Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet Convertible

1997 Audi Cabriolet
List price range
1997 Audi Cabriolet


  • Smooth powertrain, comfortable seats


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

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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?"

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Audi Cabriolet.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Beautiful, but only to the eye.
Random Beast,05/27/2009
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
Multiple Audi Owner,10/03/2003
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.
Great little car
I have driven this car for several years and really have enjoyed it. It runs well, the top is easy to operate, and most importantly, it is reliable. This car is distinct and well crafted, without a ton of bells and whistles.
Good experience with this car! no big problems and fun to drive. I am becoming more concerned with safety, thus the convertible may not be a good choice for me anymore.
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Features & Specs

17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
172 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet Convertible features & specs


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

More about the 1997 Audi Cabriolet
Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet Convertible Overview

The Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet Convertible is offered in the following styles: 2dr Convertible.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Audi Cabriolet Convertible?

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Can't find a used 1997 Audi Cabriolet Cabriolet Convertible you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Audi Cabriolet for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $19,038.

Find a used Audi for sale - 3 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $13,347.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi Cabriolet for sale - 2 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $17,744.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Audi Cabriolet?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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