2010 Audi A5 Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

8.6
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
9.0
Expert Rating
Performance
8.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
8.0
Expert Rating
Safety
9.0
Expert Rating
Features
9.0
Expert Rating
Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
October 30, 2009

The 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet has a stunning shape and a luxurious touch that run counter to the typical two-doors from Germany.

TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet to bring you this firsthand driving report. Editors also relied on driving experience with competitive vehicles to compare the Audi coupe and convertible with similar cars. The companion full review includes opinions from a range of sources, collected by editors to bring you the most conclusive view of the A5/Cabriolet on the Web.

High Gear Media obtained a press vehicle from the manufacturer for this review.

The 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet is the latest two-door coupe and convertible offering from the German automaker. It uses some of the same systems and components as the latest Audi A4 sedan. For the new model year, the A5 range adds the Cabriolet model and a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine in either body style. (High Gear Media reviews the high-performance 2010 Audi S5/Cabriolet separately.) The base Audi A5 coupe now starts at $36,825, while the most expensive A5 Cabriolet V-6 checks in at $44,925, including destination charges. The competition for the A5 hardtop and convertible encompasses the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Cabriolet, the BMW 3-Series/335i Coupe and Convertible, and the Infiniti G37 Coupe/Convertible.

More of a grand tourer than a sports car, the 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet is based on what the head of VW/Audi design calls his "most beautiful car" ever. He's probably right; the A5 has a toned, lean look and a delightfully elegant presence that plays surfaces against curved and clipped lines expertly. The face is expressive, and the equally distinctive tail gives it an almost Camaro-like stance from the rear. Quintessential Audi touches include the LED daytime running lights and, new for this year, LED taillights on most versions. The A5's cockpit is equal to the sheetmetal's high design standard. Inside, the 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet feels lavish and luxurious, with high-grade materials and plenty of attention to small details like the finely graded instruments and the light grace notes of metallic trim on switches and buttons.

Review continues below

Depending on the body style, the Audi A5/Cabriolet range can be had with a choice of engines, transmissions, and drivetrains. The base Coupe is now a turbo four with all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is offered. The base Cabriolet is a front-driver with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Add all-wheel drive to the four-cylinder Cabriolet and it gets a conventional six-speed automatic. All of these versions sport a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that lags a bit in delivering its power when coupled to the CVT. The engine actually works very well with the automatic, executing quick, decisive downshifts; it's the clear preference with the smaller engine. The larger engine is a 265-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6 that moves the A5 with authority. It doesn't feel particularly responsive, but it's very quick and unruffled as it pushes the A5 to 60 mph in about six seconds. It's offered only with all-wheel drive and the six-speed automatic.

Hushed, capable engine performance pairs with ride and handling tuned more for ride serenity than taut feel. The A5's steering is light and accurate, though a little slow and without much feedback. The composed ride absorbs most bumps easily, but tackles corners with less enthusiasm. The A5 is very quiet and well isolated from road noise, but with a secure sensation on the highway, and the brakes are powerful. The S-line package promises stiffer suspension settings and better handling, and an optional Drive Select package allows the driver to tune the suspension, steering, and throttle response. TheCarConnection.com's test car had the base suspension and four-cylinder/CVT combination and felt nimble enough for most casual drivers.

Comfort and quality are the Audi's forte, though utility's pinched in Cabriolet versions by the top mechanism, and both coupe and convertible suffer from a small backseat. The Audi A5's front seats are amply snug-and among the best of any coupe its size, with good support and firm, comfortable padding. There's not much headroom for long-torso types, though. The rear seats are simply too small and difficult to get into, and once nestled in them, adults will find almost no legroom and not much more headroom under the hard or soft roof. The Cabriolet is a bit narrower across the back because of the hinges of its folding top. The A5's high shoulders give it a good-sized trunk, though, and the rear seat folds down for plenty of pass-through space. Audi's reputation for high-quality interiors is affirmed in the A5. Surfaces have a low-gloss luster, and the cockpit shows the company's mastery of mixing plastic, leather, and wood in the right proportions.

Neither safety agency has crash-tested the A5/Cabriolet, but it has a comprehensive approach to safety. The coupe sports eight standard airbags, as well as traction and stability control; the Cabriolet lacks the curtain airbags, but comes with larger seat-mounted side airbags and pop-up bars that activate in the event of a rollover. A lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot warning system, radar-based cruise control, adaptive headlamps, and rear parking sensors are optional.

