By Cars.com EditorsDecember 15, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2010 Audi S5. It competes with the 335i Convertible.
<v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. Audi expanded it's A5 and S5 lineup for 2010, with convertible variants of either car. We've got the latter here.
This is the S5 Cabriolet, and Audi hopes it'll compete with cars like the BMW 335, the Infiniti G37, and the Lexus IS 350C convertibles. The S5 has a lot going for it. It's powerful, but surprisingly easy to drive and pretty accommodating, too. That said, some may wonder why Audi didn't go with a folding metal hard top, like those others did. The S5, like S4, has a 3.0L Supercharged V6. Now, why they chose to put V6T here, I don't get. And as a rider, it kind of offends me, but the engine doesn't it. It's good for 333 horsepower, 325 pound feet of torque. And that ladder figure's available from 2,900 all the way up to 5,300 RPM. Still not as low of a torque peak as a lot of turbo-charged cars, so there's not a ton of thrust early on. Fortunately, the car makes up for that. When you rev a pie, there's plenty of acceleration. And like a lot of baddies, the steering is pretty easy at low speeds, and it firms up at higher speeds. But the car still feels a little bit nose heavy, even with Audi's rear biased Quattro all-wheel drive. Still, this is one of those convertibles that doesn't require a lot of compromises to drive. Snowbelt drivers will appreciate the availability of all-wheel drive, and Audi's got a lot of little things going on here, too. Stuff like a center armrest here that adjusts forward and extends outward for shorter drivers, seatbelt extenders that move forward when you get in the car, so you don't have to reach around so much to get to them, and a back seat that adults might actually find tolerable for short trips. So, why did Audi go with a soft top instead of a hard top? Well, the automaker says it did so for reasons of weight, of size, packaging, ease of use. Those arguments do have some value. The S5's soft top weighs less than the 3 Series, the G37, and IS's hard tops. It also goes up and down in less than 20 seconds. Some of those other cars take up to 30 seconds to do their thing. It also takes up a lot less space in the trunk, maybe 20, 25%, although Audi doesn't provide us with exact figures. A lot less space than the folding hard tops, which are big, heavy contraptions take up in the backs of their cars. Unfortunately, you can't really beat the insulating powers of a folding metal hard top. And so at highway speeds, the S5 does have a little more wind noise than those others. It doesn't mean the S5 is an undesirable car, cause it certainly is. And if you don't mind a little bit of extra wind noise, I think you'll find that it's one of the more accommodating cars in this class. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com, or our blog kickingtires.net.