Audi recently unveiled its latest addition to the A5/S5 model line, the Audi A5/S5 Cabriolet. The previous-generation of A5 Cabrio was one of the most popular cars in its segment. It offered decent performance from a good looking drop-top coupe, so naturally it was quite popular. However, it wasn’t perfect, as its design language didn’t work as well with the convertible as it did with the coupe body style and its chassis rigidity was somewhat poor without the fixed roof. Audi intended to fix both of those issues with this new generation.
Not only is the new Audi A5 Cabrio significantly stiffer than before (up 40 percent) but it’s now the stiffest car in its class. Which is reassuring considering how it’s actually quite pretty now. The new A5 design language lends itself well to losing the roof. The new shoulder line that accentuates the rear wheel arches gives the rear end a more muscular look when the roof is down and the added decklid spoiler gives the rear some much-needed drama. In comparison with the BMW 4 Series Convertible, it’s hard to pick a favorite because both are very good looking.
The biggest difference between the two is the folding roof. The Audi’s is a soft-top and the BMW’s is a hard-top. The former looks a bit more classic and, to these eyes, a bit better. For some reason, I’ve never found that the 4 Series Convertible looked all that good with the top up, as it sort of looks like a coupe gone wrong. But the Audi A5/S5 Cabrio looks like a classic, handsome convertible with the top up. Thankfully, BMW will be switching back to soft-tops in the future.
From the front, I think the new Audi A5/S5 face is a bit better looking that the 4 Series’, but maybe that’s just because it’s a newer design and looks fresher to these eyes. The 4 Series face is still very good looking, and it’s a close call between the two, but there’s something about the new A5/S5’s mug that I like quite a bit. Again, it could just be because it’s newer.
Out back, it’s an easy call. The 4 Series Convertible is the better looking car. While the new A5 has a decent looking rump, it’s just a bit bland and boring. There’s nothing special or interesting about the rear end of the A5. I do like the built-in third brake like on the A5, which is just barely higher than the trunk lid, but aside from that it’s pretty milquetoast.
The interiors of both cars are virtually unchanged from their coupe variants. To these eyes, the new Audi A5/S5 runs away with it, in terms of interior design. Not that the 4 Series’ is bad. Quite the contrary, actually, as we’re big fans of the 4 Series’ driver-focused cockpit. But Audi’s new interior design is brilliantly executed, has incredible technology and made from top-notch materials. The 4 Series has one of the cooler cabins in the segment, but the Audi A5/S5 has the best looking cabin in the segment.
Overall, both are really good looking and it would honestly come down to driving dynamics to choose. Neither is so much better looking that the other in any aspect that it should sway a decision for the buyers. However, if I, personally, had to choose just one just from looks it would probably be the Audi and it’s the soft-top that steals it for me. I just like soft-top convertibles better, as I find hard-tops to be a bit strange looking with the top up and it sort of turns me off. But with the tops down this is a very close call. Which do you prefer?