Used 2011 Audi A5 Convertible Used 2011
Audi A5 Convertible

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

These are interesting times for the luxury car market in North America, and it is made more interesting by the almost explosive growth of Audi in the U.S. The addition of the A5/S5 Coupe and Cabriolet to its mix only serves to raise that growth and awareness. And while there have been a host of competitors attempting to capture the allure of the BMW's 3 Series Coupe and Convertible, most make the attempt with a barely concealed clone of the original recipe. To Audi's credit, the A5 and its S5 performance derivative represent their own takes on a near-luxury sporting coupe and cabriolet. Not only does Audi's recipe constitute a viable option to the 3 Series, in an era of diminishing resources it could constitute a viable alternative to Bentley's Continental GT. And while we're not sure how that would work in or around Windsor Castle, we know it would play (and play...) on California's 101.


You'll Like This Car If...

In a word (or two), Audi's take on the near-luxury coupe and cab encloses a competent drivetrain and comfortable accommodation with what is generally accepted as drop-dead gorgeous sheetmetal. If you are at the life stage which puts a value on at least two of the above three, you'll love Audi's take on two-door transport.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite Audi's spectacular growth in recent years, it remains well outside the consideration curve for those solidly in the automotive mainstream. In the segment there are a number of no-brainers, including BMW's 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class/E-Class, and Infiniti's G37. If auto buying is little more than a reflexive exercise, you'll probably find yourself in someone else's showroom.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, there are new wheel designs, tweaks in interior trim, and a new Titanium Sport Package available with Premium Plus and Prestige models.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The A5, sharing its basic platform with Audi's most recent A4, puts an emphasis on balance. With a new all-wheel drive gearbox, the engine can be placed further back in the chassis, creating a far better weight distribution than is typically found in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive chassis. The A5's base 2.0 liter four is responsive, although arguably works better in Audi's own TT or A3 than in the heavier A5. The Cabriolet's standard supercharged V6 is probably the sweet spot in the coupe/cab's drivetrain selection. The all-independent suspension is supple, the steering amazingly direct, and the overall comfort level high. That said, going to 19-inch rims will compromise the ride, and the S5's V8 will compromise your license.

Favorite Features

quattro All-Wheel Drive
Standard on all but the A5 Cabriolet - which employs front-wheel drive - the Audi all-wheel-drive system is one for the ages. Impeccably balanced, with a 40 percent front/60 percent rear torque split in most driving situations, the A5 and S5 are revelations to those coming to all-wheel drive with '80s-era preconceptions.

S tronic Dual-Clutch Transmission
With the precision of a manual and convenience of an automatic, the dual-clutch transmission, which is made standard on the S5 Cabriolet, is a way significant moment in the annals of high-performance motoring, and embellishes the S5's capability as an uber-tourer. We look forward to its widening availability on other Audi models.

Vehicle Details


At a company known for its brilliant interiors - both in design and execution - the A5 and S5 don't disappoint. The leather-upholstered front buckets provide that often elusive combination of accessibility and lateral support, while the rear seating area serves as a comfortable enclave for two. And while the Coupe's greenhouse is visually airy, the EPA rates the interior environs as subcompact. Moderately sized adults will be comfortable; larger physical types should grab their own A5. The S5 moves the meter, with S-design leather sport seats, Silk Nappa leather and unique inlays (brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, stainless steel or gray birch) completing the high-performance impression.


As the only enthusiast pub in the U.S. with a regular column (by Robert Cumberford) focusing on automotive design, Automobile Magazine knows of what it writes. In 2009 the magazine awarded its "Design of the Year" to Audi's A5 Coupe. One look confirms their selection. You're greeted by Audi's mono-form grille, drawn in by carefully sculpted side contours and delighted by a crisp character line which runs the length of the car. The A5/S5 mechanical layout sets the engine further back in the chassis than is the typical FWD/AWD norm, allowing for a shorter front overhang and more athletic stance. Finally, the A5/S5 Cabriolet's use of a cloth roof is an almost classic touch, and has the practical benefit of not impeding (significantly) available trunk space when dropped.

Notable Standard Equipment

In examining the list of standard equipment, you'll ask the inevitable question: What more could anyone want? The A5 Coupe's Premium trim level includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, Audi concert radio (with 10 speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio and 180 watts), power front seats and a panorama sunroof. On the S5, standard trim is dubbed Premium Plus and includes19-inch alloys, Bluetooth touch-free interface, sport seats covered in Silk Nappa leather, sport suspension and three-zone automatic climate control. With the exception of the A5 Cabriolet, all include Audi's quattro all-wheel drive in the base MSRP.

Notable Optional Equipment

With so much standard, those features customers might opt for are (typically) encompassed in one of two packages. Premium Plus includes its own 10-spoke alloy wheel, Audi Music interface with iPod cable, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, heated front seats, Xenon plus headlights and three-zone automatic climate control. On the S5 Coupe the upmarket trim is Prestige and includes DVD player, Bang & Olufsen premium sound, memory for driver seat and mirrors, navigation and voice control of nav/phone. Functionally, the biggest news is the availability of a sport rear differential on the S5, which varies the amount of torque delivered between the rear wheels.

Under the Hood

As a base powerplant, Audi's superb 2.0 liter TFSI turbocharged four is almost perfect for the application, with adequate (211) horsepower and prodigious (258 pound-feet) levels of torque. As noted, we think the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 may be the sweet spot (S5 Cab only), with horsepower - 333 - close to that of the Coupe's V8 in a lighter, more efficient package. The S5 Coupe's 4.2 liter V8 may - at this point - seem old school, but behind the wheel of 354 horsepower, who's gonna care?

2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
211 horsepower @ 4300-6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
21/31 (quattro manual), 21/29 (quattro Tiptronic), 22/30 (FWD, Multitronic)

3.0 liter V6 Supercharged
333 horsepower @ 5500-7000 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2900-5300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (S tronic trans)

4.2 liter V8
354 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22 (manual), 16/24 (Tiptronic)


Pricing Notes

Although well-equipped in base (such as it is) form, Audi's growing popularity has moved it away from the value-driven business model we saw fifteen years ago, when Audi was still structuring its comeback in the U.S. market. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the A5 Coupe with manual transmission is just under $37,000. Opting for the Tiptronic auto will add approximately $1,300 to that figure. The base A5 Cabriolet (FWD, CVT) transacts at $43,000, with quattro and Tiptronic adding $2,000 to that price. The S5 Coupe, with its monster V8 and manual transmission, is about $54,000, while the V6-equipped S5 Cabriolet is just under $60,000. When shopping, reference's Fair Purchase Price for an indicator of what customers are paying in your area. Audi's predicted resale is almost stratospheric, with the A5 Coupe performing significantly better than BMW's 3-Series Coupe or Mercedes-Benz's E350 Coupe.

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