When the luxurious four ringed German automaker introduced the all new Audi A5 complete with sleek styling and a sporty fastback coupe character thanks to its stretched mid section and its elongated lines the world took notice. So it was only a matter of time before they decided to drop the top and come up with the most attractive Audi Cabriolet of all time. The new Audi A5 Cabriolet was such a good new car design; featuring the fastest folding rag top in its segment, taking only 15 seconds to be stowed away and can even operate at speeds of up to 30 MPH, and not to mention that the Audi Acoustic Roof technology gives the new A5 Cabriolet interior noise levels on par with a hard top. That the folks back in the motherland decided to effectively use it to replace the smaller A4 based convertible, for good.
The model we were fortunate enough to become familiar with was a well equipped Ibis White 2010 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI FWD Multitronic Cabriolet set off by a Brown Roof and slightly sweeter Cinnamon brown interior. The combination of Xenon charged headlamps and LED driving lights and rear clusters ensured that we would clearly see the road ahead as well as being seen by everyone around us. On the inside we enjoyed such creature as Bluetooth hands free connectivity while sitting snugly inside the ventilated and heated sport buckets wrapped in perforated milano leather and get a little extra help from the large colorful LCD navigation display with built in back up camera that also controls the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI).
Powered by a combination of forward thinking and fuel efficient turbocharging and direct injection, the 2.0 Liter TFSI four cylinder produced a total of 211 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque being routed to the 18 inch 15 spoke rollers via Audi’s FrontTrak front wheel drive Multitronic CVT transaxle to a top speed of 130 MPH while returning an estimated 23 MPG in the city and as much as 30 MPG on the highway all starting at $42,000 and climbing up to a nicely equipped $51,525.
As we mentioned before, the long flowing lines of the stretched A5’s exterior are absolute eye candy. Coupled with the combination of a clean Ibis White paint scheme and brown convertible top rolling around on a set of large 18 inch multispoke rims makes the A5 Cabriolet an undeniable object of desire. However the new A5’s beauty is more than skin deep; Audi’s engineers incorporated a neat trick under the hood that not only improves handling and weight distribution, but it also effectively got rid of the Quattro mandated nose overhang and pushed the front wheels further forward in the chassis making it look like a long wheelbase race car.
The front end is made up of a pair of sleek Xenon gas charged head lamps dotted with integrated LED driving lights residing on either side of the VW Family’s now signature large grill that stretches from just below the hood all the way down well into the front bumper displaying a set of four interlocking rings proudly front and center. At either corner of the front bumper are a set of sporty air intakes filled with large round fog lamps that help to shine the way for the A5 Cabriolet.
Like we said before, the A5’s longer lines make it look much sportier, especially when viewed from the side where you will notice how the length of the door compared to the car’s overall dimensions along with the two tapering creases in the sheet metal make it look like it is going fast sitting still. Even from the back the additional length enhances the A5’s wide squatted appearance, especially from the rear 3/4 view where you will notice that even though A5’s rear end is about at tall as the more bubbly A4, the look is much more aggressive because the car’s proportions have been altered and the taillights stretched out to either side, a feature that is only accentuated with the top down.
The sound of a white on brown on brown combination might be strange to some, however Audi’s Cinnamon Brown interior worked wonderfully with the outside colors, the lighter shade was different enough to make it distinct, but there is something about familiarity of already having been introduced to the color on the outside that made it work wonderfully.
The spicy chocolate leather covered everything from the door panels to perforated milano wrapped seats that could substitute for a set of genuine sport buckets any day of the week. Complimetnting the shade of chocolate, Audi’s interior design team made good use of brushed aluminum on the dash, framing the instrument cluster, as a combination of modern and classical tastes with the addition of elegant Nutmeg laurel wood trim on the doors and center console.
The gauges were bright and easily interpreted (LCD screen in the middle) while features like hands free Bluetooth connectivity and three zone climate control reminded you that you are inside of a luxury vehicle. Our car came complete with Audi’s multimedia interface, a unique take on the classic iDrive system where occupants control every aspect of the A5’s infotainment, Navigation and vehicle options through the in dash display. It is also worth noting that the A5’s back up camera comes with guidance lines that move along with a turn of the steering wheel, a small touch that goes a long way and should be more prevalent in cars that call themselves premium vehicles.
