Wow, Audi's acoustic roof really makes this car quiet on the highway. It may be a bit odd, but I think the highlight of this convertible is the top. It's every bit as quiet as a folding hardtop convertible and you don't have to give up the entire trunk to retract the top. Aside from the potential security issues a soft top entails, why in the world would anyone choose an A5 coupe over the cabrio? I'd opt for the coupe if I were thinking of an S5, though.
The 2010 model year marks the introduction of the 2.0-liter TFSI direct-injection turbo four-cylinder engine in Audi's A5 lineup (both coupe and convertible). In the coupe, this engine is offered either with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic; both come with standard Quattro all-wheel drive. The convertible, though, offers the 2.0T with a CVT (continuously variable transmission, which you operate like an automatic) and front-wheel drive; or with Quattro and a six-speed conventional automatic. The latter combination is how our test car was outfitted.
Pay attention, all you other automakers. This is how you do a four-cylinder engine. My first stint behind the wheel was a brief highway drive in mild traffic. At the time, I would have sworn that I was driving a V-6 engine. The A5's supreme smoothness and low highway revs give this car highway-cruising comfort that I've never experienced in a four-cylinder vehicle. At 70 mph, the engine is turning at a relaxed 2600 rpm -- a far cry from the 3000 to 3500 rpm that so often corrupt four-cylinder cars. In my opinion, there's absolutely no negative to Audi dropping the V-6 here. Want a faster car? Get the S5.
This Audi A5 convertible gives you all the warm and quiet comforts of a hard top automobile, with the fun and flexibility of a soft top. I was surprised at how much this model parallels the creature comforts of its hardtop counterpart.
My morning with the A5 was even colder than Kelly's, so I didn't have the guts to drop the top, although I was very tempted to try Audi's Mercedes-Benz-style neck-warmer. Even with the top raised, though, the A5 cabrio is a wonderful car, and, as others have mentioned, it's very easy to forget that you're in a soft-top convertible, so quiet and well-insulated is the ragtop. But the most amazing thing about this top, in my opinion, is that it has reading lights for rear-seat passengers integrated smack-dab into the middle of its lining. How awesome is that?! I've never seen such a feature in any convertible. And the back seat is actually big enough for adults. I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of trunk space.
The A5 really does make a strong case for the superiority of a traditional fabric top, but it's an even stronger testament to Audi's phenomenal design and execution. The two biggest convertible weaknesses - sound isolation and top-up appearance, simply aren't an issue here. Neither is structural rigidity. As a result, the A5 is nearly as quiet as any steel-roofed vehicle, emits not a squeak over our frost-heaved roads, and cuts nearly as lovely a profile as the coupe version.
There was no top-down driving in the A5 for me, but this Audi softtop is one convertible that won't make you feel shortchanged when the weather doesn't cooperate. The lack of b-pillars create an unhindered lateral view and rear visibility is decent despite the smallish rear window, an unfortunate attribute of most ragtops. Add flip-down rear headrests, Audi, and the view out the rear window would be even better for those days when top down is not an option.
The A5 is an undeniably beautiful car, but it's no surprise that I find the hardtop's styling more compelling than that of the softtop. There's just something a little disjointed-looking about a cabrio with the top up, no matter whether that top is hard or soft. Having said that, if we're talking pure driving enjoyment, I'd have a hard time opting for the coupe over the softtop when the weather is mild. Unfortunately, I happened to drive the A5 cabrio in February, in Michigan, in subfreezing temperatures. Blech. (That would a comment on the weather, not the car.) Happily, I barely noticed the weather as the snug-fitting top kept the elements at bay. With the seat heaters on and with Quattro all-wheel drive, the A5 cabrio actually proves to be a pretty capable foul-weather car. Visibility is decent, although prone to a couple of blind spots (most notably at the rear quarter) that are endemic to convertibles, and the cabin might feel a little claustrophic even to people of average stature, what with the lower headliner. But those shortcomings are more than overcome by the A5's smooth and responsive 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and the exquisitely designed interior.
2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet Tiptronic