From £24,780
Good looks, cabin and engine - but the ride is a worry
22 May 2009

What is it?

The A4 Cabriolet was a roaring success for Audi UK, proving that, for a certain type of buyer, the combination of an Audi badge and a handsome-looking convertible is difficult to resist.

Now the pressure is very much on for Audi to create a credible replacement, which is this, the A5 Cabriolet. While the A5 and A4 are based on the same platform, the A4 name covers the saloon and estate, the A5 the coupe and cabriolet.

What's it like?

Predictably enough the A5 Cabriolet looks the part roof up or down and the interior is an inviting place to sit. Like the A4, RHD A5s suffer from an offset pedal position, but in the case off the seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox this is less of an issue.

The mechanics of the electrically folding fabric roof squeeze the rear accommodation, but there is room enough for two adults as long as the front passengers aren’t especially tall.

Roof down, windows up, there is an acceptable level of wind buffeting, which can be reduced with a wind deflector (not available on standard trim). Roof up the A5 Cabriolet is impressively refined, especially so with the acoustic roof fitted (standard on S Line, optional elsewhere).

The 3.0TDI is a known quantity, and its relaxed but brisk delivery suits the A5 cab, as does the dual-clutch gearbox.

So far, so good, but then along comes a bump and the picture gets a lot less rosy. Our particular A5 cab came with sport suspension and 19-inch wheels, which did it no favours, resulting in a firm ride and revealing a fair degree of body flex.

Should I buy one?

That ride and body flex is a worry. We're keen to try an A5 in standard specification - and you should be too. No doubt the A5 Cab will sell well even on big wheels, but don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Jamie Corstorphine


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22 May 2009

It's from a 'premium' marque and it looks good. For many those are all the reasons needed to buy this car, flex or no flex and regardless if it's any good or not.

22 May 2009

Unless you're buying the S5 version, I'd doubt that typical owners would push this car that hard - very much a cruiser rather than a sports car, and a bit of chassis flex wont stop it selling in decent numbers.

22 May 2009

What effect does a very stiff ride have on the longevity of the car itself? Surely if all of the components are constantly subjected to sharp jolts they will slowly work loose and you risk early failures. I appreciate that new cars are generally very well put together, but sending stress through the whole car rather than absorbing it in the suspension can't be good. Any mechanics out there???


22 May 2009

Aaaaargh look at those pedals... they're nearly in the car next door.

Does anyone from Autocar have a position from Audi on this ergonomic shambles? Do they understand the extent to which it compromises an otherwise very appealing package? This isn't like a slightly annoying heater knob or dodgy satnav - being able to sit comfortably in a car is absolutely fundamental to its ability to fulfil its purpose. Do they have a plan to fix it, or are we just so irrelevant in RHD markets that they don't care? God knows how much it cost to develop rubbish like self-parking (who the hell wants/needs that?!) - very strange priorities for investment, Audi.

Okay so with the auto you don't have the clutch pedal to deal with, but still there's no room for your left leg to get comfortable on long journeys with the tunnel in the way. It's really not good enough, and it alone is the reason I will never own a current generation A4/5, which otherwise I like very much.


Edited to clarify - the *** word up there is the thing you might have on a door in your house if you don't have a handle. Good Lord.....!

22 May 2009

Looks great, lets see the new E-class convertible now :-)

BMW is really losing out with their naff designs...

22 May 2009

Stop excusing it!

Rubbish dynamics are rubbish dynamics. Saying it 'will sell in big numbers anyway' is a poor reason to buy something.

Jeez, if this was a BMW thread then everyone would be savaging it.

How very odd...

22 May 2009

Why are the prestige German manufacturers always kitting their models out with large alloys and sports suspension - its as if youre getting second best if you dont specify your car that way....

22 May 2009

[quote corky73]

Stop excusing it!

Rubbish dynamics are rubbish dynamics. Saying it 'will sell in big numbers anyway' is a poor reason to buy something.

Jeez, if this was a BMW thread then everyone would be savaging it.

How very odd...


Yes - prettiness excuses many things lol- and to be honest , how most of these vehicles will be used- their owners wont probably notice- most will be automatic, driven by well to do folk of a certain age who dont drive fast and pamper their cars with frequent servicing-these pics dont do the car justice, it is very, very pretty and it will get most people to the shopping centre, hairdressers in style- if thats all some pople want and need from a car.Though really they should have made some effort with the dynamics.

23 May 2009

As a Cabriolet the A5 looks just like the............. A4 Cabriolet!

25 May 2009

BMW might drive better than the Audi, but who's gonna buy one?

1) Some one who needs to go to spec-savers

2) Racing drivers

I don't need glasses and I'm not a racing driver, so the Audi will suit me fine :-)


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