Unlike the A5 that followed it the Audi A4 Cabriolet was the only 2 door car in the A4 range with no coupe alternative. As a result almost every body panel, the rear interior and many mechanical components were unique to the car. Never the less it is a highly developed and refined convertible, available in a huge variety of trim and engine variants that offer everything from economical cruiser to snarling sports car. Audi aims to provide a usable every day car with excellent build quality, pleasant cabin, minimal wind buffeting and good sound proofing. The Audi A4 was the first convertible car to offer a diesel engine which has seen moderate success in Europe prompting other manufacturers to follow.
The roof folds at a reasonable speed considering its size and leaves a useable space in the luggage compartment. Storage space isn’t as good as some of the A4’s competitors such as the Mercedes CLK and Volvo C70 but is still much improved on older cars. Standard equipment levels are good however ticking additional boxes in the options list can be a very costly exercise. Lucky then that this high range model has all the important things you will need including climate control and a sat-nav system.
The 2006 Audi A4 Cabriolet B7 update brought suspension and steering upgrades previously limited to the more powerful S4 to further improve handling. It also got the tall grille front end facelift – the last car in the range to receive this treatment, and updated rear lights.
With ample power for this refined four-seat convertible, the Audi A4 Cabriolet 1.8T is a classy car at an attractive price. The ride is excellent and interior beautifully finished giving a premium feel to an already elegant car. Fuel economy is an acceptable level for a car of this size and the turbocharged engine is eager if not exciting to drive.
The Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI uses the latest direct injection technology and a turbocharger to allow an impressive surge of performance when it is needed and equally good economy when you don't. It is a worthy upgrade on the 1.8T with an extra kick of acceleration without any extra cost at the petrol pump.
The Audi A4 Cabriolet 3.2 FSI quattro has plenty of power to make some serious progress but the chassis and all-whee-drive system manage it with ease. It pulls well throughout the rev range making it feel comfortably quick whatever the circumstance. The economy and emissions aren't quite so pleasing but that is as ou would expect with an engine and car of this size.
The Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.0 TDI was the first convertible car to offer a diesel engine and its success in Europe changed the industry. While enthusiasts had trouble seeing why anyone driving a convertible car would want toput up with the tuneless noise and sooty fumes of a diesel engine, those covering many miles, often for business use, had little option and were thrilled to be able to order a sophisticated drop-top.
The same engine features across many VW Group cars and is well known for its hard-working ability to cover huge distances without complaint and a conservative thirst.
The more powerful diesel engine in the range provides both performance and economy in equal measure. With 230bhp the Audi A4 Cabriolet 3.0 TDI quattro was at launch the most powerful diesel convertible available. It may not be an exciting performance car but it is very capable and can cover ground in all weather at a surprisingly fast rate. It also makes cruising and accelerating very easy and provides a relaxed driving experience well matched to the excellent 6 speed automatic gearbox.