Used Audi A4 Cabriolet 2002 - 2005 review

Category: Convertible

Posh, pricey and smooth, the Audi A4 Cabriolet looks good and does most things well – just don't expect a cracking drive.

Audi A4 Cabriolet (00 - 05)
  • Audi A4 Cabriolet (00 - 05)
  • Audi A4 Cabriolet (00 - 05)
Used Audi A4 Cabriolet 2002 - 2005 review
Star rating

What's the used Audi A4 sports like?

The Audi A4 Cabriolet is good-looking and impressive, inside and out, leagues ahead of the old Audi Cabrio, which used a chassis and running gear dating from the 1980s.

Audi combines chrome highlights, high-quality plastics and plush fabrics to make an interior that begs you to spend time in it. Its electric hood operates tidily, but also keeps out the elements when you need it to.


Posh, pricey and smooth, the Audi A4 Cabriolet looks good and does most things well – just don't expect a cracking drive.

  • Classy, well made and beautiful
  • Interior is a great place to be
  • Expensive to buy
  • Not as sharp to drive as a BMW 3 Series

There's proper space for four adults and – a rarity, this – enough room in the boot for their luggage. The dash is very clear, and the wheel and driver's seat adjust finely in every conceivable way. You can even raise or lower the roof on the move - but only at speeds up to 20mph.

The A4 Cabrio's not thrilling to drive, but it does everything competently, especially on models from 2006 onwards, which had suspension changes that made them more engaging to drive. The ride is composed, although deep ruts can catch it out.

Ownership cost

What used Audi A4 sports will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Audi A4 sports?

There's no reason why the Audi A4 Cabtiolet should cost you a fortune to run. They're expensive to buy, but lose value slowly, which keeps whole-life costs down. Servicing costs are as for other A4s, and middling for a compact executive car. Using a reputable Audi specialist rather than a main dealer slices a third off labour rates.

Spares are expensive and Audis aren't as reliable as you might expect, so set aside a sizeable budget once the car is a few years old. Insurance is no dearer than it is for an A4 saloon. The 1.8T, 2.0T FSi and 2.0 diesel fall within group 15, the 3.0 diesel and 3.2 petrol are group 17 and the S4 is group 20.

The 2.0 TDi is that rare thing, a soft-top that promises up to 44mpg, and the 3.0 TDi manages up to 35mpg. Of the petrols, the 1.8T and 2.0T FSi should return up to 33mpg, while the 3.2 posts 25mpg and the S4 20mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Audi A4 sports should I buy?

Go for a model from 2006 or later, if your budget will stretch that far. Chassis modifications made it better to drive, while the 2.0T FSi engine that became available then is the pick of the line-up.

The 1.8 turbo engine that powers the cheapest model is also the most plentiful second-hand, as well as the best choice for keeping ownership costs sensible. There are also 2.0- and 3.0-litre diesels that are good but scarce second-hand, a 3.2 V6 with Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system and the S4, the range's performance flagship.

Of these, we'd shy away from the quattro because it's an oddity (unless the extra traction 4WD brings is a must), and the S4 because the BMW M3 has a similar price tag, but is much better.

All have an electric hood, air-conditioning, climate control, four airbags and stability control. The S4 also has a leather-trimmed cabin.

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