- A true four-seat convertible
- Handsome, sculpted body
- High-quality fit and finish
- A transmission for all types
- Base CVT is least likely to succeed
- Back seats give up leg, shoulder room in Cabrio
- Trunk space slims down in Cabrio, too
- Some safety gear still optional
The Audi A5 Coupe and Cabriolet bear one of the most elegant bodies in autodom, and drive with a light, easy touch.
Walter d'Silva, Audi's head designer, once called his A5 t he best-looking car he'd ever drawn. If you take that as fact, is there any way to top it?
The only thing we can think of is to de-top it. The best way to improve on the sensual 2011 Audi A5 Coupe is to turn it into an open-air Cabriolet, in our opinion. And given the choice, the convertible is the way we'd go if we were going to spend $40,000 or more on a luxury two-door from Audi.
In either body style, the A5 comports itself well. It's a boulevard cruiser at heart, with a light touch to its controls and a well-organized, finely built cabin. It's cozy enough for two adults and lots of weekend bags, though adding another couple for a cross-town trip isn't out of the question. But as a convertible, it shines: the top lowers quickly, or rises to the occasion of keeping passengers well-insulated from sun or rain. It loses some of the polished surfaces of the hardtop, and still the Cabriolet does a better job of entertaining its wards. Two of them, at least, since the back seat gets even smaller when the roof removal project is complete.
The turbocharged four-cylinder common to all A5s also earns fuel economy numbers that keep it within psychological grasp for shoppers lurching toward higher-mileage choices. There's no diesel or hybrid available, but EPA ratings in the high 20-mpg range give the A5 enough cover to substitute for thirstier, more overtly sporting two-doors.
It's well-equipped in base form, and has a full set of options to entertain drivers, including a new HD Radio option for the 2011 model year. The big omission from the 2011 A5's features list probably is a great-weather guarantee. Let us know when you find that one, will you?