High Mileage Audi A4 Cabriolet May Play Games With Your Wallet, It Might Also Be Awesome

Cheap Audis are a dangerous game for your sanity and your wallet. That said, the prospects of a German luxury convertible for the cost of a 15-year-old Honda Civic might sure sound enticing. No matter how much of a minefield it may very well become.
Audi A4 Cabrio 21 photos
Photo: Streetsboro Nissan
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Looking at this 2008 Audi A4 Cabriolet on sale via Nissan of Streetsboro in Streetsboro, Ohio, you can't help but be infatuated by how much of a bargain it appears at first sight. Such is the plight of many German car owners. That's why celebrity YouTube mechanics get paid loads of cash to fix them. But at least on the surface, an Audi A4 drop-top is a pretty sweet ride.

For those of us who aren't German car encyclopedias, the 2008 A4 was the penultimate year of the third-generation (B7/8E/8H), produced between late 2004 and 2008 in sedan form, and from 2006 to 2009 as a cabriolet. The A4 is one of Audi's longest-serving models, having replaced the Audi 80 a full 28 years ago, in 1994. All A4s are front-engined with transaxle transmissions mounted in the back portion of the car for better weight distribution.

By the time the third-generation hit the scene in 2006, the type was already a stalwart of the German auto industry. One whose second-generation A4 cabriolets was well respected and fondly remembered. Something bolder was going to be needed to make a worthy follow-up to the original A4 Cabrio. From the looks of things, even a reasonably worn-out one with 125,823 miles (202,492.5-km) on the clock still did the trick nicely.

Powered by a turbocharged two-liter, four-cylinder engine jetting 197 horsepower, the 3,800 lbs or so (1,723 kg) of metal and leather; this car has to lug around must make it feel more like a Chrysler Sebring. At least more so than the A4 Cabrio's little brother, the TT Convertible. But like the Sebring, the A4 in this configuration was never meant to be a track car. Its job is to cruise Floridian or Californian coastal roads with your hair in the breeze while you whisk yourself to and from business meetings and country clubs.

Audi A4 Cabrio
Photo: Streetsboro Nissan
This is doubly made the case by the six-speed ZF 6 Tiptronic automatic gearbox destined to find its way under this A4. Yes, you could shuffle through the gears in manual mode like most self-respecting auto-boxes in the last 20 years, but it's just not the same as a stick shift and your hefty left foot. It must be said, the Alpaka Beige exterior paint with the brown leather interior feels more like a British combination than a German one but works nonetheless.

With a late 2000 iteration of Audi's patented Quattro all-wheel-drive system on offer, the ride and handling should at least make up for the considerable lack of power coming from under the hood. Happily, it doesn't appear that this A4 Cabrio is one of those European drop-tops where the foldable top mechanism breaks if you look at it funny. The biggest gremlins that plague these cars, at least according to forums, are related to the electrics and HVAC ventilation systems. A new AC compressor for one of these A4s must be sure to cost an arm and a leg.

Luxury features on this A4 Cabrio include the aforementioned plush leather seats, which are also heated, by the way. Alongside a Bluetooth-compatible CD/MP3 stereo system with five-spoke alloy wheels that appear to have endured the test of time better than alloys from other luxury cars. An Audi A4 will never be as reliable as a Toyota Solara. There are arguments there. But for how old and how many miles this car's seen, it could easily be a whole lot worse.

With a combined fuel economy of 22 mpg combined, with 19 in the city and 27 on the highway, this is a car more suited for long-distance cruising than it is city commuting. Not that a big heaping gulp of sulfur-filled New York City air is an A4 Cabrio's usual modus operandi.

Audi A4 Cabrio
Photo: Streetsboro Nissan
With a capacity of 16.6 gallons on the fuel tank, we could see gas bills reaching $80 to $100 per fill-up at current American prices. But with a price tag of just $5,993 before taxes and fees, there aren't many cars at that price point that can even come close to this level of luxury. Assuming it stays in one piece, that is.

Check back soon for the last week of Open Top Month coverage here on autoevolution.
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