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Audi A5 2.0 TDI 170 Cabriolet Start/stop: Test Drive Review

Date: 03 September 2009   |   Author:

Audi A5 Convertible
Category: Sports
P11D price: £33,650
Key rival: BMW 3-series convertible

At the start of this year Audi's A5 was voted BusinessCar's Sporting Car of the Year by you, the readers of this publication, and since then it's become both greener and more fleet-friendly.

Audi has finally joined the stop-start bandwagon, introducing its system as standard on all manual transmission A4 and A5 models with any of the 2.0-litre petrol or diesel engines, as well as on the A3 1.4T petrol and 1.6 diesel.

It works in the same way as rival systems in that the engine cuts itself when the car's at a standstill with no gear engaged. As with rival systems it works well, is impossible to catch out and provides real benefit for any driver that encounters traffic lights on a commute. Audi has also fitted a recuperation system that stores braking energy in the battery to deploy when the car accelerates again. The net gain is something in the region of 3% fuel economy and 5g/km.

Green virtues aside, the A5, in both coupe and convertible form, is now more attractive to corporate customers thanks to the launch of an entry diesel engine, a 2.0-litre 170PS that, for the record, isn't the entry-level version in the A5 range because there are smaller petrol engines. It is, though, the lowest-emitting model at 148g/km.

The car loses nothing with the addition of this lowest-powered diesel because, in the real-world the reduction in power makes no difference to the driving experience. What matters is that the diesel feels quick and in the mid-range is wonderfully punchy.

The A5 Cabriolet is just about a full four-seater, in that it'll squeeze four adults in, and, when raised, the canvas roof does a very good job of keeping out wind noise.

Decent 45.5% RVs help this version to a 62.2p per mile figure, and the average fuel economy figure is a shade under 50mpg, making the this A5 about as fleet-friendly as prestige convertibles come.

Audi A5 2.0 TDI 170 Cabriolet S-line Start/stop
P11D price£33,650
Model price range£24,095-£42,245
Fuel consumption49.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 148g/km (20%)
BIK 20/40% per month£112/£224
Service intervalvariable
Insurancegroup 15
Boot space (min/max)320/750 litres
Engine size/power1968cc/170PS
Top speed/0-62mph140mph/8.3secs
On sale August 2009
VerdictAudi finally boards the stop-start
train,and new diesel addition is
best A5 for fleet.


Audi finally boards the stop-start train,and new diesel addition is best A5 for fleet.