2011 Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 turbo petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Likeable but not loveable...

Faults:

Complete engine rebuild after 27000km due to faulty piston rings and oil consumption problems. All handled very well by the dealer, but hardly gives me confidence over long term reliability.

General Comments:

This is hard to explain, but no car has ever had me quite so lost for words when people ask me the simple question "are you pleased with it?".

On a 25C day, on a smooth road with the roof down, it is a fine place to be. I have to say that cabin quality and overall fit and finish is near faultless. I think the equipment levels are good for the price; and, undeniably it looks great - classy and slightly understated, a "true" soft top still looks so much better than foldable hard tops. Performance is not bad from the 2.0T FWD set up, and I really like the flexibility of the CVT gearbox. As convertibles go, it is pretty practical; my kids can fit in the back no problem.

This is where it gets difficult. Whilst I never expected sports car handling, the dynamics of this car are very disappointing. Anything other than gentle acceleration from rest results in unbelievable wheel "scrabble" and furious blinking of the traction control light. If it is slightly wet, then it can be downright embarrassing! Driving the car hard in "sports" mode does feel like a rodeo ride sometimes - hanging on for dear life!

It's hard to explain, but I can also say that I never owned a car that is so completely lacking "character" in any way. It feels coldly executed, with the engineers at the centre of everything, rather than the owner. One of the things that really annoys me every day is the heating and ventilation. In my opinion, it's just trying to be too "clever" and is very frustrating to use - regularly changing settings in response to my perceived needs!

The ownership experience has been overall OK. I had one instance when I first got the car where I was left seething by the arrogance of the service personnel, but that seems to have been a one off. They handled the requirement to rebuild the engine at 27000km (a well documented problem with 2.0T petrol engines) very efficiently. Service pricing is close to "outrageous" - $800 for what is basically an oil change is very steep.

So would I buy another? I'm really not sure - I would think very hard before buying a FWD Audi again. Having also driven a FWD A4 for a few weeks when my car was being repaired, the chassis didn't seem much better. I would be interested to try a quattro model of the same car to see how it compares.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd November, 2013

2013 Audi A5 Cabriolet 2.0 turbo from North America

Summary:

Sexy but not comfortable

Faults:

It just started leaking from the driver's window under the soft top when it's raining hard! Noticed it once so can't be conclusive.

General Comments:

You get a lot of compliments from random people for the looks of the car. The new design is absolutely beautiful.

The torque and the turbo engine make the driving really fun. It speeds up really fast.

The seats are very uncomfortable for long drives. The gas and brake pedals are very stiff. Getting stuck in traffic is a disaster for your knees because of the combination of the above points, especially if you are a shorter person.

Even though it has four seats, it's basically a two person car; however you have more trunk space than most other convertibles on the market.

Winter driving very unstable: even though it never gets stuck in the snow because of the AWD, it slips as you speed more than 80km/h when other cars easily go at 100-120km/h, and it makes the driver feel that they don't have control of the car, and they have to hold the wheel with both hands and really focus hard to be safe.

Without the blind spot assist with the top closed, blind spots are easily missed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st July, 2013