Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TDi S Line 21 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    A5 Cabrio confirms when it comes to driving with your top off, Audi's tough to beat


    The A5 cabriolet is the latest version of the soft-top Audi, which has been around with great success since 199Audi gets its top offA1. It started with a version based on the Audi Coupe and it’s always been seen in the right places and driven by the right people – Princess Diana was regularly snapped getting in or out of hers.

    The A4 cabriolet, as it was then known was a popular choice of the yummy mummies outside the school gates and so it has continued. Like the A4, the current version features a lightweight fabric soft-top with a heated rear glass window rather than the trend towards a folding metal roof. It goes up and down in just 17-seconds and can do it at speeds up to 31mph, so if you’re caught in a sudden downpour you don’t have to stop. It’s bigger than the A4 with a wider stance and looks the business, particularly in the bright Misano red of the test car.  

    I like the automatic offering of the seatbelt over your right shoulder

    On the road

    The two-litre diesel engine in the test car was very economical, with almost 50 miles from every tankful, but it felt a little sluggish when more was demanded from it. The six-speed gearbox is very useful and the wider track gives it a very solid and secure feel on the road. The weather was appalling while I had the car, so the roof stayed up most of the time and even though the S-Line version had an acoustic hood, a lot of road noise still penetrated.

    On the rare occasion I did get the roof down, it provided an exhilarating drive without much buffeting and there’s nothing to beat the smells and sounds of the countryside that come with a topless experience. The £345 option of neck-level heating built into the tops of the seatbacks, which was fitted to the test car, was very welcome in the chilly air of a Scottish February.    

    Comfort & Safety

    Like every other current Audi, the interior layout is first class. The leather seats are superb and the little touches like the automatic offering of the seatbelt over your right shoulder, is good and necessary because of the length of the door and therefore the far reach to the seat belt cradle. The dashboard and instruments are all very clear and easily operated, and the central display with all the combined systems is straightforward and simple to use.

    The only little niggle, which I’ve also found in the latest Audis, is with the ignition key. It is only a fob which has to be inserted into a slot to fire up the engine, but unless your foot is absolutely to the floor on the clutch, nothing happens. The test car was also fitted with start/stop technology which I find deeply irritating and most often I disengaged it, but it still went back to the default mode and cut the engine every time I stopped for a matter of seconds at the lights. It’s designed to save fuel – I remain to be convinced of the actual savings and it’s more of a token gesture towards the greens.  

    Should I buy one?

    If you’ve got the cash it’s a lovely car and you’ll have great fun, but I think I’d go for the extra power of the 3.2 litre petrol.

    Alan Douglas 

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £35,270 / £37,110
    Engine / Power: 1998cc / 170PS
    How fast?: 0-60 mph 8.3secs, Max 140mph
    How big/heavy?: H1383mm W1854mm L4625mm / 1660kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 49.6mpg / CO2 148g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 30 / Band F
    Alternatives: Volvo C70; VW Eos; BMW 6 Series; Mercedes CLK

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