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Lexus IS, VW Eos, Audi A5: three four-seater convertibles in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Lexus IS, VW Eos, Audi A5 under test
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Put an end to all the summer-is-over-whining and the days -decrease-howl. A quick push of a button and a gray autumn day unfolds its charms. In 20 seconds, for example, 13 motors and 33 sensors build the new Lexus IS 250 C (The Lexus IS 250 C in the driving report) from coupé to convertible, a record among the popular tin roof mutants. Impending autumn depression can now be combated with plenty of fresh air. And since the wind is already blowing a little cooler, the L exus -Aerodynamicists ingeniously designed around the cockpit and thus ensure a cozy, cozy beach chair. The seat heating, which is stronger than in the sedan, provides the rest of the feel-good warmth.

The body of the Lexus IS 250 C has been almost completely renewed

Although technically based on the four-door model, the IS 250 C body except for the bonnet, headlights and exterior mirrors all new. The rear overhang, which has been lengthened by 50 millimeters, creates a trunk of 420 liters, which is generous for a convertible. In the roof construction, however, there is no trace of the Japanese art of origami: only a narrow compartment of 165 liters is left open, 55 less than with an Smart . A through-loading is just as missing as sufficient payload: 317 kilos are too little for a four-seater.

The Lexus IS 250 C also offers enough space for the rear passengers

In return, backbenchers are welcomed by two cozy club armchairs, which, however, only change after a tough electric easy-entry waiting loop. The better seats are in the front anyway: thanks to the low seating position and comfortable armrests, the cockpit also fits perfectly for European body sizes. However, the generously used chrome, aluminum and wood jewelry is too easy to expose as plastic for a 50,000 euro car. After all, the luxury version lives up to its name with ventilated leather seats, xenon lamps and 18-inch rims.

VW Eos: Transparent Glass roof ensures a bright cockpit even on cloudy days

In addition, the VW Eos V6 for a good 38,000 euros like a bargain. Although it works five seconds longer on its convertible top, the front segment of which can be opened or raised separately like a sunroof - if it should be too frosty to drive open - but even when closed, the transparent glass roof ensures a bright cockpit on cloudy days : Light therapy by driving a car. Thanks to the transverse engine and front-wheel drive, the Eos is more than 20 centimeters shorter not tighter than in the rear-wheel drive IS 250 C. Its folding top construction even leaves a little more trunk space when folded, which, thanks to its through-loading, can also swallow skis during winter holidays. In addition to the dashboard and the VW -typically clearly designed control elements The more upright sitting position ensures the familiar Golf - Feelings.

The Audi A5 Cabriolet offers the most generous amount of space of all three

Also in the Cabriolet version of the Audi A5 ( Audi presented in spring forms a 2.0 TFSI for a good 45,000 euros is the middle in this comparison, but with its fabric top it defies the tin roof trend. Since the cap folds up more compactly, the Audi designers were able to get the crisp coupé bottom.

In addition, with the top down, there is a trunk that deserves its name and which can be used flexibly thanks to the folding rear seat. While the tin roofs only move when stationary, the A5 stops the topless decision is still open up to 50 km /h. And he, too, knows a remedy for year-round summer feelings: his optional neck blower in the front seats fanned out such warm air that the best excuse for driving closed is downpour.

With a weight of 1.7 tons, the Lexus IS 250 C is sometimes overwhelmed

So open the roof three times and off you go. in theCity traffic is from the 2.5-liter V6 in the Lexus so little to be heard as if a Prius electric motor had smuggled itself into the drive train. However, the start does not seem much more vehement than in the hybrid group brother. Compact turbo diesels, which pull the IS 250 effortlessly away from the IS 250 on the autobahn, show how overwhelmed the low-torque short-stroke engine, including its cotton-soft automatic converter, is with the 1.7-tonner. The Lexus is more fun on winding country roads with its exemplary balanced weight distribution and direct, albeit not too sensitive, steering. In addition, its receptive suspension weighs even violent waves calmly and only responds a bit woodenly at short joints.

The VW Eos is powerful and agile

The innocent googly eyes of the Eos are deceiving: The VW mimes the muscle car in this comparison. Its 3.6-liter V6 has to a certain extent the displacement of two and a half downsized four-cylinders. And that's what it sounds like. At low speed, it bubbles with satisfaction, only to trumpet uninhibited joie de vivre when it is turned off and to shake off the competition. Despite the heavy chunk on the front axle, the Eos reacts sensitively to commands from its smooth and shock-free steering. The zigzag-shifting dual-clutch transmission goes just as well with the agile driving experience as the standard adaptive dampers, which hardly allow any side tilt, but which can be heard through short bumps even in the comfort position. The elaborate retractable roof with violent wind noise is also annoying.

The Audi A5 Cabriolet has the lowest test consumption

As in previous comparisons, the Audi convertible top proves that fabric roofs are no longer acoustically compatible Have to hide behind folding hardtops, which are at most vandalism-resistant. The jerky and inharmonious steering, whose direct commands the Audi A5 doesn't always follow suit immediately. In addition, the tightly tuned front-wheel drive car pushes over the front wheels early in tight bends. Instead, the only four-cylinder shows the long nose of the six-cylinder. Thanks to turbo boost, the Audi is not only most likely to follow the Eos, its continuously variable Multitronic transmission with a widely spread ratio always keeps the TFSI in the optimal range. The constant speed level without gearshift interruptions sounds a bit getting used to, especially when accelerating fully, but the direct-injection engine thanks you with the lowest test consumption and undercuts thatLexus by 1.5 liters.

Even if the IS 250 C lacks sovereign power and trunk space, its quiet, subordinate manner certainly knows how to please. The victory of the pragmatic, spacious and equally economical Audi But it cannot prevent it any more than the robust VW . As antidepressants for all seasons, all three have clearly proven their effectiveness.


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