Other standard convenience features on the A5/Cabriolet include three-zone automatic climate control; an intelligent key system; and a 10-speaker sound system with MP3 player inputs. Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) has been updated for the new model year and controls navigation and Sirius Satellite Radio with more understandable logic and fewer spins of the console-mounted click-wheel controller. Among the A5's options are a fantastic 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system; a navigation system with voice control; a panoramic sunroof on Coupe models; and on the Cabriolet, head-level heating built into the seat for driving top-down on cooler days. As for the Cabriolet top itself, it's triple-lined and power-operated, and it cycles up or down in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph-so there's no excuse for leaving it up, even at stoplights.

9

2010 Audi A5

Styling

The 2010 Audi A5 / Cabriolet is a high-water mark for the brand's styling, with expressive sheetmetal and a luxuriously functional cabin.

The 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet is the latest two-door coupe and convertible offering from the German automaker. It uses some of the same systems and components as the latest Audi A4 sedan. For the new model year, the A5 range adds the Cabriolet model and a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine in either body style. (High Gear Media reviews the high-performance 2010 Audi S5/Cabriolet separately.) The base Audi A5 coupe now starts at $36,825, while the most expensive A5 Cabriolet V-6 checks in at $44,925, including destination charges. The competition for the A5 hardtop and convertible encompasses the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Cabriolet, the BMW 3-Series/335i Coupe and Convertible, and the Infiniti G37 Coupe/Convertible.

More of a grand tourer than a sports car, the 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet is based on what the head of VW/Audi design calls his "most beautiful car" ever. He's probably right; the A5 has a toned, lean look and a delightfully elegant presence that plays surfaces against curved and clipped lines expertly. The face is expressive, and the equally distinctive tail gives it an almost Camaro-like stance from the rear. Quintessential Audi touches include the LED daytime running lights and, new for this year, LED taillights on most versions.

Audi's A5 coupe and convertible earn some of the most favorable styling reviews from TheCarConnection.com and around the Web. Automobile calls it a "Design of the Year," while Jalopnik thinks the hardtop is "simply smashing." The A5's "proportions will please the dandy, sate the sports-car enthusiast, and offend no one," Car and Driver believes, while Edmunds deems it "curvaceous yet muscular." It's no different for the Cabriolet, despite the missing roofline; as Edmunds observes, "There are certain convertibles in which the sun seems to shine a little brighter," and it names the A5 as that convertible. Car and Driver says "there are absolutely no surprises when it comes to the cab's styling: it looks exactly how an A5 sans roof should look," as it admires how "the coupe's beautiful body lines remain pretty much unfettered." Automobile raves,
"as gorgeous as the A5 looks in hardtop form, it looks even better as a convertible," while Motor Trend simply notes the new "Cabriolets offer handsome styling, whether the top's up or down."

The A5's cockpit is equal to the sheetmetal's high design standard. Inside, the 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet feels lavish and luxurious, with high-grade materials and plenty of attention to small details like the finely graded instruments and the light grace notes of metallic trim on switches and buttons. ConsumerGuide says the interior is "more sporty than luxurious," while Cars.com points out "the A5 has an extensive range of materials to choose from, including two-tone leather/Alcantara seats and aluminum, wood or piano-black dashboard trim." Automobile is of the mind that, "When you open the door [you] find one of the best interiors offered today, for any car at any price." They add, the A5 "a classy driving environment-functional and comfortable, cool but not overstyled."

8

2010 Audi A5

Performance

The 2010 Audi A5 / Cabriolet has a lighter touch to handling and performance than other German coupes; you may want for something a little sharper.

Depending on the body style, the Audi A5/Cabriolet range can be had with a choice of engines, transmissions, and drivetrains. As a result, Edmunds says, it "takes on a different personality depending on engine choice."

The base Audi A5 Coupe is now a turbo four with all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is offered. The base A5 Cabriolet is a front-driver with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Add all-wheel drive to the four-cylinder Cabriolet and it gets a conventional six-speed automatic. All of these versions sport a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that lags a bit in delivering its power when coupled to the CVT, which TheCarConnection.com recommends you skip. The engine actually works very well with the automatic, executing quick, decisive downshifts; it's the clear preference with the smaller engine. With this powertrain, Car and Driver notes, "Audi claims that 0 to 60 will take just under seven seconds (we recently hustled the A5 coupe to 60 in 5.9, so that number may be a touch pessimistic)." They add, "all A5 Cabrios are limited to a top speed of 130 mph."

