Handsome & smart

K SHIVRAJ
Saturday, 17 February 2018

With its nicely appointed interior and good looks, Audi A5 Cabriolet offers wind-in-the-hair motoring.

The A5 Cabriolet is Audi’s third offering after the A5 and the S5 Sportback. Laced with a Quattro all-wheel drive and a 2.0-litre diesel engine, the Cabriolet, like the A5, is handsome and modern. Following the Audi design idiom, the car may look like the A4 from a distance. Up close, it’s not. The lines on the bonnet that add a sporting touch to the design, and the sharp line that starts at the front and travels to the rear, have the A5 Cabriolet looking different from the A4. 

Plush interior
The A5 Cabriolet looks and feels plush. Flaunting a luxurious interior, the A5 Cabriolet makes good use of high quality leather, carpets and wood inserts. A 2+2 cabriolet, the A5 convertible has some of its trim coming from the S-line package. This package is optional. The virtual cockpit digital dials, LED headlamps, navigation, flat-bottom steering and the Bang & Olufsen sound system are also optional. The sound system is laced with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and has microphones built into the front seat belts so the occupants can listen to music even when the roof is down.  

Not the most spacious
With the roof down, it is easy to get out of the rear seat. One can simply get up and walk out. Not the most spacious in its class, the A5 Cabriolet offers rear passengers their own AC vents and temperature control. The 380-litre boot looks good enough to store luggage of four people. A little lever operates a drop-down tray, which reveals the amount of space lost when the roof is lowered. 

Good fire power
The diesel engine wakes up with an amount of vibration and settles down to a grumpy note. The noise disappears as the car moves away. Rise in speed leads to a rise in refinement as well. On the move, the A5 Cabriolet sounds and feels very refined. It could be the quietest four-cylinder diesel found. Assembled in India, the engine exerts a strong pull to propel the car to high speed as the turbo spools up. The quick-shifting DSG gearbox and Quattro AWD ensure seamless flow of power and an effortless performance. A slight hiccup many be relevant at lower rpm, the engine produces good pulling power. It may not be as free revving as a petrol engine of similar displacement, but the 190bhp diesel engine provides the A5 Cabriolet with good fire power. 

Rides well
The soft-top may keep the outside noises from coming in, it folds down in 18 seconds at speeds up to 50kmph for wind in the air motoring. Weighing near two-tonnes with that structural bracing typical of a convertible, the A5 Cabriolet does exhibit some chassis flex going over bumps and while travelling on a bad stretch of road. Not to worry, the car rides well on the basis of a well-calibrated and anchored suspension. Never does the ride feel bouncy or ‘loose’. Staying composed around corners, the car impresses with its ability to balance ride and handling. The steering, not quite as sharp or sincere as that of a BMW car, impresses with its ability to provide a sincere feedback of what is underneath it. Stacked against the Mercedes-Benz C 300 Cabriolet, the A5 Cabriolet is propelled by a diesel engine whereas the Mercedes-Benz is propelled by a petrol engine.

Verdict
Ticking most boxes, the car scores handsomely with its nicely appointed interior, and the attractive exterior looks good. Priced at Rs 68 lakh, the car seats four adults and performs, and handles and rides well. The Quattro ensures good traction and grip to provide wind-in-the-hair motoring. 

Pros: Appearance, interior, DSG AWD, ride and handling
Cons: Price
 

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