Slide inside the A5 Cabriolet and you are surrounded by Audi’s industry leading interior that never ceases to impress. Our test car featured comfortable seats upholstered in rich brown leather, elegant wood trim, and soft surfaces all around. About the only major downside is the rear seating, which is quite cramped, to the point that most full-sized adults simply won’t fit. The rear seats do fold down to create additional cargo room and there is even a pass through to the trunk, which offers a decent amount of storage space for a convertible.
Like must luxury cars, the A5 features an array of electronic gadgets, all of which are controlled by Audi’s MMI controller. As we’ve noted in the past, this device is a bit awkward to use, primarily because the controls are located next to the shift lever and therefore out of eyesight when looking forward. After a few hours of driving you do get used to it, though, and at least the user interface is pretty good, especially when compared to some other manufacturers’ systems. The Navigation system is also quite good, with one of the best mapping graphics we’ve seen, and the Bluetooth connectivity also works well, easily pairing up with most cell phones. For rocking out with the top down, Audi turned to Bang and Olufsen to produce the A5’s sound system. Although more than capable of belting out some tunes at high volume, the sound quality of the system was a bit of a let down, especially given B & O’s reputation for high-end sound.
Although some other manufacturers have switched to retractable hardtops for their convertibles, Audi has decided to stick with cloth to save both weight and trunk space, as well as retain the more distinct look of a convertible. The fully automatic cloth top works great, opening and closing in just 15 seconds, even while moving at speeds up to 30 mph. For those worried about road noise, the A5 Cabrio is surprisingly quiet, especially with the top up, which is partially due to a thin layer of insulating foam that lines the cloth top. To top it off, should you get cold there is a head-level heating system that circulates heat at neck level through vents located at the top of the front seats.
On the outside, the A5 Cabriolet is a stunner and easily the best looking car in this segment. From Audi’s distinctive singleframe front grill, to the sleek lines accentuating the sides, it’s no surprise that the A5 has won several awards for automotive design. The A5 Cabrio is also available with Audi’s distinctive LED daytime running lights and LED taillights, which not only look striking, but also use less energy and last longer than conventional lights.
With a $42,000 base price that climbs very easily over $50,000 once you start adding options, the A5 Cabriolet is not cheap, especially compared with competitors like the new Lexus IS C. However, buyers looking for a stylish convertible probably won’t place price at the top of the list when it comes to decision-making criteria. Given its stunning design, luxurious interior, and capable handling and performance, we would agree with anyone who says that the A5 Cabriolet is worth the price of admission. Although most car nuts won’t give this drop top a second look, those few who do get behind the wheel will be quite surprised to find that this is one convertible that doesn’t just look good standing still, but actually has the moves to match.
|The official Audi of America website – www.audiusa.com|
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