The new Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet isn’t what you could call a sports car. Instead, it’s a desirable, comfortable drop-top that boasts slick looks and affordable engines.
It’s got four seats and a surprising amount of practicality which will make it appealing to buyers who need room for their kids. The listing price might be on the high side but running costs are family friendly.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet review.
On The Road
The A5 Cabriolet has never really been one that enthusiasts go for. It’s always been fairly quick but it’s never been what you could call a driver’s car. This time around, Audi say they’ve stiffened up its structure by 40% and improved its body control to make it more enjoyable to drive.
It’s also lighter than its predecessor, with the result being that it now drives a lot like the A5 Coupe. However, despite being more accurate, the steering is still numb and lifeless. On the other hand, body lean has been reduced to almost nil and there’s plenty of grip available, with or without Quattro four-wheel-drive.
Adaptive Comfort Suspension comes as standard and it helps to soften up Audi’s notoriously firm ride. That said, it doesn’t improve the driving experience, even if you switch to Sport mode. Moreover, the car ultimately lacks the Coupe’s stiff roof that makes it so easy to tackle bends at pace. With that in mind, this is something all Cabriolet’s of this size struggle with, and Audi has at least made efforts to improve things.
In terms of the engines, a 2.0-litre diesel unit kicks things off. It develops 187bhp and can get you from a standstill to 62mph in 7.8 seconds. It’s not the quietest engine, and its four cylinders will rattle on startup, especially on cold winter mornings. But if you want to keep costs down and go cruising, it’s a good option.
The engine also comes with an S-Tronic automatic ‘box that changes fast and smoothly.
The other diesel in the range is a six-pot 3.0-litre TDI unit that develops 215bhp, and which completes the 0-62 dash in 6.8 seconds. It’s a lot quieter than the entry-level engine and produces a livelier, more suitable exhaust note. We like it.
Neither diesel can be specified with a manual gearbox.
Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet Interior, Design & Build
It’s an Audi, so what do you expect other than an impeccably put together cabin? The A5 is essentially the classy A4’s sibling and gets treated just as well by Audi. The ride is smooth for the most part, the three-layered roof’s insulate is further enhanced by internal sound panels, and the car feels lovely and warm when the roof is up.
When the roof is down, the wind deflector helps to keep the noise down and even on the motorway it’s possible to hold a conversation. The roof raises in 15 seconds and can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph.
As ever, the dashboard is one of the finest around. It’s tastefully and smartly designed and comes with the brand’s Virtual Cockpit. However, as excellent and modern as this interface is, it makes the nearby infotainment display look dated.
Overall, the interior reminds us of the Coupe’s and there are plenty of useful touches, including a neck-warmer and seatbelt-mounted Bluetooth microphones.
Is the Audi A5 Cabriolet practical? If practicality is your biggest priority, you wouldn’t be looking at a convertible in the first place. If, however, you want a convertible and need a respectable amount of usability, it ticks a lot of boxes.
There’s now more rear legroom although headroom is still a tad restricted. Those upfront have plenty of room and Audi have added a number of accessories to make the car more practical. For example, you can now take your bike along.
The boot is impressively sized (if awkwardly shaped) and measures 380-litres. Take the roof down and that drops to 320-litres.
Equipment & Safety Of The Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet
Standard kit across the range is generous, with the entry-level model getting 17” alloys, Audi Drive Select modes, front and rear parking sensors, xenon headlights, leather upholstery, three-zone climate control and heated front seats.
The Sport model adds an LED interior lighting package, electrically adjustable front sports seats and an MMI infotainment system. The S Line model rounds things off with 18” alloys, LED headlights and lowered sports suspension.
The roof, meanwhile, comes in either brown, dark grey, black or red. If you want, you can specify your car in metallic white.
In terms of safety, the A5 Cabriolet hasn’t been crash tested and probably won’t be. It shares a lot of its structure with the strong A4 saloon, which was awarded all five stars when crash tested by Euro NCAP. Its standard safety kit includes a city pre-sense autonomous braking system, front and rear parking sensors, while active cruise control is an optional extra, as is road-sign recognition.
Costs Of The Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet
Prices for the new car start out from £38,080 and rise to £52,510. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the 2.0-litre diesel engine is, unsurprisingly, the most frugal. It returns 60.1mpg and emits as little as 118g/km of CO2. If you need more power, the bigger 3.0-litre TDI diesel adds two extra cylinders can still return a reasonable 57.6mpg while emitting 128g/km of CO2. Both models cost £140 a year to tax for now, while the diesel sits in insurance group 41.
Pros and Cons Of The Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet
Measuring 380-litres, this is the biggest boot in its class.
With the roof up or down, the A5 Cabriolet is remarkably refined.
The entry-level model returns over 60mpg, while even the biggest diesel can return over a 57mpg economy.
Not Very Sporty
It might look sporty but it lacks sharpness on the road.
Expensive To Buy
Its engines are affordable to run but you’ll have to get past the £38,000 + price tag first.
Verdict Of Our 2018 Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet Review
The biggest question buyers are faced with is whether they should go with the A5 Convertible or the A5 Coupe. The former makes an interesting case for itself. It’s got the USP of the drop-down roof, but it’s also got the added bonus of refinement. It’s not short on usability either, while its cabin was never in question.
However, it’s not as fun to drive as the Coupe and it’s on the expensive side. The Audi A5 Diesel Cabriolet or the Coupe? The choice is yours.
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