What's the used Audi A5 sports like?
There’s always been plenty to like about the Audi A5 in its various guises – it’s sporty, elegant and comes with all the high-quality touches that typically sets an Audi apart from its premium competitors. You can have it in five-door Sportback form, two-door traditional coupé-style or in this discreetly luxurious drop-top Cabriolet version, the better to enjoy a sunny day.
It’s not just the neat exterior styling that’s won friends, either. Underneath, this version of the car, launched in 2017, is based on the award-winning Audi A4 executive saloon, a car we know to be a refined and competent performer. Indeed whichever engine you seek out the A5 Cabriolet is a swift and refined car, with even the entry-level four-cylinder diesels proving smooth and quiet.
There’s actually quite a wide choice of petrol or diesel engines, with the 2.0 TFSI 190 and the 2.0 TDI 190 versions of both kicking off the range. Petrols work up through a 250bhp version of the 2.0-litre engine, which is swift but a little thirsty, to an impressively powerful but unsurprisingly thirsty 3.0-litre V6 in the super-sporting S5 model. The diesels move up to a 3.0-litre V6, the TDI 218, that is smooth and refined and is the most rounded choice in the range, and peak with the 3.0 TDI 286 V6, which is the most powerful diesel but at the expense of efficiency. A mid-life facelift resulted in the engines being renamed as the 2.0 40 TFSI, the 2.0 45 TFSI, the 2.0 40 TDI and the 3.0 50 TDI.
Trim levels were initially limited to but two: Sport and S line. All models come with xenon headlights, a 7.0in colour infotainment screen with a DAB radio and sat-nav, three-zone climate control and front and rear parking sensors, while S line is largely an appearance package.
In 2020, the model was facelifted, adding refreshed styling, an Edition 1 trim and a revitalised engine range. As of writing, there are three petrol options on sale, delivering from 148bhp to 261bhp, plus a 201bhp diesel.
The ride is firmer than the equivalent A4’s, depending on which of the various trims you’ve chosen, although it is supple enough to take the sting out of larger bumps and ripples, and the handling is precise, if not truly agile or ever particularly involving for a keen driver. There’s also the option of four-wheel drive, or Quattro, in Audi-talk, that offers even more grip when the going gets slippery.
It doesn’t disappoint inside, pipping the cabin quality of its German rivals with upmarket materials everywhere you look and touch. True, the design of the interior perhaps lacks the flair and imagination of a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet, but the flipside is a better-structured, more logical dashboard layout. Audi’s MMI infotainment system comes as standard and features a clear 7.0in display mounted centrally on the dashboard and controlled with the usual rotary dial between the front seats.
The driving position is multi-adjustable and there’s plenty of space, and even room for a couple of average-height adults in the back. The boot is a good size, too, but this space is severely impeded when you lower the roof.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Audi A5 sports?
The A5 Cabriolet is actually quite a long car so check for any damage to the front and the rear picked up in supermarket car parks, and check the alloy wheels for any kerb damage. It’s packed full of electrical kit so make sure all this works, especially the roof.
What are the most common problems with a used Audi A5 sports?
The number of reported faults on the A5 Cabriolet is relatively low, although problems with the car’s infotainment system are a cause for concern, with phones not connecting properly and flickering screens being the main complaints. Despite the A5’s reputation for having a great interior, there have been some issues with rattling parcel shelves and buzzing from interior trims.
Is a used Audi A5 sports reliable?
In our latest What Car? Reliability Survey, the A5 placed fifth out of eight cars in the coupés, convertibles and sports car class – a decent result. Audi as a brand came 18th out of 30 manufacturers featured.
What used Audi A5 sports will I get for my budget?
Prices for this generation of A5 Cabriolet start at around £18,000. Most cars on offer will be the 2.0 TDI 190 diesel version, and for this dosh you’ll get a good 2017 car with an average mileage for the year and a full history, bought from an independent or franchised dealer. Have a budget of around £20,000 for a car with a more powerful engine, a lower mileage or a 2018 example.
For a 2020 car, expect to spend around £30,000, while 2021 and 202 cars demand upwards of £37,000.
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How much does it cost to run a Audi A5 sports?
Not surprisingly, it’s the diesels that are the most economical, in particular the 2.0 TDI 190 version, with an average claimed figure of 62.8mpg when hooked up with the automatic S Tronic gearbox. The 2.0 TFSI petrol sees an average 47.9mpg. Meanwhile you’ll need deep pockets to fuel the 3.0 S5 version, which claims an average fuel consumption of only 36.2mpg.
Annual tax (VED) is based on CO2 emissions for cars registered before April 2017. Tax changes brought in from April 2017 mean that all cars pay a flat rate of tax currently £165 per year, and any car costing more than £40,000 new will incur an extra charge over and above the flat rate of VED car tax, so check your used example carefully as some A5 Cabriolets broke this barrier.
Insurance and servicing
Insurance groups will naturally be on the high side for this swift cabriolet, ranging from 36 up to 45 for the S5.
The A5 Cabriolet comes from new with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. Audis do tend to be expensive to service at franchised dealers, but once these models are three years old they will qualify for Audi’s fixed-price servicing deal, which costs from £164 for a minor service and £319 for a major one (based on a 2.0 diesel model).
Which used Audi A5 sports should I buy?
All engines push the A5 Cabriolet around at a reasonable pace, but if you're looking to buy one of the earlier cars we'd recommend the smooth 3.0 TDI 218 V6 has the best balance of pace and frugality. However, this engine option was removed from the range, so if you're buying a later model we'd seek out the 40 TDI 190 unit. We’d look for a Sport trim car rather than spend any more on an S line. It’s handsomely equipped and the S line’s suspension is a little firm and its extras are largely cosmetic.
Our favourite Audi A5 Cabriolet: 3.0 TDI Quattro 218 Sport
What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi A5 sports?
The BMW 4 Series Convertible is good to drive, has an excellent infotainment system and is well equipped. Countered against that, the manual gearbox isn’t the slickest and some of the smaller diesels are a bit gruff.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet is comfortable, classy and relatively economical. It’s well made, solid and sturdy, but still retains a sporting touch. The interior is stylish, too, and although it’s not the sharpest car to drive it’s a worthy competitor to the Audi.
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