After many years of running a main car and a ‘classic’ which did get used everyday for local commuting, we decided that a newer second car was long overdue. A few months with a barely reliable 1996 Saab 900 convertible, we decided to look for a much newer replacement.
We had fallen in love with the convertible idea and firstly headed to the local Saab dealer to test drive the latest 93 drop head. The only test car they had in automatic to try out was the 1.8 litre Vector model. Even though the price was right, the test drive left us rather disappointed with the performance and found the overly fussy styling too much.
Where to next – not many convertibles of this calibre are available and they could easily end up out of our price bracket. One such was the Mercedes CLK – far too expensive and the dealer staff were not interested as the production quota had been filled for that model anyway. BMW was not really an option as we had suffered a few years earlier with a 520i model which was so poorly made and designed that it put us off the marque for life.
Next we went to the Audi dealer – even though we thought there would be no chance of anything near what we wanted to pay. We were hoping to find a one or two year old car with warranty left to mop up any remaining expensive repairs. Smith Knight Fay in Bolton (now Bolton Audi) were very obliging and checked their database to find us what we wanted. Unfortunately there were no used A4 cabriolets at that age available. Even so we test drove a new 2.4 V6 model and fell in love with the smooth engine and the even smoother lines of the body. A suggestion they may be able to find a new car from their dealer stock in a spec and colour close to what we wanted and could afford was taken up. Within a few hours we had a done a deal – and available within a few days rather than the months they normally required – and with a chunky discount.
Our Audi A4 cabriolet ended up as a 2005 2.4 litre V6 Sport with Multitronic automatic transmission. Moro blue metallic with a few nice extras such as full leather, cruise control, extra internal lighting and larger alloys.
Audi ownership has not been without a few hiccups. A severe water leak on the roof to windscreen joint lead to major failings of the vehicle’s computers. Not all at once but one failure lead to another and so on! After a period of nearly 12 months we had got to know most of the Audi and RAC breakdown crew very well. Even though there were problems with the car we were treated exceptionally well by the dealer who never quibbled about anything and always found us a courtesy car.
What about the car in 2013 – some 8+ years on. With regular servicing our Audi has been a good reliable car. A few major repairs have been needed but nothing that has put us off the car. She is a little scruffy in places but then again most cars are after years of abuse on potholed roads and supermarket carparks. Would we have another? Yes! But certainly not brand new and definitely with the bigger V6 engine and proper Tiptronic gearbox!