Despite the A5’s aggressive exterior appearance, our front wheel drive TFSI A5 Cabriolet was much more of a boulevard cruiser than a track day power house. The suspension was tuned for comfort which means the car exhibited a bit of body roll, and unless you press the accelerator all the way to the floor, the turbo four powered A5 seemed a bit lethargic getting up to speed, which won’t matter if you are more interested in seeing something nice come around the corner at the valet stand waiting outside Saks Fifth Avenue then actually pushing it to the limit.
It was always interesting that Audi traditionally produced two distinct engine layouts depending on whether you were buying a Quattro car or not. The cost of designing and then constructing two different versions of the same car would be quite impractical, and it seems that the German automaker has solved this problem by incorporating a Porsche like transaxle layout, except a few feet forward, so that if a customer wants to have Audi’s patented all wheel drive system in their new ride, the workers at the factory simply have to bolt up the rest of the drive train, which would include a sport tuned rear differential, creating something that looks much more like a Subaru from underneath. Speaking of which, Audi’s engineers have repositioned the clutch and torque converter which evens out the weight distribution and eliminates Audi’s traditional overbite by pushing the rollers even further forward, not only making the new A5 handle better, but it look a bit sportier as well.
Our car came with VW’s 2.0 Liter TFSI four cylinder that takes full advantage of Audi’s race proven turbocharged fuel stratified injection that makes more power with less waste than traditional multi port fuel injection. The result is a maximum output of 211 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque being shifted by Audi’s FrontTrak front wheel drive Multitronic transaxle to a top speed of 130 MPH. So thanks to the combination of a turbocharged direct injected motor and a CVT transmission the mid size luxury sports coupe can still get up to 23 MPG in the city and as much as 30 MPG on the highway.
Why to Buy
The 2.0 TFSI Multitronic A5 Cabriolet is an exquisite luxury automobile as long as you aren’t looking to go drag racing. Starting at $42,000 our Ibis White 2010 A5 2.0 TFSI FWD Multitronic Cabriolet came equipped with the $3500 Premium plus package that includes 18 inch wheels, LED lamps, hands free Bluetooth connectivity, three zone climate control and Audi’s magnificent Music Interface. The Comfort and Navigation packages were $2400 each and brought perforated genuine Milano leather and that wonderful back up camera. The Nutmeg laurel wood trim was an additional $400 and was well worth it bringing our A5’s total price all the way up to $51,525. Although this may seem a bit steep for Audi’s entry level drop top, the amenities are well worth it.
Why Not to Buy
If what you are looking for is a high performance machine, then skip the front wheel drive CVT equipped A5, instead you will want to opt for the new Audi S5 with its 333 HP supercharged V6 and offers even more good looks with sport inspired body work and best of all is available with Quattro all wheel drive, ensuring that your new convertible sports car is up to any curve you are willing to throw at it.
You would have to spend quite a bit more to be as comfortable in a Mercedes Benz E Class convertible and while some might be quick to suggest that a BMW 3 Series is on par with the A5 Cabriolet, we feel that the level of luxury is on par with a drop top 6 Series, however the larger car will take you for a ride in a whole different price range, about double the cost of the A5 Cabriolet. However if you want to keep it in the family, while taking it easy on the bank account, the retractable hard top Volkswagen Eos is just about as fun, but nowhere near as luxurious.
Top Speed Final Verdict
Just like the GLK is the best sweet sixteen present of all time, an Audi A5 Cabriolet will make the the perfect anniversary present that is sure to get your wife back on your good side no matter how mad at you she may be. Our particular A5’s combination of tones and trims with a splash of upscale luxury made it a great car to be seen in; after all, who doesn’t like a convertible?
However it it were up to us, we’re willing to hold out for an FSI V8 powered Quattro all wheel drive Audi RS5 with its blistered arches and flared front end openings, but until then we are happy to pretend inside of the A5.
"It’s not cheap and the controls are frustrating, but the Audi A5 convertible we tested is a likeable and livable package... and quite satisfying to drive."-Consumer Reports
”Quick on its feet, exceptionally solid foundations, all-day sport seats, classy interior, top-notch fit and finish.”-Car and Driver
”What to drive until you can save up for that Bentley Continental convertible.”-Inside Line