Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet

1997 Audi Cabriolet

1997 Highlights

Base price drops a couple grand, but at the expense of the power top, burled walnut wood trim and leather seats. Opt for the Premium Equipment Package, and these items magically reappear. Casablanca White and Cactus Green join the list of paint colors, and three new top colors debut. Leather seats can be had in two new shades, too.


  • Smooth powertrain, comfortable seats


  • Decade-old design, manual top, plastic rear window, sitting-in-a-bathtub driving position

Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet for Sale

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Audi has been selling the Cabriolet for several years now, with little success. A high price, a limp powertrain, and an aging design based on the old 90 Coupe have steered buyers to BMW, Saab, and Ford showrooms. This year, Audi makes a feeble attempt to revive interest in the Cabriolet by dropping the price and deleting the power top, burled walnut interior trim, and leather seating.

Audi's 172-horsepower 2.8-liter V-6, 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, but is not available at any cost.

In an effort to provide some added individualism to consumers, the Cabriolet is available in two new exterior colors, and the top comes in three new colors, bringing the total to five. The optional Kodiak leather seating is also more distinctive this year, with two new shades of cowhide on the roster. Formerly standard equipment that was deleted for 1997 can be had so long as the Premium Equipment Package is ordered. This package reinstates the power top, the leather seat upholstery, and the wood interior trim to the equipment list. Also, by ordering this package, buyers gain access to options like competition-style alloy wheels and sport seats.

It's no surprise that Audi sells few copies of the Cabriolet in the U.S., considering that the BMW 3-Series and Saab 900 convertibles are priced in the Cabriolet's range and are more viscerally satisfying automobiles. Buyers looking for both luxury and speed can get a loaded Mustang GT convertible and save a few grand, or pop for a similarly-priced Cobra variant. The BMW, Ford, and 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, and we doubt that the upcoming TT roadster is the answer, unless the question is "What 20th century automobile looked the most like Miss Piggy?"

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Features & Specs

2dr Convertible
Transmission4-speed automatic
Horsepower172 hp @ 5500 rpm


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

Top Consumer Reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Audi Cabriolet


Consumer Rating

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Beautiful, but only to the eye.
This vehicle is very, very attractive. Mechanically it has been very disappointing. The engine is lame. I don't need a power house but this engine is simply not eager. We've had many problems with this car, passenger seat jammed, engine light on consistently, front suspension issues, roof won't open all the time, driver window regulator blew, fuel gauge inaccurate and fails, replaced fuel tank evaporator valve, seats squeak, replace engine seals due to oil leaks, water pump failed early, cigarette lighter doesn't work, radio antennae mast failed, trunk lid struts failed and other minor irritants. The car isn't as good a handling vehicle as my '97 BMW. Fuel economy isn't stellar. Don't buy 1!
Timeless Car
This car is now 6 years old, and still draws attention when it's parked with the top down. The design is absolutely timeless: it looks like it was carved out of a single block of steel. The 2.8 engine (Audi's pre-5 valves per cylinder model) with 170 horses will not rocket this heavy car off the line, but that's not the point of the Cabriolet. It's a classic cruiser, and it fills that role beautifully. I will keep it 20 years.
I'm in love!
I can only say great things about this car. It has been a sheer joy to drive and it looks incredibly beautiful. Good luck finding one!
Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet Overview

The Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include , and 2dr Convertible.

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