Cabriolet S line 2.0 TDI 190PS
range-topping 328bhp A5
Cabrio, the S5, costs close to £50K
but drivers with a yen for going
topless and spending £37K on the
187bhp 2.0 TDI version wont
left feeling short-changed...
LOPPING OFF THE A5 COUPE'S METAL HEAD and substituting a premium quality
powered fabric soft-top makes for a brilliant Cinderella-going-to-the-ball transformation
of Audi's Coupe.
The A5 Cabriolet is a real eye-magnet, attracting covetous glances from both
foot traffic as well as other drivers. Top up or top down, it's one of Audi's
sleekest convertibles and its clean lines and symmetry edge out its prestige
rivals in the Cabrio stakes.
A5 Cabriolet engine sizes if you don't suffer from the traditional male
'mine's bigger than yours' syndrome start with an everyman's 1.8-litre
(174bhp petrol) and extend up to three litres with 241bhp. What they all have
in common is a great 'get out of jail free' card in the form of a powered roof
than can be retracted very quickly at the touch of a button and, crucially in
our unpredictable UK climate, at speeds of up to 31mph.
had to put this to the test when monsoon-like rain brought traffic to a standstill
with foot-deep water and fountains gushing several feet into the air from the
manhole covers in Canterbury during our test thankfully a few huge warning
drops that hit like paintball shots gave us time to raise the roof while moving
in a stream of 25mph traffic along a narrow road with no room to pull over.
A5 Cabriolets have a
great get out of jail free
card in the form of a
powered roof than can be
retracted very quickly
at the touch of a button
and, crucially in our
climate, while on the
move at speeds of
up to 31mph...
Seventeen seconds later the Cabrio's triple-layer and watertight fabric top
was latched and locked and we were snug and sheltered.
Back to that other folding stuff £37,260 will buy you one of the 187bhp
(190PS) 2.0 TDI models in classy S line spec that we've thoroughly enjoyed driving
this past week. For many it serves up the perfect real-world blend of pace and
economy with premium convertible looks.
Even with significantly less than the S5's 328bhp, the 187bhp 2.0 TDI still
manages a top speed of 145mph; zero to 62mph acceleration takes a perfectly
fine 8.2 seconds. Officially it returns 55.4mpg in the Combined Cycle running
on 18-inch wheels, and our hard-driven test average came out at a commendable
47.9mpg. Going for the bigger wheels pushes up the CO2 emissions very slightly,
from 125 on the default 17-inchers to 133g/km. Hardly a deal-breaker.
The four-cylinder in-line turbodiesel is pleasingly strong and responsive and
makes this fairly big (4.6 metres nose to tail) and luxuriously equipped drop-top
quicker than you'd expect, and it zips along whenever you feel inclined to make
full use of the gears. It's a nice manual gearbox too, with ratios in tune with
the power to hand, and makes parlaying the meaningful 295lb ft of torque into
decent pace almost as easy as driving an auto.
Pick-up in the top gears is strong on the motorway leave the stick where
it is and just squeeze the right pedal. Block shifts up and down are polished
in fact, they're actively encouraged with 3rd to 5th and 4th to sixth
prompts regularly appearing in the driver's information display between the
Top down, this A5 Cabriolet's ambiance insulates you from the rat-race; you'll
surf along at your own pace, cool and composed, the lightest of breezes ruffling
your hair, barely aware of the muted four-pot murmur from beneath the clean-cut
of the soft-top; dropping the roof takes just fifteen electric seconds. And
you'll waste very little time slipping the windblocker out of its tailored case
in the boot. Once fitted in place you can, if you're travelling à deux, leave
it there indefinitely as it covers the rear seating area, which is still easily
accessible by tilting the front backrests forwards.
pleasingly strong and
responsive and makes
this fairly big and
convertible quicker than
a nice manual box
too, with ratios in tune
with the power to hand,
and makes parlaying
the meaningful 295lb ft
of torque into decent
pace almost as easy as
driving an auto...
you then flip up the vertical windblocker section for maximum protection you
can still raise or lower the roof and even, top up, drive with it in place as
the mesh is easily seen through, so rear visibility is not compromised in the
least. On a balmy day, top-down in an A5 Cabriolet is definitely an ideal place
to be. Especially two-up, when the optional wind deflector really does block
the wind, ensuring the cabin remains enjoyably civilised even at the legal limit.
Raised, the extra-insulated standard-fit acoustic roof keeps out external sounds
including any wind roar and provides the Cabriolet with virtually the same level
of refinement as you'd find inside the metal-roofed A5 Coupe. Also handy is
the separate switch that opens/closes all four windows together.
It goes without saying that kids will love swanning around, top-down, in the
rear cabin thanks to knee room maximised by hollowed-out front seatbacks
and decent foot room, so too will a pair of adults. The magazine pockets, storage
bin under the offside outer armrest and triple cupholders between the 50:50-split
rear seats will also be appreciated. Better still, rear passengers can simply
press a switch to power-slide the front seats forward before exiting.
