New engine provides plenty of useful, efficient power, but there’s little reward for the driver

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.

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

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TegTypeR 23 September 2011

Re: Audi A5 3.0 TFSI cabriolet

Maxycat wrote:
Old Toad wrote:
Can someone help me here . Do Audi still make an A4 Convertable or is the A5 a rebadged A4

A4 Convertible ceased production when the A5 version came out.

I am surprised that SEAT didn't pick it up and convert it in to an Exeo drop top.

Not particuarly sporting, agreed, but as a cut price drop top it would make more sense than this awful car.

matsoc 23 September 2011

Re: Audi A5 3.0 TFSI cabriolet

I think the A5 looks aged very quickly. In the summer of 2009 it seemed a nice convertible there were many in Italy. Now it disappeared here...I don't think that this powerful engine will help...

speckyclay 22 September 2011

Re: Audi A5 3.0 TFSI cabriolet

Are there any real driver-focussed Audi's still on sale?

TT aside, all the reviews seem to say not.