Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 TDI 204 review

* Audi A5 Cabriolet 2012 driven * Updated styling and engines * On sale now...

Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 TDI 204 review

The 2012 Audi A5 Cabriolet has subtle styling revisions and an updated engine range. Here, were focusing on the new 3.0 TDI 204 model, in S line trim.

Whats it like to drive? This new 3.0-litre unit replaces the old 2.7-litre engine, and its clear even from start-up that its a far more cultured engine. Its impressively quiet and vibration free, and when you put down your foot it revs as quickly as any petrol engine.

It's linked to a swish-shifting Multitronic CVT automatic gearbox and drives through the front wheels only. Performance is good, with a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds; an identical time to the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol version. Average economy of 54.3mpg is 10mpg more than its petrol sibling.

Its just a pity the A5 Cabriolets ride and handling remains so disappointing. S line cars, such as the one we drove, are particularly uncomfortable, and bumps cause the body to rattle and the roof to shake.

The steering is also pretty unsavoury. Even around town it makes the car feel heavy and as speed builds it only gets worse.

Whats it like inside? The A5s 2012 face-lift brings subtle revisions to the lights and the front of the car. The cabin remains beautifully styled and built from excellent quality materials.

A new steering wheel design and slimmer indicator and windscreen wiper stalks enhance the high-quality feel, while Audis MMI interface makes it a doddle to scroll through the various infotainment systems.

The electrically powered soft-top is extremely well insulated, blotting out wind noise almost as effectively as a steel roof, and it folds quickly and steals far less boot space than a folding metal roof would.

Should I buy one? The A5 Cabriolets sophisticated looks and handsome build alone will be persuasive enough to part many eager buyers from their cash.

At 39,925, this model isnt cheap, although strong resale values and decent average fuel economy provide further persuasive incentives to purchase this latest diesel-powered version.

Even so, for this kind of money there are alternatives that are far better to drive and far more comfortable, notably the BMW 3 Series Convertible and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet.