From £24,780
New engine provides plenty of useful, efficient power, but there’s little reward for the driver
12 September 2011

What is it?

Audi’s A5 cabriolet has had a mid-life refresh along with its metal-topped cousins, and while the cosmetic nip and tuck requires an educated eye to identify, under the folding cloth top the developments are altogether more fundamental.

With Audi’s latest 3.0 TDI engine joining the range, the case for big petrol power is diminished, so out goes the old 3.2-litre naturally aspirated V6 and in comes a newly detuned version of the supercharged 3.0-litre V6, best known for its appearance in various Audi ‘S’ models.

In this form it develops 268bhp.Hooked up to a standard seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, it promises strong performance and, thanks to automatic stop-start and other eco-optimisation, improved fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures.

What's it like?

It’s an effective if charmless engine, with a broad spread of torque that overcomes the cabriolet’s near-two-tonne kerb weight.

Unfortunately, some minor revisions to the suspension and the latest version of the quattro centre differential are not enough to improve the A5’s dynamics. It’s easily distracted by undulations and changes in surface, while at the same time struggling over smaller bumps, and a switch to electromechanical steering has made the steering even more remote than before.

Worse still, the bodyshell lacks rigidity, quivering when challenged by repeated ridges in the road surface.

Should I buy one?

Despite Audi’s repeated claims of sportiness, this is a resolutely unsporting machine. It’s an urban boulevardier, a fashionable, sun worshipper’s four-seater, exuding brand equity. Granted, the 3.0 TFSI makes it a bit more lively than the torquey but dim-witted 3.0 TDI, although the refinement and velvety punch of the latter appeals.

Inside the quality cabin, there’s a new steering wheel and the latest design treatments from the A8 and the A6, including a new range of trims and colours. There’s also the latest version of the MMI controller with online capability, plus a suite of driver-assist functions, but adults will only want to sit in the rear with the slickly operating roof lowered. Apt, as this is a better car to be seen in than it is to drive.


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Audi A5 3.0 TFSI cabriolet

Price: £44,000 (est); Top speed: 155mph (ltd); 0-62mph: 6.3sec; Economy: 33.2mpg (combined); CO2: 199g/km; Kerb weight: na; Engine type, installation: V6, 2995cc, supercharged, petrol; Power: 268bhp; Torque: na; Gearbox: 7-spd dual-clutch auto

Join the debate


21 September 2011

so, to sum up, it's a quivering charmless car that is better to look at than drive. Well done audi - it'll sell by the bucket load!!!!!!!!!

21 September 2011

I'm not keen on the new face, reminds me a little of the new 1 Series, though not that bad. The old one looked better.

21 September 2011

If only they would connect the steering wheel?

21 September 2011

These Audi's make a good purchase if you buy a 4 cylinder 2 wheel drive version for around £30k not if you spend £45k on this. Great for cruising in with very good residuals, but buy expecting a sports car and be disappointed.

21 September 2011

They have made this car even blander which i didnt think was possible.Audi know how to move metal so it wont be a problem sales wise

21 September 2011

[quote Peter Cavellini] If only they would connect the steering wheel?[/quote]

Well put PC!! Sums up Audi perfectly.

21 September 2011

"Granted, the 3.0 TFSI makes it a bit more lively than the torquey but dim-witted 3.0 TDI, although the refinement and velvety punch of the latter appeals"

So the 3.0TDI is refined and has a velvety punch but is dim witted. What exactly am I to make of this statement, does the TDI need more computing power or has the author run out of decent grammar

21 September 2011

Almost every other review says the steering has much improved feel. I'm inclined to trust Autocar though as every modern Audi I've driven has very light steering.

22 September 2011

Can someone help me here . Do Audi still make an A4 Convertable or is the A5 a rebadged A4 . If it isnt Im struggling to see where it is different from an A4 .

I really dont get all Audis looking so similar .

22 September 2011

I am also struggling to understand what is meant by "dim-witted". Wish the writer would just describe what he or she is talking about rather than try to get all artistic and cutesy about it. It's a natural for Pseuds' Corner in Private Eye.


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