But is it a true four-seater? Yes because an average-sized adult can travel
okay behind another of a similar size and not feel at all hemmed-in when the
roof's up. And if you're riding in the back you don't have to put the roof down
for ventilation because the rear cabin has its own air vents and temperature
control, while for colder months there's three-stage heated seats (actually
these are a £200 option but only a skinflint wouldn't tick the box). Adding
to the pleasure of cruising in the Cabrio wherever you sit is
the fact that fit and finish is first-rate; top down you won't hear a single
squeak, rattle or groan, even over poorer blacktop.
legendary quattro all-wheel drive will be a choice A5 driver's keen to set a
pace will need to make. That said, the 2.0 TDI comes with front-wheel drive
as standard and it's perfectly fine. Roof up or down, the A5's handling
is reassuringly well balanced with more than enough grip and composed agility
from the chassis (S line versions come with Sports suspension) to engage drivers
who need to press on. If there's any penalty ride-wise with the larger wheels
that define S line models it's barely noticeable.
drivers know that in the dynamics equation a car's steering is as important
as the chassis and the A5's direct steering contributes strongly to the
2.0-litre TDI's deft handling.
down, this A5
insulates you from the
rat-race; youll surf
along at your own pace,
cool and composed,
the lightest of breezes
ruffling your hair, barely
aware of the muted
four-pot murmur from
beneath the clean-cut
you've seen the Cabrio's fabric roof fold neatly away and totally disappear
under the rear deck panel you might think 'Oh well, there goes the luggage space'.
Actually, No. Within the boot there's a dedicated storage well for the soft-top
that, roof down, leaves 320 litres available for your cases.
still, with the roof up you can easily collapse the well with a gentle push
of your hand to free up another 60 litres, making for a family-hatch-sized 380-litre
boot (incidentally, the well conveniently drops back down automatically the
next time you retract the roof, so long as there's nothing in the way).
And the Cabrio still has a final space-making trick up its sleeve: pull the
levers in the boot and the 50:50-split rear backrests drop down under their
own steam to reveal a large load-through that boosts load space to 750 litres.
A key part of the A5 Cabriolet's appeal is its four adult-sized seats, the easy
access to the rear cabin (and any child seats fitted there) plus its versatile
boot that together make it a family-friendly proposition. Inside the Cabrio
and as Audi buyers now take absolutely for granted in any and all of
the marque's models there's the unmistakable 'four-rings' premium brand
quality featuring a plush, finely furnished interior enhanced by fine Nappa
fascia is pleasing to the eye and the switchgear intuitive to use; you feel
totally at home the moment you get behind the flat-bottomed, three-spoke, multifunction
(voice, repeat last navigation direction, audio, etc) wheel with its good-to-grip
perforated leather rim. Setting a first class driving position takes but seconds
and once done you can store it: the two-memory seat recall function makes sharing
the driving with your partner an easy option.
As you settle in either of the shapely, supportive and well padded 'S line'-embossed
Sports-style front seats, a 'belt butler' comes over your shoulder to hand you
your belt. The seats are all-electric, even the extending under-knee front cushion,
as too is the lumbar support that can also be powered up and down to physically
hit the spot. Another plus: with the roof in place there's a full fist of room
between the top of your head and the meticulously trimmed headlining.
good three-stage seat heating makes cold autumnal days top-down a 'must', while
there's a tilt-and-powered slide function for easy rear cabin access (they always
return to the exact original position).
up or down,
balanced with more than
enough grip and
composed agility from
the chassis (S line
versions come with
Sports suspension as
standard) to engage
drivers who need to
The good life continues with a foolproof SatNav that never nags, just provides
explicit prompts as to the way to go, crystal clear instrumentation (with stylish
tear-shaped dials) and driver information (graphic navigation prompts along
with essentials such as digital speed and range).
are more 'goodies' including a digital radio, a ten-speaker sound system, drive-away
auto locking, auto-dimming rearview mirror, auto lights and wipes, on-demand
powerfold door mirrors (that also park themselves on locking and leaving), front
and rear parking sensors, cruise control, an easy-peasy electric parking brake
with an auto function that's a boon in heavy stop-start traffic plus a very
efficient three-zone climate control system that's just as effective with the
Organisationally, the glovebox has plenty of room for all that unavoidable personal
'stuff' and there are some pretty useful out-of-sight storage bins built into
each of the front seat bases plus enough cupholders for all four occupants to
enjoy a latte macchiato al fresco or, if coffee's not your poison, the
long front doors bins will each hold a bottle.
You could say an A5 Cabrio is all the drop-top you'll ever really need. Certainly
in mid-range 2.0 TDI guise it's comfortable and refined, has a decent turn of
speed in keeping with its looks, and makes a gallon of fuel go a surprisingly
long way. As well as being great to look at, it's also satisfying to own and
pleasurably entertaining to drive. So… all you really need! ~ MotorBar
Audi A5 Cabriolet S line 2.0 TDI 190PS
Maximum speed: 145mph | 0-62mph: 8.2 seconds | Test Average: 47.9mpg
Power: 187bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2: 133g/km