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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSi: Roadtest!

What else could I possibly want, a 10 day holiday in the scorching heat of India, and then coming home to the arrival of my mother’s new car; the Audi A4 Cabriolet.

Audi A4 Cabriolet

When searching for the car, my mother wanted something classy and elegant, and I definitely think we’ve found it…

So first impressions of this 2 door convertible seem to be quite conservative, especially when compared to the likes of the new Volvo C70. But the recent facelift including changes to headlamps and the addition of the single frame grill help give it an upmarket look, which is definitely missing from the Saab 9-3. The high shoulder line help disguise it’s size, and the roof looks sleek. The looks are definitely impressive, and as for first impressions, the reputable Audi badge does all the talking.

Audi A4 Cabriolet

The Audi standards continue with the interior, although the build quality is impeccable, the dash does seem to be quite dull which was slightly disappointing to see. Nevertheless, the ease ability does impress, and it’s simple to see why very few customers complain. The rear seats are easy to access, and even four adults can easily be accommodated. The sport seats are comfortable, and the steering wheel is in a good position. Standard kit is fairly generous including a fully electric roof, climate control and ESP. Practicality is carefully thought out, with many cubby holes and an adequate boot ensuring the A4 Cabriolet can be used for both a weekend holiday as well as for the school drill.

Audi A4 Cabriolet

On the road, the car does well to keep refined. The optional Acoustic hood is definitely recommended for motorway journeys. The standard car comes with 1.8 litre Turbo, but for just over £1500, you can upgrade to the 2.0TFSi, as seen in the Golf GTi. This is a powerful unit, producing 200BHP and taking the car to 60 MPH in just 8 seconds. It’s a shame Audi haven’t fitted the revolutionary DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) or now known as S-tronic, but the 7 speed multitronic does well. Gear changes are smooth, although little turbo lag was still present when accelerating heavily. Steering is light, thanks to the servotronic steering aid which is standard on most models. It must be mentioned that the ride isn’t as smooth as I hoped, even with 17” tyres. It’s enjoying to drive, however it’s worth noting that very little understeer does occur occasionally.

Audi A4 Cabriolet

Next, the best part of the convertible, the roof. A flick of a button stows the hood in the boot, and in a mere 30 seconds the looks are transformed! Without the wind deflector, the A4 does well to keep wind to a minimum. But with the optional wind deflector, there’s absolutely no wind inside the cabin. There is very little turbulence with the roof down, so now all we need is good weather!

Audi A4 Cabriolet

So to conclude, the A4 Cabriolet is a great car and in my opinion the best in its class. The Volvo C70 and Mercedes CLK are definitely worth considering, but as our initial research proved the C70 felt cheap, and the CLK was heavily over priced. The Audi can adapt to many lifestyles, it’s cheaper than most of it’s rivals, and provides great quality from reputable name. Not to mention it’ll keep a lot of it’s residual value when it comes to selling. Some options that I definitely recommend are the Sport pack, Comfort pack, Wind deflector and Acoustic hood.

Audi A4 Cabriolet
Audi A4 Cabriolet
Audi A4 Cabriolet

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