Cabriolet Review: There’s nothing quite
like dropping a convertible top and cruising around on a sunny day, or a
warm summer evening, with the muted hum of the engine in your ears and
the sights and smells of the world at close range. The new A5 Cabriolet
takes over for the A4 as the compact four-passenger convertible for the
One weekday I took two
colleagues with me on a jaunt to a beachside burger joint for lunch. My
6-foot-2 buddy, Doug, fit in back surprisingly well and the muted wind
noise made conversation possible. It was nearly 70 degrees out, but if
it had been cooler, in the front seats we could have used the neck-level
The A5 features a
traditional cloth top, and Audi claims that its three-layer Acoustic
Roof Technology keeps the sound levels down close to that of a coupe.
During freeway commuting I don’t remember hearing trucks rumbling beside
me as I often do when testing lesser cars and I was surprised to see
reading lamps mounted in the headliner.
The top drops in a mere
15 seconds, and not only weighs less than a folding hardtop, but allows
for a decent 10.2 cubic feet of trunk space. As the top folds, a metal
cover behind it raises first, so when the top is stashed, it essentially
disappears, so no boot required. You can drop the top at up to 30 miles
per hour and for safety’s sake, active rollover protection swings into
action automatically if needed.
The A5 Cabriolet comes
with front-wheel drive (FrontTrak) or with Audi’s legendary Quattro
all-wheel-drive system. My Deep Sea Blue Pearl Effect test car had the
latter. It normally sends 60 percent of the torque to the rear wheels
and 40 percent to the fronts, but transfers traction virtually
instantaneously when any tire slippage occurs.
Audis are luxury
vehicles, so every model is pretty well loaded. Choose from three
levels, Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. My tester was the Prestige
model, which for $8,300 added 14 fine features. These ranged from a
wheel and tire upgrade to a glorious Bang & Olufsen 505-watt audio
system, to driver seat and mirror memory storage, to a full-feature
navigation system. Audi is playing with lighting designs, so the LED
taillights and running lights up front give a unique string-of-beads
My tester came with
Audi’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, good for 211 horsepower running
through a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. In this two-ton
convertible it gives plenty of energy while consuming a reasonable
gallon of premium fuel for every 20 miles in town and 26 on the highway.
My tester averaged 21.5 mpg over 1,922 easy miles, including previous
journalists’ possibly lead footed driving. The EPA’s Green Vehicle
numbers are a laudable 7 for Air Pollution and 6 for Greenhouse Gas.
That latter number moves up to a 7 with the FrontTrak model.
My tester featured the
Audi Drive Select System for $2,950. Thanks to electronic control of
practically everything in the car but the glove box door, it allows you
to alter the throttle, transmission shift points, steering feel and
shock settings to suit your taste. You can choose between Comfort,
Dynamic, and Automatic modes. I didn’t play with it much, but it means
that with the family I can cruise pleasantly but when I’m alone on a
back road I can “tighten it up” to my heart’s content (no reference to
Archie Bell and the Drells intended).
My car featured the
Driver Assist package for $900, which included Audi Side Assist, which
warns you visually when another vehicle is occupying the blind spot on
either side. Also, the 19-inch Sport Package for $1,450 moved the
already upgraded 18-inch wheels to 19-inchers that resembled food
processor blades, brought front “sport seats” with lumbar support, a
sport suspension and shift paddles for the automatic.
Oh, and let’s not
forget the Comfort package for another $2,400. It further upgraded the
seats with ventilation and heating, covering them in “Cinnamon Brown”
Milano leather. And lastly, there were Dark Walnut wood inlays on the
dash and doors for an additional $400.
All these occasionally
overlapping extras managed to push the price of my car from a base price
of $44,100 to a total MSRP price of $61,800, including the $825
destination charge. That felt a little overwhelming, but the long list
of features gave a detailed accounting of all the benefits you will
receive for the extra $17,000.
Audis are always
a joy to drive and live with, but for Sixty Grand one might be tempted
to take a look at the Audi S5 Cabriolet, which starting at $58,250,
comes with many standard goodies, including the 4.2-liter V8 engine.
By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San
The Audi A5
Cabriolet Review is provided by: Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net. “Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer,
editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a
question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
www.autowire.net - And remember: “ You Are What You Drive ”
Audi Home Page
Column Name: Audis are
always a joy to drive and live with
Topic: The 2010 Audi A5
Word Count: 911
Photo Caption: The
2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet
Photo Credits: Audi A5
Series #: 2010 - 19
the Microsoft Word version here:
2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet
Download the Original Image File here:
2010 Audi A5 Cabriolet