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Does anyone do it better?

 
Created on 02/08/2015 @ 09:31
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When Carly Simon sang “Nobody Does It Better” she could well have been referring to the Audi A5 Cabriolet.

Her version of Carol Bayer Sagar’s famous hit was the theme tune  to the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loves Me and the secret agent would have looked as at home in this open top as he does in his beloved Aston Martin.

Because nobody does it better in this sector than Audi and the A5 Cabriolet is a class act with looks, style and quality matched by punchy performance levels.

If open-top motoring appeals then you just have to take a look at the A5 before making a final choice. You can’t help but be impressed – despite Audi choosing to stick to a cloth roof for this model.

I could have spent hours simply pressing the button to watch a brilliant piece of engineering technology in action, as the boot opened and closed to allow the soft-top to fold itself up or away in a matter of seconds – even with the car still moving.

It’s German engineering at its best and typically Audi.

I am a little surprised that Audi sticks with the soft-top while most other manufacturers have gone down a different route. It means you can expect wind noise on entry level models but the three litre V6 on test came with extra insulation to keep noise levels down.

Audi has developed a reputation as sector leaders when it comes to the cabin and this model comes with all the high-tech kit you would expect, together with a very comfortable driving position – helped by steering wheel height and rake control at push of a button.

It’s also a true four-seater. It may look tight in the back but once you’re seated you realise how far back you actually sit and there’s easily enough leg room. Very wide doors help with access - but not with parking.

A colleague warned me to expect inconsistent handling but it wasn’t something I encountered. In fact the A5 did all I asked of it with a choice of three settings for suspension and steering. Any criticism of the ride would be going too far really thanks to Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive with self-locking central diff and ESP.

On test was a 3.0 V6 TDi Quattro S-tronic with an on-the-road price of £44,240 which went up to £47,825 with the fitted extras which included an interior light package, hill-hold assist, a music interface, heated seats all-round, lane assist warning, Audi phone connect and a great Bang & Olufsen sound system to keep Carly bellowing out clearly.

I wouldn’t question Audi’s claim of a top speed of 155mph and you get 0-62mph in 6.3seconds. CO2 levels are acceptable for a car of this level at 154g/km but the outstanding feature is a claim of 47.9mpg on the combined cycle.

Running costs are also kept down by Audi’s LongLife service agreement of 19,000 miles or two years.

Despite the roof folding arrangements there was surprisingly enough roof for the golf clubs in the boot and ample space for a set of travel bags for that weekend away.

Every A5 Cabriolet comes with stability control, and front and side airbags that cover the head and chest. If sensors detect the car is about to roll over, metal bars pop up behind the rear seats to protect passengers.

And although the soft-top is obviously less secure than hard-top opposition, deadlocks are fitted as standard.

The A5 Cabriolet oozes class and it was disappointing to see it disappearing off the drive on its journey back to Audi-land.

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