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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
an exceptionally well-appointed vehicle
Kelley Blue Book
will draw envy from every surrounding motorist
Car and Driver
With some minor juggling of features across the model line, the 2011 Audi A5 is nearly identical to last year's model. It's lavishly outfitted as you'd expect in an upscale convertible, and its audio and entertainment features are competitive, even if its MMI controller can seem frustrating.
The A5 Coupe and Cabriolet share some standard features. Automatic climate control comes with both; so do a 10-speaker audio system, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry and pushbutton start, and cruise control.
On the Coupe, a panoramic sunroof is a key option; its analogue over on the Cabriolet side of things is a folding fabric top that weighs less and takes up less space when folded, than a hardtop convertible mechanism might. It also opens or closes in fewer than 20 seconds, or about a stoplight's worth of free time.
Audi offers its Multi-Media Interface (MMI) as an option. It places a roller-wheel controller on the center console, so that the driver can command navigation, climate, and entertainment functions more easily--or so the theory goes. Like other knob-driven systems, the MMI still requires most drivers to go through a long learning curve before they can operate the controls without looking down at the LCD display. And it still has a set of redundant buttons laid out around the knob, making the whole effort seem in need of a rethink. Ford's MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch are a better idea, swapping out the knob for steering-wheel switches and voice controls, even if it takes as long or longer to learn.
Bluetooth, bi-xenon headlamps, a rearview camera, side-lane assist (which warns drivers of vehicles in blind spots), a navigation system, and a powerful, clean-sounding Bang & Olufsen audio system are available as options.
The 2011 Audi A5 wins over luxury-loving cruisers with navigation and a Bang & Olufsen stereo--even if you have to go through MMI to get to them.