Volkswagen’s luxury division redesigned its compact, entry-level A4 sedan and Avant wagon midway through the 2005 model year by giving them larger engines with direct fuel injection. A new, larger grille was similar to the one on the midsize A6 sedan.
Each body style comes in 2.0T form with a turbocharged four-cylinder or in 3.2 guise with a V-6. The A4 Cabriolet is still based on the previous design, though a redesigned version is expected for 2006.
The 2006 Audi A4 Cabriolet will become the latest member of the Audi family to get the now standard single-frame grille. Like it or not, it is here to stay. Debuting at the Frankfurt auto show, the new cabrio will also get dynamic cornering lights as a new option. Interestingly, the Cabriolet is not getting the Nuvolari inspired tail-lights that are now standard on the A4 range.
Even after the redesigned A4 sedan and wagon went on sale during 2005, Cabriolet production continued in previous-generation form. A new S-line edition with a sport suspension and 18-inch wheels replaces the Sport package for 2006. Heated rear seats and rear Parktronic parking assistance are available.
Emphasizing luxury over sportiness, the A4 Cabriolet delivers a refined top-down experience. This car exhibits strong, confident, quick-responding performance, but it’s not quite exuberant. The easy-to-drive convertible stays impressively flat through curves. Though it maneuvers capably, its steering isn’t the most precise. Even on imperfect pavement, the ride is comfortable as the suspension transmits minimal fuss. The seats are superb: pleasantly cushioned, masterfully supportive and snugly — but not excessively — bolstered.
Twin bars behind the rear seats deploy upward when a rollover is imminent. A strengthened windshield and A-pillars provide extra protection.
The A4-based suspension was lowered slightly for use on the A4 Cabriolet. Like the prior-generation A4 sedan, the Cabriolet has a double grille, a triple-tube headlight module, a contoured tail and chrome exhaust pipes. Brushed-aluminum trim goes around the windshield and along the waist.
Five-spoke cast-alloy wheels on the Cabriolet hold 16-inch tires. A wide arch roofline for the convertible top enhances the body’s subtle wedge profile. A heated glass rear window incorporates electric defrosting. A cover closes flush with the body. A wind deflector is available.
Four people fit inside the A4 Cabriolet’s sporty cabin. Audi’s Symphony radio includes an in-dash six-CD changer and nine speakers. Standard equipment includes a four-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated power mirrors and height-adjustable front seats with four-way electric lumbar adjustment. Automatic dual-zone climate control works with sun and pressure sensors.
Price this car:
MSRP: $28,240 – $45,490
Invoice: $26,043 – $42,010
Source: Audi Press Release