Audi A5 Cabriolet Review
Car Tested: Audi A5 Cabriolet; Road Test No. 1108; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 87,89,033/-
With a frugal diesel engine and a luxurious interior, the A5 Cabriolet offers the best of looks, practicality and opulence
Not many people know but the word 'Cabriolet' is a French word derived from the Latin phrase which means 'The sun, it's so nice'. There's something about convertibles that makes everyone fall in love with them. The wind in your hair experience, the sound of the exhaust and the feeling that you're the coolest person in town when you stop at a red light - stuff no other type of car guarantees. The warm Indian weather and the novelty of convertibles have got people rushing to the dealerships and Audi has taken a note of it. The A5 Cabriolet is Audi's answer to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class convertible and promises to be all the Audi minus the roof.
Motor Quest: Besides the sedans and a hugely popular SUV line, Audi has always made a point to launch niche cars in the Indian market. The TT was one of the earliest premium coupes in our market. Likewise, the A7 fastback was one-of-its-kind when it was launched. Audi impressed the petrol-heads when they launched the RS5 in 2011 with its impeccable naturally-aspirated V8 and sheer usability. In 2018, Audi decided to widen the A5 appeal and launched the coupe in the top-spec RS specification, the Cabriolet which we are testing here and the fastback as a more practical option in the A5 range.
Exteriors - The Audi A5 Cabriolet looks sharp and angular from the front. The headlights are pointed and they look pretty aggressive when lit up. The air dam and the grille are smartly styled too. There is also the bonnet that tapers down in a pronounced manner making the A5 Cabriolet feel smaller than what it actually is. There is chrome on the grill along with a subtle but noticeable strip on the bumper. The side profile is more square with a prominent shoulder line that extends all the way from the headlight to almost the tail light. There is also a crease between the wheels. Both elements make the car look athletic.
The A5 Cabriolet looks exquisite and stunning, especially in this metallic green colour with a contrasting roof
With the roof down, the car tends to look a bit boxy. A more rounded design would've helped. But we like that the A5 Cabriolet successfully creates a contrast to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet which has a swoopy design language. With the roof up, the A5 looks balanced and the red coloured roof which we had looked ace.
The rear has sharp lines on the tail light cluster which go in tandem with the rest of the design. The few cuts and creases make the rear look well-executed. To sum it up, the design of the A5 Cabriolet is smart looking but we would've liked to see a bit more distinction with other A5 siblings.
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.
Safety - Convertibles have come a long way in safety. The A5 Cabriolet gets 6 airbags and other electronics to keep you safe. You also get concealed roll bars that pop open when the car senses a rollover accident is prevalent. The A5, based on the A4 gets a 5-Star Euro NCAP safety rating. Don't even think of not buckling up in convertible as it can have dangerous consequences in case of an accident.
Verdict - There is little that goes against the Audi A5 Cabriolet. The diesel engine perhaps is a misfit in a car like this but the engine is really a good performer and promises decent economy. The dynamics are not the best but the A5 does the job of being a relaxed tourer very well. It provides great comfort, superb refinement, quality interiors, and that feel-good factor which has become so synonymous with Audi cars. At Rs. 87.89 lakhs, the A5 Cabriolet fits perfectly between the smaller A3 and the significantly more expensive sports cars like the Porsche 718. It is not an outright sports car but a cheaper, practical and effective alternative for the same. If you are like most convertible buyers, who prefer the top-down experience more than anything else and appreciate the luxury and practicality, the A5 Cabriolet is hard to miss.
* Gorgeous looks and instant attention magnet
* Luxurious interiors with insane attention to detail
* Good performance from the fuel-efficient diesel engine
* Comes with a 5-star safety rating
What's Not So Cool
* Interiors could have been more appealing
* 3.0-litre engine option would have been great
* Pricing feels on the higher side
Alternatives: - Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, BMW Z4
Audi A5 Cabriolet Specifications
* Engine: 1968cc, 4-Cyl, Diesel
* Power: 190 HP @ 3800-4200 RPM
* Torque: 400 Nm @ 1750-3000 RPM
* Transmission: 7-Speed AT
* Fuel Consumption: 12-16 km/l
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Tyre Size: 245/45/18 (Front & Rear)
* Suspension: Independent-Wheel Suspension (Front & Rear)
* Brakes: Disc (Front & Rear)
* Safety: 6 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, ESC
Audi A5 Cabriolet Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4673 mm X 1846 mm X 1383 mm
* Wheelbase: 2765 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 58-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1875 kgs
Further Reading -
Audi A5 Cabriolet
Audi A5 Cabriolet Review
The Audi A5 Cabriolet offers open top motoring with the generous fuel efficiency of a diesel engine. The 2.0-litre TDI unit is punchy but at this price point, a 3.0-litre engine would have been great. The A5 offers a very good balance of ride and handling. Though it might find very few takes, this car feels unique because of its soft top whereas most cars in this price range are sedans, coupes or SUVs.