When I saw the Audi A4 Cabriolet I liked it a lot and I couldn’t wait to drive it. If you’ve read any of my other road tests, you’ll how much I love the Audi TT – both the Coupe and the Roadster. The A3 is a very nice car, but the 3.2 litre engine just isn’t my cup of tea.
Well I finally got my hands on the A4 Cabriolet – it’s now been replaced by the A5 Cabriolet and not a moment too soon!! To say I was deeply disappointed with the A4 would be an understatement.
How bad was it? Imagine if you will this scenario… you see a pretty girl across the street – she’s pretty close to your dream girl (let’s call her.. oh I don’t know.. Jennifer Aniston). You get her phone number from a friend of hers, you give her a call and goodness me! She agrees to a date! You shave, shower and put on your best duds, ring the doorbell and who answers the door? Ugly Betty!!!
That’s how I felt when I got into the A4 Cabriolet and drove away. In less than 2 minutes I wanted to return it to Audi and get something else. This car is a dog. We stopped for lunch just after picking up the A4 and I asked my wife if we could trade cars (she was driving a Ford Focus), and she said “No!”
Now if you know me – this is serious for me to want out of a car before my week is up. I’m a car nut. I can find something good in every car I drive. I’ve driven ugly cars, I’ve driven cars that were so slow the 0-60 times could be measured with a sundial, but I’ve always found several redeeming features that made the car appealing to someone out there.
However, not so with this car.
If I didn’t have to take it back to Audi at the end of the week I would have driven it into the lake to see if it might at least be a plausible boat! Better yet, maybe a boat anchor!
So what is so bad? The driver’s seat is uncomfortable; the interior feels like it came out of a 1970’s Lada; it’s noisy on the freeway/highway at any speed above 50 mph; it’s heavy, so it feels sluggish when the lights turn green… I could go on and on…
Normally I wouldn’t write a review this bad about a car.. but I don’t want to see some poor schmuck go out and buy one of these on eBay, or from a dealership and get stuck with the payments for several years. This car isn’t cheap to buy… so please look elsewhere if you’ve even considered purchasing an A4 Cabriolet – I beg you!! There are far better options out there.
Side note: I was asked if I was worried that by publishing this road test that perhaps Audi would take it badly and block me from getting any more of their cars for future tests? Sure, there’s always the possibility some thin-skinned Audi PR person would take it personally and pull a childish stunt like that, but I would hope Audi would be bigger than that. If you can’t take a little criticism then you should get into another line of work. As for the company – what company hasn’t made a couple of mistakes in their past? GM got castigated for turning a bad Cavalier into an even worse Cadillac and pawning it off to the public – remember the Cimarron? They got over it – eventually.
I take pride in my job and I am here to report the good, the bad and the ugly about any car, regardless of the manufacturer … come what may. If I just spewed the same drivel that the PR departments spend years creating, then you, the reader, wouldn’t be getting a fair shake would you? Anyone can be creative in telling you what a car is “supposed” to feel like, but how often is that actually “real life”? I pride myself in giving reader the truth, a completely un-biased opinion, and far more than the re-hashed information the top magazines and websites regularly publish …. WHY? Because you deserve more!
I’ve taken great pleasure in helping a number of people purchase the car that was right for them. I’ve actually sold several vehicles by way of my reviews. I’ve also stopped people making a mistake and purchasing a vehicle that would give them endless years of grief. I hope that you continue to enjoy my reviews and candor … you’ll never find anything candy coated here.
I can’t find anything nice to say about this car so I’ve said very little.
I almost didn’t publish this road test because I’m not one to talk poorly about anything, however, I’m hoping this brief summary will prevent someone from making a mistake.
I think I’ve said enough … I’ll leave it at that.
POST SCRIPT: I guess I was wrong… Audi are petty. They cancelled a couple of cars on me and I’m not allowed to drive their cars anymore… Oh well…
Pricing for the 2008 Audi A4 Cabriolet:
Anything over $10 is way too much
I didn’t buy it and I got to give it back
I was stuck with it for a whole week!!
Anything from Cuba
Copyright © 2008 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland & Audi
Also Published at: Flagworld.com