Though it can trace its origins to the last-generation Audi A4 Convertible, the 2012 Audi A5 has grown beyond simply a permutation of an existing line. Now in its fourth year on the road, the 2012 Audi A5 is a refinement of an already impressive formula. Attractive, sensuous styling is immediately evident and represents the latest in the premium German automaker's design aesthetic. Powered by two available turbocharged engines, the A5 makes for a compelling package.
The 2012 model year did not see any significant changes, but last year's refinements included a new eight-speed automatic transmission designed to be smoother and even more efficient than the six-speed it replaced. The 2012 Audi A5 also received new wheel designs on more expensive models and a new type of optional wood trim.
Though it may seem antiquated in a world of fancy folding metal convertible roofs, the A5's folding soft top easily matches the competition in noise isolation and is faster to fold/unfold than the rest. Though the new transmission will likely help, the A5's fuel efficiency quickly drops off as engine size increases. Like most convertibles, the trunk is a bit small but is on par for the class.
Bodystyles: Coupe, convertible
Engines: 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, 3.2-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, eight-speed automatic
Models: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige
The 2012 Audi A5 was essentially unchanged from the previous model year. In the 2011 model year the A5 was updated with a new eight-speed automatic transmission that replaces the previous six-speed automatic. Premium Plus and Prestige models received two new wheel designs and a Titanium Sport Package. Birch wood trim was replaced with Nutmeg Laurel wood and the navigation system added HD Radio. Prestige models received an optional power rear window shade, standard backup camera, and rear parking sensors.
The 2012 Audi A5 is a striking, rakish coupe both in hard top and convertible forms that out-styles the competition. Unlike the competition, though, the convertible model uses a traditional fabric roof that raises and lowers quicker than contemporary folding-metal roofs. A wide-mouth grille and low air-intakes cue Audi design language, and 18-inch wheels are standard with 19-inch wheels are an option. Next year, the Audi A5's styling will be refreshed.
The German automaker has earned a reputation for producing top-notch interiors, and the 2012 Audi A5 is certainly a prime example of that. Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) utilizes a control knob instead of a touch screen, and shares some similarities with the BMW and Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems. An optional MMI is available, with easier to use controls. Leather, power front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control are all standard across the range, along with a multi-function steering wheel. Wood trim and heated seats are optional.
Performance & Handling
Thanks to its turbocharger, 2012 Audi A5's base four-cylinder engine and its 211 horsepower make for a willing and capable powertrain, and the most efficient of the two available. An optional 3.2-liter V-6 provides 265 horsepower for the more sporting. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive is optional, and helps propel the A5 with impressive grip. While the A5's two engines offer ample power, enthusiasts may want to consider the S5 which offers a stronger supercharged V-6 and a V-8 engine.
Antilock brakes with brake assist, driver and passenger front airbags are standard, along with side impact thorax bags for front passengers and front and rear head curtain bags. Electronic Stability and traction control are also standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
Cabriolet front-wheel drive: 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway
Cabriolet all-wheel drive: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway
Coupe all-wheel drive manual: 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway
Coupe all-wheel drive automatic: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway
Coupe all-wheel drive V-6 automatic: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway
- Great styling
- Quick-folding convertible roof
- Good trunk space with roof down
- Strong engines
- Adult-friendly rear seats
You Won't Like
- No folding hard top
- Average fuel economy
- Gets pricey quick
A true head-turner
If You Like This Vehicle
- Volvo C70
- Acura TL
- BMW 3 Series