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First Drive

Audi A5 Convertible

The story:
Audi has completed its new A5 line-up with the launch of the drop-top, the final part of the three-car range.
Category:E Sector (Executive Cars)
Key rival:BMW 4-series
Audi A5 Convertible
Price:£42,410
MPG:61.4mpg
Emissions:122g/km
On sale:Now

Following the Coupe at the back end of last year and the five-door Sportback early in 2017, the Cabriolet follows the formula of its siblings in offering an evolutionary, sharper design, and being lighter and more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

The company has also targeted ride and handling, with ride comfort in particular needing to be better, admits Audi.

The new Audi A5 Cabriolet is 47mm longer, which helps offer an extra 60 litres of boot space, taking it to 380, and although Audi claims the drop-top is a four-seater, you’ll just about get one adult in comfortably behind the passenger. The rear seats also split 40:20:40 for a little extra practicality.

The roof drops in 15 seconds and closes in 18, both at up to 31mph for the full convertible show-off effect. Audi even fits microphones in the driver and passenger seatbelts, so top-down Bluetooth conversations are possible.

Refinement with the roof up is very impressive, and the 190hp diesel is a great engine. It offers slightly better efficiency than its German rivals at 122g/km versus 124 from the BMW 4-Series and 126 from the Mercedes C-Class. The previous 190hp diesel auto was at 134g/km, so it’s a welcome advance.

Improvements to the ride quality are less convincing, although our car was fitted with optional 19-inch alloys that won’t have helped. A BMW 4-Series is also still more sporting to drive, although these cars are more about pose than performance. The S-Tronic gearbox does its thing with minimum fuss, and all the while the A5 drop-top looks great.

You need to want one financially though. Audi prices the A5 Coupe and Sportback at the same level, but the Convertible carries a £4335 premium over its siblings, as well as being two BIK bands higher in this 190hp auto guise. This model also carries a price rise of in excess of £3000 compared to the previous 2.0 TDI 190 S-Line Multitronic model, some of which can be allocated to the increased specification. It is in line with its premium rivals though.

The new A5 Cabriolet is sharper and smarter, a bit better to drive and, roof up, very refined. But it’s not the best handling car in its class, and, like all premium convertibles, it’s certainly not cheap.

Paul Barker   

 

 

The verdict

Great to look at and be seen in, but less so to pay for.