Used 2015 Audi A5 Convertible
Pros & Cons
- Classy styling
- confident handling
- generously equipped
- frugal fuel economy.
- Limited rear headroom
- compromised control layout without navigation
- Bluetooth audio isn't standard
- unremarkable acceleration.
Edmunds' Expert Review
With its pleasant driving demeanor, inviting cabin and sophisticated style, the 2015 Audi A5 is worthy of your attention.
People buy sedans because they're practical, but a coupe tends to be an emotional purchase. And a convertible, well, that says, "I like the wind in my hair and just might veer off my commute and head to the beach for the day." Thankfully, the 2015 Audi A5 is offered in both coupe and Cabriolet (convertible) forms to satisfy such impulses. Blessed with sure-footed all-wheel drive, a refined ride, elegant style and advanced technology, this German two-door impresses in almost every way.
While the mandatory four-cylinder engine is a little underpowered for this class, the A5 really isn't that much slower than its six-cylinder rivals at legal speeds. If you keep a lid on your enthusiasm, you can expect fuel economy in the mid 20s, too, which is laudable for an all-wheel-drive luxury car. What's more, the A5 coupe is still available with a manual transmission, in case you're the sort who finds satisfaction in executing the perfect shift by yourself. As for the A5 convertible, it bucks the trend of folding-hardtop convertibles with a fabric soft top. Granted, you don't get the extra security of a hardtop, but the A5's soft top doesn't gobble up as much trunk space, affording more room for a weekend's worth of gear.
If you're shopping for a luxury coupe or convertible, you're no doubt aware of the wealth of choices available. The 2015 BMW 2 Series and 2015 BMW 4 Series are fresher and sportier, while the pricier Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe and convertible are arguably nice enough to make the stretch. On the American front, the new 2015 Cadillac ATS coupe delivers comparable style and performance, and a dark horse candidate is the bargain-priced 2015 Ford Mustang, which is easily the most civilized Mustang yet. But the 2015 A5 earned an Edmunds "A" rating for a reason, as it continues to measure up well with its thoughtfully calibrated blend of luxury, beauty and athleticism.
2015 Audi A5 models
The four-passenger 2015 Audi A5 is offered in coupe and convertible body styles. The latter features a power-operated soft top and a wind blocker. There are three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.
The base A5 Premium comes well-equipped with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, a tilt-only sunroof (coupe only), automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, foglights, automatic wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with four-way driver lumbar support), split-folding rear seatbacks, a monochromatic driver information display, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a dash-mounted MMI electronics interface with a 6.5-inch display and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod interface.
The Premium Plus adds an S line trim package (bumpers, side-sill blades, fender badges and doorsill inserts), auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats (optional on Premium) and driver memory functions.
The Prestige adds adaptive headlights, a Bang & Olufsen sound system (with 14 speakers for the coupe and 12 for the Cabriolet; optional on Premium Plus) and the Technology package (including Bluetooth streaming audio, a color driver information center, Audi connect (with online services and mobile Wi-Fi), a navigation system, an upgraded MMI interface with a higher-resolution 7-inch screen and console-mounted controls between the front seats, a DVD player, HD radio, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and a blind-spot monitor.
A5 options are mainly grouped into packages. The Premium is eligible for a Navigation package that bundles the color driver information system with the navigation system, upgraded MMI interface, DVD player, HD radio and Bluetooth streaming audio (but lacks the Technology package's Audi connect features and parking/safety aids). The Premium Plus instead offers the full Technology package as an option. Available only on the Prestige are the Audi Exclusive Line Interior package (contrast piping and stitching, upgraded two-tone leather upholstery and piano black inlays) and the Driver Assist package (adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering and the Drive Select system, which provides driver control over steering, throttle and automatic transmission calibrations).
Offered on both Premium Plus and Prestige are a trio of sport-themed bundles. The Sport package includes Drive Select (see above), a sport-tuned suspension, front sport seats and (for the automatic) shift paddles. The Sport Plus package requires the Sport package and adds special 19-inch wheels with summer tires, a sport steering wheel and (for the coupe) gloss black trim and a black cloth headliner. The S line Competition package (coupe only) requires the Sport Plus package and adds more black exterior trim (including mirror housings and side-sill blades), leather and synthetic suede upholstery, piano black inlays and (for the manual) an aluminum shift knob.
Finally, Cabriolet models in Premium Plus or Prestige trim are eligible for a Comfort package that adds a neck-level heating system, upgraded leather upholstery and ventilated front seats with power lumbar.
Performance & mpg
The all-wheel-drive 2015 Audi A5 is motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the coupe, while an eight-speed automatic is optional there and mandatory for the convertible.
In Edmunds testing, an A5 with the manual transmission launched from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, an average time for this segment.
Fuel economy for the A5 is estimated by the EPA at 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway) for the coupe with the manual transmission, yet we managed an impressive 32 mpg on the 120-mile Edmunds mixed-driving evaluation loop. The automatic drops to 25 mpg combined (22/31) while the convertible gets 24 mpg combined (21/29).
Standard safety features for the 2015 Audi A5 include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side and knee airbags and (for the coupe) full-length side curtain airbags. A blind-spot monitoring system is standard for the Prestige trim and optional on Premium Plus. The Prestige trim is available with adaptive cruise control that includes a collision mitigation system with forward collision alert and automatic low-speed braking.
In simulated panic stops from 60 mph at our test facility, an A5 coupe with the 19-inch wheels and summer tires needed just 108 feet to come to a standstill. This is an excellent performance, though most luxury coupes with summer tires post similar distances.
Though it's not a sports car, the 2015 Audi A5 has a taut, crisp feel on the road, combining impressive body control and a pleasant ride quality with trusty year-round traction from the all-wheel-drive system. The sport suspension feels tighter still, though it lacks the trick torque-vectoring "sport differential" available on fancier Audis. Notably, ride comfort remains satisfactory even with the sport suspension in place.
Although it doesn't offer the speed or sound of rival six-cylinder engines, the A5's turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides respectable acceleration and above-average real-world fuel economy. Its power deficit only really disappoints at speeds you shouldn't be reaching on public roads anyway. Of course, there are two spicier flavors of this car -- the S5 and RS 5 -- that are downright thrilling when you plant your right foot. If that's what you're after, there are more thrills available at the A5's price point, too, though they likely won't come with the same sophistication.
As is the case with nearly all Audis, the 2015 Audi A5's interior receives high marks for its understated design and top-notch materials. Actual functionality can be hit and miss, however. Performing basic tasks with the standard dash-mounted MMI controller requires a few extra steps compared to the upgraded MMI "high" interface that comes with the optional navigation system. The latter benefits from simplified menus, a slightly larger display screen and a more ergonomic controller mounted between the front seats.
The comfort of the front seats is quite good for long road trips, but the A5's standard seats lack the type of lateral support that more spirited driving demands. Thankfully, the optional sport seats remedy this problem with their robust side bolsters and extensive adjustability. Unfortunately, there's no fix for the rear seats, as the lack of headroom makes them suitable only for smaller passengers.
Those who choose the 2015 Audi A5 convertible will certainly appreciate the power-operated soft top's efficient operation -- it requires a tidy 15 seconds to raise and 17 seconds to lower. With the tight-fitting, multilayer top in place, the interior is so well insulated that you may forget you're driving a convertible.
Even better, the al fresco driving experience doesn't come at the expense of much trunk space. Thanks to the use of a fabric top instead of a more elaborate hardtop, the convertible trunk can still accommodate 10.2 cubic feet of cargo when the top is folded down, only 2 cubes less than the coupe. Both body styles feature folding rear seatbacks for added convenience.