Audi A5 Cabriolet convertible (2009-2017) - Engines, drive & performance
The Audi A5 Cabriolet is easy to drive, but not as much fun as a BMW 4 Series
The Audi A5 Cabriolet is very easy to drive, with positive, responsive controls that make most trips very straightforward. The steering is light and Audi offers its Drive Select system as an option, which allows you to alter the steering and comfort settings to your preference.
However, as good as this idea is, none of the modes offered – including a new efficiency setting –offers quite the right balance between the weight of the controls and ride comfort, which is in many ways is more frustrating than not having it at all.
A lot of people will find the ride uncomfortably firm on the top-spec S line model, especially if the car comes with larger alloy wheels.
The A5 does have a reassuring amount of grip when cornering, particularly if you choose quattro four-wheel drive, but the light steering is also slightly vague and it's hard to get a feel for what the front wheels are doing. This lack of sharpness means it’s best to think of the A5 as a comfortable cruiser rather than an out-and-out sports car.
Audi A5 Cabriolet diesel engines
Only the 148bhp version of the 2.0-litre diesel could be called sluggish, as it’s the only model in the A5 Cabriolet line-up that posts a 0-62mph time of more than 10 seconds. The 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel feels much punchier and can do 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds (or 7.3 with an automatic gearbox). The powerful 3.0-litre TDI is the quickest in the range, doing the same sprint in 6.3 seconds.
Both petrol engines are punchy performers, with the 175bhp 1.8-litre petrol model capable of 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds. The quickest version of the 227bhp 2.0-litre petrol model can get to 62mph from a standstill in 7.4 seconds.
The range of engines available in the A5 means straight-line speed is good in virtually every model, but when you pay a lot of money for a premium car, you’re entitled to expect high standards across the board. As a result, it’s particularly disappointing to find that the Audi A5 Cabriolet suffers from excessive vibration that you really feel through the seats and steering wheel when driving on poorly surfaced roads.
The phenomenon is especially noticeable when you compare the A5 to the BMW 4 Series convertible. Sadly, we’re not just talking about the usual minor juddering that you naturally get on bumpy roads, either – the A5 can be uncomfortable on all but the smoothest roads.