It’s got a hefty stance, it’s got bold but subtle lines. This is the Audi S5 Cabriolet.
Audi have always made fairly basic looking cars, with a few exceptions – like the R8, TT and Q7. But they have now got the lastest collection of S5 vehicles which includes a Cabriolet, Coupe and four door Sportsback.
I took the S5 Cabriolet out for a spin, which I was a little excited about because I am quite fond of the car when I’ve seen it on the road. But did it excite me when it came to driving it?
Walking towards the car, I looked over it thinking it’s a big, heavy and luxurious cabriolet, which is going to be one of the most exhilerating drives I’ve had in a long time. The dealer began to tell me how he has worked for Mercedes and BMW and no other car can compete with the drive, quality and build of an Audi. We’ll see about that…
Opening the door was soft and quiet, no thumps, creaks or thuds. Really smooth, solid and quiet. It was from that moment I got a rush! It can only get better from here, right?
Wrong. Sitting on the firm leather seats didn’t make me feel welcome. Lifting my legs into the car is easy, but storing them in the foot well not so. It’s narrow and tight, with this huge protruding wall on the left hand side under the dashboard. There is only enough space for two feet at the end – that I do not like. I want space. Looking at the passenger side foot well, they have all the space you could possibly need!
I plugged the key into the dashboard and pressed the start button. On came the smooth and rather refined engine. All the little lights and screens turned on, but nothing stood out at me. The dash is plastic, everything was cheap plastic. Tapping the top of the dash with my nail, it was hollow and noisey. The mouldings around the LCD screen and the instrument cluster are flimsy and bendy, again made of plastic. Plastic, plastic everywhere. For a car of it’s calibre, I would expect a leather cladded dashboard, I mean if a $65,000 Peugeot convertible can do it, I’m sure Audi can too. The gear shifter looked like something a Ford would have, and the steering wheel looked like it was taken out of a base model Audi A3 hatch. I felt like I was driving a VW Golf. Boring and bland. It is a good layout, but nothing spectacular. I said this to the dealer, his reply was that I have to wait and see how it drives again – thats the big selling point. So I took his advice and onto the road we went.
The 3.0 litre petrol engine with 245 kW carried the car well, but didn’t accelerate as well as I thought it might have. I would have expected it to be a little punchier. Exceptional braking, and handling is good and composed itself well for a convertible of it’s size, considering alot of them tremble and shake around the windscreen over bumps.
I really don’t have much else to say about the drive. It was flat and boring. It wasn’t exhilerating, it wasn’t fun. I should have taken a Mitsubishi Colt CC for a spin instead – At least I would have got more looks.
The body is neutral to look at, but doesn’t have any type of particular look. It’s not sporty or agile like a BMW, and it’s not classy or a classic like a Bentley. It just floats safely inbetween.
Likes: It’s a cabriolet. The satellite navigation system is easy and practical to use. I’m wrecking my brain trying to think. Good sound system and ample boot space. Good colour combinations for the 2-tone leather interior, roof canvas and exterior paint. One exterior feature I like is the brushed chrome windscreen frame. There is a range of engines and equipment levels to choose from, including a super quiet diesel engine.
Dislikes: Styling, interior, footwell space for driver, too much plastic, poorly finished seats – where the leather is out of eyesight it turns into Kia style fabric, tacky cup holders, no point of difference.
Would I buy it? I don’t think I need to answer that question. I think it’s obvious.
Price: I drove the 3.0 litre petrol, which has the sat nav option – $122,000. Prices start from $99,000.
Final say: Throwing on a set of low profile tyres and LED lights doesn’t make a car ‘sporty’. It’s the kind of car you’d buy, then in about 3 months, you’d get sick of looking at because it’s just a car that has a roof that comes off – there’s nothing that draws you to the car time and time again.