The larger engine is a 265-horsepower, 3.2-liter V-6, and it moves the A5 with authority. It doesn't feel particularly responsive, but it's very quick and unruffled as it pushes the A5 to 60 mph in about 6 seconds. It's offered only with all-wheel drive and the six-speed automatic. Edmunds says "the spirited V-6 provides likewise eager response," though elsewhere, they call it "a pretty relaxed piece of work," well-suited to the Cabriolet. In this configuration, the Washington Post applauds the Audi's "silky six-speed automatic transmission" that adds paddle shifting when teamed with the optional S-line package. Comparing the two powertrains, Motor Trend picks the turbo four with all-wheel drive as the "ultimate all-around option."

The 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet can be expected to get reasonable fuel economy. It's certainly no fuel miser, but neither is it a guzzler. EPA estimates rate the automatic-equipped 2009 A5 at 17 mpg city, 26 highway. Premium fuel is required by Audi.

Hushed, capable engine performance pairs well with the A5's ride and handling. They're tuned more for serenity than taut feel. Steering is light and accurate, though a little slow and without much feedback. The composed ride absorbs most bumps easily, but tackles corners with less enthusiasm. TheCarConnection.com's test car had the base suspension and four-cylinder/CVT combination and still felt nimble enough for most casual drivers. Edmunds approves of the A5's "more relaxed gait," too, noting, "It's less eager to turn in than the coupe and it responds best to smooth, laid back inputs." ConsumerGuide reports, "Steering feel is responsive at higher speeds, but some testers complain that it's too light at low speeds." An S-line option package promises stiffer suspension settings and better handling, and the optional Drive Select feature allows the driver to tune the suspension, steering, and throttle response, which meets with mixed reviews in the 2010 Audi A4 also driven and studied by TheCarConnection.com. Braking is sure-footed and confidence-inspiring, according to various opinions researched for this review.

8

2010 Audi A5

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Audi A5 / Cabriolet skimps a little on rear-seat room, but lavishes passengers with great front seats, a roomy trunk, and top-drawer finishes.

Reviewers at TheCarConnection.com and around the Web agree on the A5's excellent build quality and front-seat comfort. They're the 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet's forte-while utility gets pinched in Cabriolet versions by the folding top, and in both coupe and convertible by a small backseat.

The Audi A5's front seats are amply snug-and among the best of any coupe its size, with good support and firm, comfortable padding. Motor Trend says the "sport seats...embrace occupants [like] Dr. Heimlich." Edmunds notes the "seats offer all-day touring comfort and good support," though TheCarConnection.com observes that headroom is tight for adults who carry their height in the torso. The S-line brings leather/perforated Alcantara seats with an embossed S logo and silver stitching. ConsumerGuide, however, feels it is "difficult to find a comfortable driving position" behind the wheel due to a high beltline and high windows. The rear seats in the coupe are small and can be difficult to get into, and once nestled in them, adults will find almost no legroom and not much more headroom under the hard or soft roof. The Cabriolet is a bit narrower across the back because of the hinges of its folding top. Edmunds and other sources find the A5's backseats a bit tight. "This remains a four-passenger car," they remark of the Cabriolet, "as the convertible top's mechanism restricts shoulder room in the rear seat too much to permit three-across seating." The room is improved over the former A4 Cabriolet, they add. Car and Driver disagrees with most, calling the rear seats "comparatively spacious."

The A5's high shoulders give it a good-sized trunk, though, and the rear seat folds down for plenty of pass-through space. In the Cabriolet, "the trunk remains large and usable at 11.3 cubic feet," Car and Driver says, "and 50/50 split-folding rear seats help maintain some practicality." With the Coupe, "the trunk offers 16.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity (large for a sedan, let alone a coupe)," Edmunds reports, "and the rear seat flips down to accommodate more, if need be." A ski bag is standard.

The A5 affirms Audi's reputation for high-quality interiors. Surfaces have a low-gloss luster, and the cockpit shows the company's mastery of mixing plastic, leather, and wood in the right proportions. Automobile says it's "virtually impossible not to be impressed by this cockpit," while Edmunds asserts "typically Audi, the A5's cabin impresses with finely stitched leather, impeccable fit and finish and real wood trim (aluminum with the S-line package)."

Reviewers do note some points against the Audi in structural rigidity, but praise it for low road noise. It "doesn't feel as bad as some convertibles," Edmunds comments, "but you still sense tremors in the steering column and through the seat that would simply go unnoticed in the A5 coupe." Motor Trend observes that the convertible top "features a glass rear window" and says, "we were impressed with the Cabs' coupelike quietness."

