Sunday, June 24, 2018


There are some strange souls who apparently do not like driving with the roof down. Weird!

However, if you’re driving an Audi A5 with a five-layer convertible roof, heated seats with heat right up to the base of your neck, and an outstanding interior – you’d have nothing to complain about. With the roof up, it's a cozy cocoon. Wired up to Apple CarPlay the A5 is a great touring car.

Headless or otherwise, the A5 is in my opinion the pick of the Audi range.

It’s a compact touring car (with 18mm more legroom in the rear), and in base model guise, plus the S-line appearance package, I think AUD$87,300 is good value for money.

You get premium European quality, excellent ride, handling and performance, and that makes it probably the best four-seat convertible available in Australia.

As other automotive writers have often commented, Audi's entertainment system, and its functionality is the best of all the Europeans. Easy to use for the unitiated and the standard audio system is great - no need to option up.

This time around, it’s the Quattro A5 with turbocharged engine and the DSG transmission, which unfortunately bumps the price closer to AUD$100,000. Having sampled both recently, and despite enjoying the more ‘planted’ feel of the AWD version, I still think the base model A5 is the most appealing.

I’m driving it on the beautiful Queensland Gold Coast on a sunny winter’s day with Brahms Symphony Number 2 soothing my soul. Life behind the wheel doesn’t get any better than this. Even so, I must have been driving much too enthusiastically. Audi says the economy is 6.7 L/100km, but the best I could get was 9L/100km - thanks to my lead foot.

I believe Karmann was chosen to provide the folding canvas roof, and the A5 looks just as good with the roof up. The exterior styling is slick, and the grooves, flutes and edges are sharp, but subtle. I also think it's one of the best, if not the best, treatment of a 'clamshell' hood (bonnet).

The trunk space (380 litres) is useful, but thanks to ‘styling’, when the trunk lid opens, the aperture is a strange shape which limits what you can load, with the exception of regular suitcases or rollaways.

In 2018, overall Audi sales Down Under (YTD May) are up 3.3%, but the A5 sales are up 36%, and that’s my evidence for this convertible being Audi's ace in the hole.

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