Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI S Tronic advanced Review
Vitamin A5

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
4 Feb 2021
 

...be it with the top up while enjoying it like the (almost) coupe that it is, or with the roof down for a dose of Vitamin A5.

The idea of owning a cabriolet in sunny Singapore may be one that seems somewhat impractical. Global warming has also in effect raised average annual temperatures, and I remember in my younger days that Singapore seemed a cooler country; that... and I was also a few good tens of centimeters further from the sun than the average 80s adult.

While ‘droptops’ are rather niche over here, I do believe that our sunny island is quite a lovely place for one… that is if you like the sun, and the great outdoors. 

The Audi A5 is currently one of two same-class segment convertibles available, the other being the Mercedes-Benz C Class Cabriolet. The contraversally-styled BMW 4 Series that has just been launched, is only currently available in the coupe body style, we will need a short while before they launch the rest here.

The Audi A5 range which also includes both Coupe and Sportback body styles, like its A4 sister car, has gone through a midlife facelift; but unlike the A4, the tweaks are minor here. Why change a thing this good looking? The A5 Cabriolet takes in-spirit what the coupe variant offers, and brings you more sunshine, and a little more flair. 

While the cabriolet’s body panels remain the same, the front and rear lamps have received some styling tweaks. The redesigned grille pays homage to their legendary rally-dominating Audi Quattro from the 80s, boasting decorative vents at the top. One of my favourite touches on the exterior that Audi retained is the integrated third brake light, snuck into the trim strip, that frames the top cover.

Further differentiating itself from the rest of the A5 range, the cabriolet also sports an aluminium windshield surround, and for handling harsher weather, Audi opted for an acoustic  fabric roof over a folding hardtop to reduce weight; and also to preserve the rear styling of the car, since a folding hard top would take up more space in the rear (just look at the convertible version of the Lexus IS250 for example). Very importantly, the roof can be operated to speeds up to 50km/h, meaning that you do not need to stop dangerously by the side of the road, while waiting for the roof to be deployed; and that you are safe from getting wet in 18 seconds, and sunshine is 15 seconds away. 

The roof is available in four colours; brown, grey, red and black, allowing you to mix and match the 9 readily available paint colours. Our test car had a grey roof, matched with a Navarra Blue Metallic paint coat.

The A5 Cabriolet comes standard with 18” rims in two designs, a maximum size upgrade to 20” will set you back $11,500; we would however recommend sticking to the 18” setup for the best possible ride comfort.

Inside

If you like quality interiors, the A5 is among the best in its class. Our test car was fitted with the S-Line interior, and features matte brushed aluminium inserts on the dash panel and door cards. You can also opt for natural oak inserts or even a more muted piano black. 

The new MIB 3 operating system features a larger 10.1” touchscreen, while a cubby hole (I found a great place to stow my mask) in-front of the gearshift lever replaces the rotary commander that was required for the previous infotainment system. The new infotainment system is touted by Audi to be ten-times quicker than before, and now easily recognises squiggles from your left hand, as you doodle your desired location in. The infotainment system boasts a 4G LTE hotspot, allowing multiple device connections, and supports both Apple and Android mobile phones. For the driver, the Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus is fronted by a 12.3” screen, and includes near-identical Classic and Sport graphics, and you can also choose a fancier Dynamic screen graphic if you prefer something a little different.

The A5 Cabriolet shares an identical footprint with the coupe, meaning that rear passengers make-do with a +2 configuration. Entering the rear is quite a breeze, with the front seats folding forward with just a single tug of the release catch. With its long doors, A motorised belt forwarder has been included, for easier reach of the seatbelt.

Due to the roof, boot space has been compromised, and reduced to 320 litres. You can however increase this by 60 litres, with the deploying of the roof, and the collapsing of its stowage - the latter done via a switch located within the boot.

The Drive

The A5 Cabriolet has just one engine option here, a 2.0 turbocharged engine, delivering 190hp and 320Nm. New to both the A4 and A5 range, and increasingly like quite a few luxury cars these days, is a mild-hybrid system; but unlike the 48V systems that we are familiar with, the 12V system found in their 2.0 engines is not intended to help drive the car, but rather to power the vehicle’s main electric system.

Where the Audi A5 shines best is in the refined nature of its drive. The 7-speed S-Tronic transmission shifts quite seamlessly, and is almost faultless, apart from some hesitation to bite when taking off from steep inclines. With an expansive band of torque from between 1,450 to 4,475rpm, the A5 accelerates effortlessly and smoothly from rest to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds.

What would have been even a better during a top-down experience, would be if Audi had developed something similar to the AIRCAP system offered by Mercedes-Benz, consisting of an electrified wind deflector sited in the upper frame of the windshield and a retractable draught-stop at the rear; this would significantly reduce the buffeting from the wind entering the cabin. I do like that they have microphones integrated into the car’s front seatbelts, just in-case you need to make a phone call while with the roof down.

Even with Audi issuing me the caveat that “this is not a sports car”; it feels confident as you pitch the car into one corner after another. In most cases, you would not even notice the front-drive nature of the car, unless you were to push it hard around the bends. I was pleasantly surprised that Audi had even bothered to throw in an adaptive suspension into the mix, just so that when you select ‘Dynamic’ drive mode, the car handles just that little bit tighter. That said, I was pleased that the suspension at its firmer setting is still comfortable enough for the car to be driven this way… everyday.

Our Thoughts

But going back to what they mentioned, I would agree that Audi is right about the A5 Cabriolet not being a sports car, as I found it most satisfying when cruising along in utter near-buttery smoothness; be it with the top up while enjoying it like the (almost) coupe that it is, or with the roof down for a dose of Vitamin A5.

In Summary

We Like

Refined drive. Quality everything on the inside. Subtle design refresh is a pleasant touch. Improved infotainment improves ownership experience.

We Don't

Transmission reluctant to bite when taking off steep inclines. No wireless charger.

Verdict

Probably as good as it can get in its class when it comes to ride refinement, and almost enough frills to keep most owners happy.

Car Loan Calculator - Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI

SGD 261,630 (7 Jan 2021)

Based on OMV, this car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 11.7:1
Bore x Stroke (82.5 x 92.8)mm
Power 190bhp @ 4200rpm
Torque 320Nm @ 1450rpm
Power to Weight 114.1 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.9s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 237 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.1 km/L
Drag Coefficient 0.280

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed S Tronic
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Cabriolet
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4697 x 1846 x 1384) mm
Wheelbase 2764 mm
Turning Circle 11.5 metres
Kerb Weight 1665 kg
Boot Capacity 370 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 54 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs