the top of the A5 hierarchy. And if – like us – you think Audi’s design language has lately become over-evolved, there’s a confident simplicity to the Cabrio’s form, particularly at the front. It also looks surprisingly punchy in brighter (ie: not silver) colours. Not bad for a car that’s been with us since 2017…
TALK ME THROUGH THE TECH.
The body structure uses an aluminium-steel hybrid for a 55kg weight saving versus the old A5. Highlights include reworked multilink front and rear suspension, a start-stop system that works during coasting as well as at a standstill (and cruise control that can go into ‘freewheeling’ mode), and a 40 per cent improvement in torsional rigidity.
No fat-arse-inducing folding metal roof here, either: the multi-layered ‘acoustic’ hood opens with one button push in 15 seconds and closes in 18 at speeds up to 31mph. There are so many assistance systems that you’d need assistance assistance to get through them all (predictive efficiency assist anyone?), and mainly thanks to a facelift in 2020, enough infotainment and connectivity to placate the most attention deficient of millennials.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL AN A5 CABRIOLET COST ME?
If you want a specific bit of kit, odds are you’ll have to upgrade to the trim level to which it’s fitted as standard, because it’s not like there’s a big menu of options to pick and choose from. In order of price, the line-up goes Sport, S-Line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung. S-Line is always popular – it gets little more kit than Sport, but looks a hell of a lot better with bigger alloys and different bumpers. Prices start at around £42,000 and rise to well over £60,000 for the Vorsprung. Not a cheap car, the A5 Cabriolet.
WHAT ENGINES CAN YOU GET?
The range is all four-cylinder turbocharged petrols and diesels with between 150 and 265bhp. All cars get an automatic gearbox, but ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive is reserved for the most powerful versions (not that you’ll need it anyway). There is no longer any such thing as an S5 or RS5 Cabriolet, and there is no pure-electric or plug-in hybrid version.
DOES IT HAVE REAR SEATS?
It does indeed – one of the A5 Cabriolet’s greatest strengths is that you can fit actual grown-up human beings in the back seats (with the roof down, anyway). It’s a genuine four-seater drop-top in the mould of the bigger Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
It’s a seductive car, the A5 Cabriolet, and while more dynamically accomplished than its predecessor, it’s still more of a grand touring boulevardier rather than a B-road hustler. The much newer BMW 4 Series has it well and truly licked in that regard and, erm, most other regards to be honest. But the A5 Cabriolet has a beautifully appointed high-quality interior, refined powertrain and is genuinely very practical for a car of its ilk. If you’re not bothered about the drive and have cash to splash, then why the hell not.