I’ve been looking for a convertible for over a year now. I used to have Lancia Scorpion, Fiat Spider, Alfa Romeo Spider and I loved them, especially living in sunny CA. I had to sell my 1991 Alfa Romeo when my daughter’s born and I told myself that I’ll get another one when time and financial situations permit. It is now, the only thing is that we need a 4 seater = the cabriolet, Audi A4 Cabriolet won BMW 3 series (for people who believe their ultimate driving machines have to be bumpy and less problems than others), Volvo and Saab (for people who believe safety doesn’t come with quality and workmanship (rattle-less) in both prices and qualities (IMHO) 🙂 , Mercedes is never a consideration (bland and terrible quality these days – only for insecured status hungry people). Actually I like BMW C330i convertible, the drive is nice (ultimate driving machine) but when the top is up, it doesn’t look so smooth like the Audi’s. The late 99 BMW is better looking than the 2000+. The Volvo is terrible, bland looking, poor workmanship and the interior is so plasticky, cheap plastic, the ride is wobbling all over the place, don’t even try to turn sharp corner. Saab has been successful with their convertibles for many years, but the 2000+ don’t drive nice at all, everything seems so loose and turbo? I don’t like turbos, I rather get a V6 or a V8, I think Audi makes mistakes by making these 1.8T or 2.0T. Turbos lag in acceleration and costly to maintain, especially when time to replace them. At this time, a BMW 3 convertible with the same year 2004, same mileage and options, would cost more than an Audi about $3-$4k. I like the BMW 3 6cylinder engines, they don’t use timing belts, which can run over 100k miles easily. My old A6 runs on the same timing belt 146k miles, but I’m taking chances and I do check it once in a while. But whatever it is, we decided to get a RED 2004 A4 Cabriolet for my wife this mother’s day. We don’t know how it will serve us, but it’s from the original lady owner (not the old lady from Pasadena), nice and solid car with tons of dings and scratches. Well, it’s my job to fix them on weekends and post them here 😕 . I wanted the BMW so I can have other types of car to maintain and write about, but we both like the look and the ride of the Audi, especially the price doesn’t break our bank.
We test drove this 2003 3.0 CVT with 75k miles, very nice car. It has sport package with sport seats which I liked a lot, but my wife didn’t like the stiff ride- Originally, the dealer was asking $11,995, but when we seemed to like the car, the price was relisted for $12995. We decided to look for a different one, especially, 2003 was the first year Audi made this body style cabriolet, bugs must be tons for this year.
We found our car from the best classified website – Craigslist.org. It’s far away from our home, but the car is nice and from original owner with good carfax report. Although there are many scratches and dings, but everything is original and all keys, manual, records are kept and the price $10.7k due to scratches and dings. We test drove the car and my wife really liked the ride and the quietness of the car.
I was warned about the cvt transmission problems from the forum, many had their transmissions twice at 80k miles. Our car only has 71k miles and the owner vowed never had any problems or hic-ups with this car. We may get a non-defective one.
We picked up the car last night, it was solid, smooth, comfortable (my wife refused to drive it home since she didn’t know the car well), @65Mph, the tach shows less than 2k RPM, this car will have great gas mileage on the freeway, even with V6. The owner said she got 30+ on the freeway, I do believe that. It was 57 degree with the top down, I was cold, but the heated seat and heater worked great. I didn’t know how to put the wind deflector on and we pressed for time, so it’s a little windy driving the car.
The next day.
Until we test drive all the cars, we wouldn’t know which one fits us the best, and yes, all cars have their pluses and minuses. All cars lose values and all cars break down due to Murphy’s laws, we wanted to try different types of makes, but when you already owned Audi, nothing even comes close. Ah, I never mentioned about Mercedes, these days, Mercedes quality seems like going down and their designs more like Japanese cars, and people who drive them, they seemed to need status more than the cars themselves IMHO. I saw many nice ladies sitting in new S class Mercedes stranded on the freeway which all our Audi never had. Well, if you want cars to show off, Mercedes, it’s OK to sit on the freeway sometimes, it comes free with the mark these days 🙂 I heard their towing services are very responsive.