Premium car offerings in India are growing by the day and now it is Audi who has entered the fray. The Audi A5 Cabriolet is the second soft-top convertible in its Indian portfolio and it goes head-to-head against the Mercedes-Benz C300 Cabriolet. So we dig into the features, specifications and design of both these convertible beauties to find out which one manages to inch ahead in the race.
Design and dimensions
Cabriolets are luxury offerings where only the front seats are occupied, except if you are a Hugh Hefner fanboy. Jokes apart, the Mercedes is a few mm longer than the Audi but the Audi is wider and sits lower. The raked windshield and lower profile of the Audi makes it look a tad bit sportier than the Merc.
In terms of design both the Germans get their family faces. The Mercedes gets the smiley-face grille with a horizontal slat and the logo pasted in the centre. The A5, being a 2017 model, gets the latest sharper hexagonal grille and the angular LED headlamps. Both the cars gets electrically operated folding fabric cabriolet roofs that open and close at the flick of a switch.
Interior and Equipment
The Cabriolets are lifestyle offerings, the cars that sit in the drive-way rather than the garage. Just like their exterior design, the interiors are also exquisite to look at when the roof is down. The upholstery is made of expensive leather and the seats are power adjustable. They get individual zone climate control, cruise control and steering mounted audio controls along with auto-dimming interior as well as exterior mirrors.
The A5, as well as the C300, get display screens for their infotainment systems that include vehicle setup as well. Through these systems, you can adjust the ambient lighting, steering response and in some cases, suspension setup as well through the drive modes. In terms of safety, you have a cocoon of airbags supplemented by driving aids like electronic stability program, traction control, ABS, EBD amongst others.
Engine and Performance
This is where the similarities end. Mercedes-Benz prefers to take the enthusiast approach with its 2.0-litre 241bhp turbocharged petrol engine driving the rear wheels. Also the air-suspension on the Merc gives it a supple and firm ride through corners as well as on the straights, making it a performer.
Audi, on the other hand, takes a frugal approach by offering the A5 Cabriolet with an 188bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine. Although the engine is torquey and pulls well, when you are driving with the hood open, the diesel clutter will certainly creep in. But then, it is super-efficient and you won’t mind taking it out even for your daily commute.
While the Audi A5 Cabriolet is priced at Rs 67.51 lakhs, ex-showroom India, the Mercedes-Benz C300 Cabriolet will cost you Rs 60.98 lakhs. The Mercedes is cheaper and brings to the table a powerful and refined petrol engine while the Audi brings in an efficient diesel. The big question is, when you are spending close to Rs 80 lakhs on-road for a trophy car, what matters more – efficiency or power?