Used 1996 Audi Cabriolet Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

Better acceleration, a new radio, a new color and revised alloy wheels are the only changes.

Vehicle overview

Basically a chopped-top 90 coupe, the Cabriolet is solidly built and sold in low enough numbers to guarantee exclusivity, but offers little else for its steep $37,000 price tag.

An automatic transmission is standard on the Cabriolet. No manual transmission is offered. The top is fully automatic and includes a rigid boot that folds into place once the top is stowed. Audi's gutsy 2.8-liter V6, mated to an automatic transmission and hauling around nearly as much weight as the A6 wagon, feels anemic in this application. A manual gearbox would improve matters.

For 1996, the Cabriolet's engine responds to throttle inputs better due to a new throttle linkage and revised transmission software. A new radio, a new color, and new alloy wheels are the only other changes.

Audi sells few copies of the Cabriolet in the U.S. Not surprising, considering that the BMW 3-Series and Saab 900 convertibles are priced in the Cabriolet's territory and are more satisfying automobiles. The BMW and the Saab have more character than the Audi, and are more fun to drive. Audi needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.