KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
The 2009 Audi A4 Cabriolet continues as an alternative to the BMW 3 Series, and offers luxury, technology, sporty handling and a strong visual connection to the rest of the Audi family. This will probably be the last year for the current soft-top Cabriolet, which will most likely be replaced next year by an all new retractable hard-top model similar to the BMW 3 Series and Volvo C70. In the meantime, Audi hopes a high level of content, progressive style and an accessible price make a compelling case for drivers that like a hands-on driving experience and the wind in their hair.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a fun-to-drive convertible that doesn't skimp on luxury, the 2009 Audi A4 Cabriolet is a viable alternative to the omnipresent BMW 3 Series. Soft-top purists will find this is one of the last of the breed.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The styling and handling characteristics are sporty but not necessarily aggressive enough for hard-core drivers. Enthusiasts may long for a bolder statement from the exterior and the performance and feel of rear-wheel drive.
What's New for 2009
The S-Line package is dropped, but its exterior details are made standard on all 2009 A4 Cabriolets. New standard features include Bluetooth, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, 17-inch bi-color polished wheels on the 2.0T and 18-inch S-Line wheels on the 3.2. The Bose audio system is now a stand-alone option, while rear parking sensors are made available on the 2.0T.
The 2009 Audi A4 Cabriolet has adequate acceleration with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, but the V6 is more satisfying all around. The steering is light at slow speeds but feels heavier as speeds increase, and directional inputs are greeted with a quick, precise response from the chassis. For a convertible, the A4 feels solid and resists shakes and rattles when the road gets bumpy. The magic of the A4 Cabriolet is driving with the top down. With the windows lowered there's enough wind to blow your hair around, but with the windows up and the optional wind blocker in place the cabin becomes a still, comfortable place to enjoy the passing scenery. With the acoustic roof of the 3.2 V6 closed, the interior is quieted to near-coupe levels.
The convertible top is what makes this version of the A4 so special. Hold the button down and the top quickly and quietly folds away, leaving the Cabriolet with a sleek, finished appearance.
quattro all-wheel drive
The advantage of quattro all-wheel drive is improved traction on both wet and dry roads.
The interior of the A4 Cabriolet looks upscale and cleverly incorporates design cues from the exterior, like the shape of the trapezoidal grille duplicated in the airbag cover on the steering wheel. Aluminum vent surrounds have become a hallmark of Audi interiors and they are indeed present on the A4 Cabriolet. A standard aluminum accent extends across the dash and back along the door panels, giving the interior a contemporary look. The interior trim is also available in upscale birch, walnut or brushed aluminum. New for 2009 is an available Wine Red leather interior. Seating for four is comfortable both front and back, with reasonable legroom; however, shoulder room in the rear seats can be a little snug.
There's no mistaking the 2009 A4 Cabriolet for anything other than an Audi. The super-sized grille that's become a fixture throughout the rest of the Audi family is present on the convertible A4. The headlamps and taillights look modern and elegant while bold fender flares add a sporty feel, especially when filled with the V6 model's 18-inch wheel and tire package. With the convertible top down and tucked underneath the integrated tonneau cover, the Cabriolet looks sleek and clean. Contributing to the uncluttered exterior is the use of a plastic trunk lid that allows the GPS, satellite and AM/FM antenna system to be completely hidden from view. An especially nice detail is the use of real aluminum for the windshield surround and body trim.
Notable Standard Equipment
The A4 Cabriolet comes with an extensive list of standard equipment. All Cabriolets include a power retractable top, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-speaker audio system with in-dash six-disc MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity, power one-touch windows, speed control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, an integrated ski sack and headlamp washer system. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), driver and passenger front- and seat-mounted airbags and active rollover protection system.
Notable Optional Equipment
Audi offers an array of optional upgrades for the A4 Cabriolet. The Premium package adds the highly effective wind deflector, leather seating surfaces, 17-inch wheels and 12-way power front seats. Other options include a DVD navigation, bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive front lighting system, Homelink universal garage door opener, light and rain sensor for headlamps and wipers, Bose premium sound, auto-dimming exterior and interior mirrors and heated front and rear seats.
Under the Hood
Audi's FSI direct-injection gasoline engines have been well received. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder offers good power and fuel economy while the V6 bumps up the power without a huge reduction in miles per gallon. Opting for quattro all-wheel drive helps transform the Cabriolet into a car for all seasons.
2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 (FWD), 21/27 (AWD)
255 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a base A4 Cabriolet with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine and a continuously variable transmission starts close to $41,000. Add quattro all-wheel drive and the price moves closer to $44,000. Equip the Cabriolet with a 3.2-liter V6, six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and all-wheel drive and the price jumps closer to $50,000. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Prices to see what consumers are actually paying for this and other luxury convertibles. Resale value for the A4 Cabriolet is expected to remain strong, with residuals exceeding that of the Volvo C70 and the Saab 9-3. Against its chief competitor, the BMW 3 Series, the A4 is likely to experience lower resale value in four-cylinder form and match that of the BMW when equipped with a V6.