9

2010 Audi A5

Safety

The 2010 Audi A5 / Cabriolet hasn't been crash-tested, but earns a high safety score based on equipment and commonality with the highly rated Audi A4 sedan.

Neither NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) nor the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has crash-tested the 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet. However, the new Audi A4 has a similar body structure and receives top ratings in crash tests from NHTSA and the IIHS; TheCarConnection.com's editors award its safety score based on the shared mechanicals and will revisit the score when more data is available.

The 2010 Audi A5 and Cabriolet get some differentiated safety systems for their unique missions. The coupe sports eight standard airbags, as well as traction and stability control; the Cabriolet lacks curtain airbags, but comes with larger seat-mounted side airbags and pop-up bars that activate in the event of a rollover. The stability and traction control help keep the A5 in line, but according to Kelley Blue Book, either feature "can be switched off" for more sporting drives.

A lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot warning system, radar-based cruise control, adaptive headlamps, and rear parking sensors are options on the A5 lineup.

As for visibility, it's "surprisingly good in all directions" in the A5 Coupe, notes ConsumerGuide. The optional rearview camera and reverse parking sensors mitigate any difficulties drivers may have with the A5 Coupe's somewhat thick roof pillars and small rear windshield.

9

2010 Audi A5

Features

Audi's latest A5 Coupe and Cabriolet delight convertible fans with a great top, tailored heating, and cool seating, and it blows away reviewers with high-end Bang & Olufsen audio.

The 2010 Audi A5/Cabriolet is outfitted rather lavishly, as a luxury convertible ought to be-and optional audio and entertainment features make it one of the most advanced two-doors rolling down the Interstate.

Standard convenience features on the A5/Cabriolet include three-zone automatic climate control; an intelligent key system; and a 10-speaker sound system with MP3 player inputs. Among the A5's options are a fantastic 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and a navigation system with voice control. There's an available panoramic sunroof for Coupe models; the Cabriolet offers up head-level heating built into the seat for driving top-down on cooler days, "a la Mercedes-Benz's Airscarf system," Car and Driver says; it also details the "leather upholstery treated to reduce solar heating and prevent the searing of one's buns on a hot summer day."

As Automobile points out, "While competitors (we're looking at you, 3-series) have moved to heavy retractable hardtops, Audi's stuck with a traditional cloth top." The top itself is triple-lined and power-operated, and it cycles up or down in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph-so there's no excuse for leaving it up, even at stoplights. "Trendy buyers may scoff at Audi's decision not to cap the cabs with a rigid roof," Car and Driver observes, "but Audi makes a strong case, citing the soft top's speedy operation (top-down/top-up times are just 15 and 17 seconds, respectively), thick acoustic padding, and low weight"-not to mention "the whole matter of the expense, complication and weight of a metal hardtop," Edmunds chimes in. They applaud the top's operation, the "four different exterior colors and three different headliner colors" offered, and the fact that it "steals only 2.1 cubic feet away from the A5 cabriolet's 13.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity when it's retracted into the trunk."

Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) has been updated for the new model year and controls navigation and Sirius Satellite Radio with more understandable logic and fewer spins of the console-mounted click-wheel controller. "Unlike its German rivals," Edmunds says, "Audi's controller is mostly intuitive and easy to use once you clear the still-steep learning curve." Cars.com finds that MMI remains a hurdle for new owners: "Thanks to more than a dozen shortcut buttons surrounding the knob, it's easier to use than BMW's similar iDrive, but uninitiated drivers may find it confusing."

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

2 Reviews
5 star
50%
4 star
50%
3 star
2 star
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
March 9, 2016
2010 Audi A5 2-Door Cabriolet CVT FrontTrak Premium Plus

This is a great all around driving car; both in-town and on the road.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I have been quite pleased with this automobile. I hold on to the cars I like and have keep this one for more than 6 years and plan to go at least 4 more. My goal is to keep a good car 10 years. 2 of my last 5... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 17, 2015
For 2010 Audi A5

The A5 is a very good looking car that combines good performance great fuel economy and superb interior finish

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
The 2.0l Turbo is very good on fuel easy to get 30+ mpg The interior is really nice and the MMI works very logically Trunk space is very good Rear seats are for short adults/occasional use but better than a TT + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Looking for a different year of the Audi A5?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used