Audi A5 Cabriolet TDI
Drop-top looks great, but is it as good to drive?
Despite a thorough set of updates, the cabrio is our least favourite version of the new A5. While it looks great, the strong diesel engine and improved cabin can’t hide its other dynamic shortfalls, particularly the shaky suspension. The cabrio also carries a hefty price premium over the roomier, more refined A5 Sportback.
If you’re tempted by a new S5, but can’t afford the high fuel and insurance costs, this diesel-powered drop-top could be the perfect remedy.
Losing the roof is by far the easiest way to appreciate the revised looks, and the cabrio certainly has a desirability that its competitors struggle to match. It’s not quite as appealing with the black cloth roof in place, but if you go for the optional ‘acoustic’ roof, then buyers can choose between grey, red or brown-coloured fabric to suit their chosen body colour.
Propelled by Audi’s talented 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, it boasts 60Nm more torque than the S5 at 499Nm, which makes itself available from as low as 1,400rpm.
Power is delivered to all four wheels with petrol-like smoothness, and this engine is a must for anyone covering big mileages. It’s hushed and refined, so it’s easy to occasionally hit the rev limiter before realising you need to flick the paddles to change up.
It will also manage a combined 47.9mpg – not bad, considering it will match the S5’s limited 155mph top speed. Sadly, the rest of the driving package is less impressive. As with all A5s we’ve tried, the biggest issue is the stiff ride, which crashes over bumps in the road, yet there’s some wallow in bends, too. In the cabrio, the problem is made worse by the loss of rigidity from the roof, and none of the settings on the ‘Audi Drive Select’ adaptive dampers quite gets the balance right.
The weighty diesel engine and inert steering don’t help matters. They make for nose-heavy cornering, and wind noise is noticeably higher than the hard-top’s with the roof up.