Audi A5 Cabriolet - Interior & comfort
Quiet, roof up or down, with a high quality finish and lots of equipment
The Audi A5 and the A4 to which it’s closely related have always had an enviable reputation for providing a comfortable, high-quality interior, and this latest version does nothing to blot the A5’s copybook. We also found the ride to be smooth when 17-inch alloy wheels were fitted, while 19-inch wheels cause more bumps to be felt inside – especially around town.
The roof itself merits special mention – Audi has stuck with a traditional fabric roof, but it has three layers and internal sound insulation panels to reduce noise when it’s closed. It’s very quiet indeed with the roof up, as well as comfortably warm, although choosing large 19-inch wheels does increase road noise.
With the roof down, it’s still possible to hold a conversation up to motorway speeds, and with the wind deflector in place there’s impressively little noise from the rushing air. Raising the roof couldn’t be simpler, as there’s just one button to press (you don’t even have to hold it down) and the operation takes just 15 seconds. It can be opened or closed while the car is moving at up to 31mph.
Audi A5 Cabriolet dashboard
When it came to ensuring its latest A5 had a top-class interior, Audi had something of a head start. Since its launch, the middleweight convertible has had one of the highest quality, most crisply designed dashboards in the industry and the latest version simply builds on what’s gone before.
Our only criticism is that the fantastic Virtual Cockpit, which takes the place of traditional instruments with a full-colour, user-configurable information display, is so advanced that the console-mounted infotainment display nearby looks a bit old-fashioned in comparison.
It’s still a good system, though, with clear menus and intuitive controls, but we know that a totally redesigned system is likely to appear on the next generation of Audi A6, so it seems probable that a version will trickle down to the A5 at some point in the future.
The Cabriolet’s interior is broadly the same as that of the coupe, but adds few thoughtful touches, such as seatbelt-mounted Bluetooth microphones to prevent your voice being lost in the wind during phone calls. There’s also a neck-warmer that clearly takes its inspiration from the Mercedes ‘Airscarf’ system – although it only appears on the options list.
All A5 Convertible trim levels seem relatively generous, with leather upholstery standard across the board. Even entry-level SE buyers enjoy front and rear parking sensors and the safety of the city pre-sense autonomous braking system. A set of 17-inch alloy wheels are standard equipment.
Moving up to Sport adds navigation to the MMI infotainment system, as well as a three-month trial of Audi’s connected systems. Power-adjustable sports seats feature and an LED interior lighting package adds ambience when the sun is down and the roof is up.
The sportiest look is possessed by the S line, with standard 18-inch wheels plus LED front and rear lights with Audi’s distinctive scrolling LED indicators. Special S line styling flourishes are dotted about inside and out, along with the S insignia embossed into the leather and Alcantara seat upholstery. Lowered, stiffened suspension ensures that S line models have the responses to match their more aggressive looks, although a softer, more ride-friendly ‘comfort dynamic’ setup is a no-cost option.
The convertible roof can be chosen in red, black, dark grey and brown, with options depending on the colour of the car to avoid unfortunate colour clashes. The convertible is available in a unique metallic white, which the A5 coupe is denied.
A key option available on all models is Audi’s Adaptive Comfort Suspension. This works in conjunction with Drive Select. The latter is fitted as standard to all models, offering you a choice of settings to determine throttle response and steering assistance to give either a sporty or relaxing feel – or somewhere in between. Adaptive comfort suspension adds another layer of adjustment, enabling you to better tailor the drive to match your mood.
A head-up display costs £900, while a reversing camera is £450 across the range. Alternatively, there’s the Parking Assistance Pack, which for £900 brings a 360-degree ‘bird’s eye view’ camera and self-parking for parallel and bay spaces. If you drive on the motorway, the Driver Assistance Pack could be helpful thanks to adaptive cruise control (which can drive the car in stop and go traffic below 40mph), autonomous emergency braking for speeds up to 155mph, traffic-sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance.