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2007 Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.0T Quattro
The Audi A4 is about to get a major overhaul for the 2008 model year, but the 2007 A4 Cabriolet has plenty to recommend it to those not willing to wait until next year. With many of the same technology options as the 2007 A4 sedan we got in earlier in 2007, our A4 Cabriolet tester was well stocked with cabin gadgetry, including a usable--albeit dated--navigation system, a great hands-free calling interface, and a sweet-sounding audio system. Like the A4's outgoing stack-mounted multimedia interface (MMI) system, the A4 Cabriolet's roof mechanism shows its age, and could do with an overhaul in the 2008 model. Nevertheless, the convertible does have plenty to recommend it, including a stunning side profile with the top down and a clever trunk-expanding mechanism with it up.
Test the tech: Bed, Bath and Beyond
The main drawback with 2+2 convertibles is their limited amount of cargo space. Sure, it's fun to take your buddies out for some mobile tan maintenance now and then, but what happens the other 95 percent of the time when you want to use the car for more necessary tasks, such as grocery shopping or trips to the mall? The designers of the Audi A4 Cabriolet tackle this problem by means of a unique feature called a variable storage bay. With the top up, this lever-activated mechanism enables the area that is used to store the hood to be converted into usable cargo space. On the A4 Cabriolet, the variable cargo bay delivers around 6 extra inches of depth to the trunk, giving it a total cargo capacity of 10.2 cubic feet. Considering that the A4 sedan has a luggage capacity of 13.4 cubic feet, this is an impressive feat.
In the cabin
The view from the driver's seat of the 2007 Audi A4 convertible is much the same as that in the sedan. The leather-covered power front seats are wide enough for comfort, although we found that they left something to be desired in terms of lateral support for hard cornering. Seating space in the backseats is usable, but rear passengers more than 6 feet tall will find their heads brushing up against the roof liner when the top is up. When putting the top down, the automatic mechanism intrudes even further into the limited headroom space of the backseats, and rear passengers have to duck to avoid it.
To put the roof down, drivers must stop the car and locate the Open/Close button hidden beneath the armrest in the center console. In contrast with other soft-top (and some hard-top) convertibles we've tested, the A4's roof takes a conspicuously long 20 seconds to open and close--a fact that we found out when we tried to open the top while at a stoplight, only to find the light turning green before the roof had finished its two-stage opening process. With the top down, the A4 looks great, as its rising beltline gives it a side profile to rival that of the 2007 BMW 335i convertible. Our tester came with the optional S-line sport package, which--along with five-spoke alloy wheels, and sport suspension--gave us a wind deflector, which can be fitted over the rear seats for better aerodynamics.