Now that it's down to only four-cylinder, turbocharged powerplants, the 2011 Audi A5 earns a respectable green score that reflects strong EPA fuel-economy ratings.
The base A5 for 2011 has the 211-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder teamed with a continuously variable transmission. The efficient unit propels the front-drive Cabriolet to a 22/30 mpg EPA rating. When a conventional six-speed automatic is figured in, along with all-wheel drive, the numbers fall slightly, to 21/29 mpg.
The same powertrain in the A5 Coupe earns a 21/31 mpg rating when it's fitted with a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. With a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission, the A5 Coupe with all-wheel drive gets rated at 21/29 mpg by the EPA.
While Audi's CVT is the overall mileage winner in the lineup, we don't recommend it unless you're looking for the least expensive A5 Cabriolet you can find. The transmission uses pulleys and a belt as a substitute for a conventionally geared automatic, and it's generally a less satisfying, less responsive solution that also generates more noise than the usual automatic.