2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet Tiptronic

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.

Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor

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