Interiors – Audi has mastered the knack of getting the interiors right and the A5 is no exception to that rule. The cabin looks minimalistic and fresh with only the necessary details in the picture. The steering not only looks very nice but is also good to hold, thanks to its small diameter, thick grip and flat bottom base. The controls on the steering are small but they are not very hard to operate. The dashboard is brilliantly laid out with tiny details to make you feel special. The climate control buttons, for instance, are touch sensitive which means you don’t have to press them physically. You can only run your finger on them and get the job done. It is attention to detail like this which we simply love.
Even though the front seats are spacious and comfortable, the rear seats are best suited for two medium-sized adults
The dashboard is neatly angled towards the driver with the AC vent extending all the length to the passenger side. The lower part of the dashboard is adorned with un-veneered wood. You get the infotainment screen which has good graphics and spend extra, you get a wonderful sounding Bang & Olufsen sound system. Our test car also came with the optional ‘Virtual Cockpit’ display with crisp detailing and responsive interface.
Since the seat-belts are mounted behind the doors, there is a lever that electronically brings them to you when you start the car. The seat-belts have small microphones built into them so you can speak clearly on the phone even when the roof is down. These are not the features specific to the A5 Cabriolet but feel special nonetheless. The quality all around is impeccable. The front seats, with their hosts of adjustments, are supremely comfortable. The rear seats are good too for average size adults. Getting in the back is not a task, thanks to the front seats which electrically go forward when you tilt them and come back to their original position when you place them back up. It is a convenient feature requiring no manual labour.
Quality of materials used is outstanding and everything you touch feels luxurious
If there is one caveat that we found, it is that the interior trim on our car felt dull. The grey theme simply does not do justice and we are quite sure that red or black will make the cabin look sporty. That said, the interior of the A5 Cabriolet comes across as largely impressive.
Performance – Convertibles are rarely powered by diesel engines but the Audi A5 Cabriolet is an exception as it draws power from the ubiquitous 2.0-litre oil burner that belts out 190 HP and 400 Nm. 0-100 km/hr comes up in a claimed 7.8 seconds while the top speed is limited to 235 km/hr. There is some lag lower down but once the turbo spools up in full flow, there is a splendid mid-range while the motor redlines slightly above 4500 RPM. The engine does rev quickly and is silent once on the move although the diesel clatter is audible at idle and low revs.
With a diesel engine, the Cabriolet returns exceptional fuel economy and excellent performance with minimal turbo lag
Drivability in the city is good while the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is quick with shifts, there are also steering mounted paddles on offer and one can choose between regular, sport and manual modes for the gears. Meanwhile, the Audi Drive Select has 4 modes – Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual which alter the engine and the steering weight. Being a diesel car, the Audi A5 is expectedly quite frugal, returning close to 14 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The Audi A5 Cabriolet is a heavy car because the German automaker had to add weight to stabilise the vehicle due to the soft top, it tips the scales at almost 1900 kgs, you can’t feel the weight though! There is some amount of body roll but the quattro all-wheel-drive system offers stellar levels of grip, so much so that even with the ESC turned completely off, there is no hairiness even on full throttle. The car is eager to dart into corners and the steering does offer some amount of feel and feedback, it’s not the best out there but certainly better than what we have seen in most Audis.
Despite of the weight, the Cabriolet has minimal body roll and great handling
The suspension is set up on the firm side and that can be felt on the expansion joints on bridges. However, the ride is quite good as it does a great job of isolating the cabin from most bumps and uneven road surfaces. Adaptive dampers are available as an option while one can alter the spring rates for a more compliant ride in comfort mode or to a more firmed up ride in Sport mode. Insulation levels are great and in spite of the soft top, you can’t hear much of what’s around. The brakes offer surefooted stopping power and the A5 remains glued to the road at all speeds, irrespective of the roof being up or down.