Share your thoughts with other customers:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2005 Audi S4 Cabriolet,
Looks are subjective but I have always found the S4 to display an understated but classy exterior. There's very little to distinguish the S4 from it's lesser powered brethren the A4. The A4 Cabriolet is a beautiful car and I laud Audi's decision not to tart it up with flares, spoilers and cladding. There are some subtle differences such as the 18" Avus wheels, chrome colored exterior mirrors and S4 badging but it takes a discerning eye to pick up on the differences. If you're the type of person that wants other people to know you're driving a special edition version of a vehicle with massive horsepower then look elsewhere.
In my opinion, Audi stylists are the best in the business when it comes to interiors. While some may be jealous of the Recaro seats found in the S4 Sedan and Avant, the seats found in the Cabriolet are not without their merits. The fully adjustable power seats covered in silk Napa leather are buttery soft and extremely comfortable. The optional but oft equipped features of seat memory and heat are convenience items that you shouldn't do without.
Despite being a car from 2005, the only interiors that make this one seem outdated are the type contained in the new Audi models. Much like the exterior, the interior is almost identical to the A4 but with subtle changes such as optional carbon fiber trim and S4 badging on the steering wheel. The speedometer also sports an S4 logo and features a gray background instead of the black background found on the A4.
The 4.2 V8 rated at 340 HP with 302 ft. lbs of torque is a masterpiece. While time has somewhat softened the impressiveness of the performance numbers, a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds in a heavy and solid all-wheel drive convertible is nothing to sneeze at. The brilliance of this engine is that it's happy to be driven calmly and quietly at cruising speeds but when you're in the mood to "drop the hammer" the S4 becomes a raving beast with one of the most exotic sounding exhaust notes this side of an Aston Martin. The knock on this engine is the fuel economy. Like to drive around town do you? Well sir, you'll be getting 9-11 MPG if you are of the spirited driving mindset. Freeway cruising at 65 will net you between 20-22 MPG with the manual and (believe it or not) slightly better figures with the Automatic.
When the car was built there were few alternatives and one could reasonably expect that if you wanted this type of performance you were going to pay for it dearly at the pump. Advances in engine technology the last few years now allow powerful V-8 and V-6 engines to produce similar and sometimes greatly improved HP and torque figures with considerably better economy.
Handling is decent for a big and heavy Cabrio but you'll be lagging behind the hardtop S4's and M3's of similar ilk in the dry twistys. Throw some rain into the mix though and you can kiss just about any two-wheel drive car goodbye. Like many great Audi vehicles this one is equipped with the Quattro all-wheel drive system and it holds the road with such confidence and poise that it dangerously makes you feel like a better driver than you likely are. You'll get a small amount of cowl shake but it's one of the best of the bunch compared to other options from the mid 2000 vintages. Ditto on wind noise, very minimal especially with the windblocker in place. Even without, one can easily carry on a conversation at freeway speed with all of the windows down.
The manual transmission has a very high quality feel to it although it does have a relatively light clutch pedal that while nice on your foot, can make the car difficult to drive smoothly in the lower gears. It can be done but you'll need to pay a bit more attention to do so than in other vehicles.
This may sound strange but I purchased this car because I recently had a new son. I have always been a fan of convertibles and wasn't going to let a new baby take away the pleasure I get from top down driving. This is where the S4 shines. It's a practical four seat all-wheel drive convertible that can keep pace with the 2 seat roadsters that make up the large majority of convertibles found on the road today. I would almost go as far to say that an S4 Cabrio could be your only car even with a child in the family. The trunk employs a very neat feature that allows you to greatly expand the trunk space when the convertible top is up. I have done some pretty hefty Costco runs in this thing and the trunk swallows up a large amount of stuff for a cabrio. Even with the top down you can easily fit 4-5 grocery bags in the boot.
The room in the back seat is quite decent for this type of vehicle. It's slightly tricky to enter with the top up but once in, a 6' frame can ride in comfort without their knees in their chest. Another thoughtful feature that Audi engineered into the S4 is a power actuator button located at the top of each seat. This is very handy when you do need rear seat access as you don't need to bend down to reach the seat controls. You merely stand upright and move the seat back and forth to your heart's desire.
I could go on and on about why I love this car so much. Aside from the fuel economy and the higher cost to maintain this vehicle due to it's Teutonic engineering and badge there's very little I can fault with this car. Find yourself a nice independent shop and take the freeway once in a while to conserve fuel. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ride!