Audi Cabriolet (1991 – 2000) Review

Audi Cabriolet (1991 – 2000) At A Glance


+Nice-looking, classy well-built open-top car with a wide choice of engines and rust-proof bodywork

-Stodgy handling, rear bench only good for two midgets, tight for headroom with top up, plastic rear window becomes opaque

The Audi Cabriolet was an agreeable addition to the company's range when it was launched in 1991. It joined the 80 saloon and (new) Avant in fighting BMW's hegemony of the compact executive sector - and the new open-top was a very convincing proposition indeed. It joined the (surprisingly successful) Saab 900 and BMW 3-Series convertible as a high-class four-seater convertible, unencumbered with aesthetically displeasing roll-over bars. In Audi's case, its screen was reinforced to do away with the need for a roll bar.

The Cabriolet was Audi's first soft-top since the Auto Union 1000SP, which had been introduced in 1959. It was originally offered with the 90-degree 2.8-litre V6, but the 2.6-litre version was added to the range later. Heavily engineered to retain the structural rigidity of the Coupé (with which it shared sports suspension). Classy and a strong seller right through to the end, and destined for classic status - not just because Diana Princess of Wales had one.

Ask Honest John

Why does my car knock from the left side when turning to the right?

"I have an Audi Cabriolet 1999 2.6 final edition that has a knock from the left side when turning to the right. My mechanic has checked the ball joints, track rod ends etc and everything is in order. He gave it a good test drive over rough and smooth ground but didn't hear the knock I'm experiencing. The springs, shock absorbers and top mounts were all changed about four years ago or so, I don't do a vast mileage and the car has only covered 110,000 miles in it's 19 years. There is no problem with the handling of the car and everything appears normal. "
We had a similar problem with an E46 BMW. In that case, I searched the area nearby for a place that would create the same 'knock' but even then the mechanic had to get out of the car because the extra weight meant the problem wasn't being recreated. In the end it turned out to be a lower control arm. Can you do something similar to try and recreate the problem your Audi is having? It sounds like you've investigated the usual suspects but don't forget the antiroll bar links if fitted and the engine mounts (I'm assuming there's nothing loose in the interior). If you can't live with it, you've got a few choices: take it to another mechanic, a full suspension refresh (expensive) or just hang fire until it gets worse - once it reaches a point where it's something has obviously failed you'll be able to spot it and sort it. Not ideal I know, but might save you a lot of hassle (and money) chasing a hard-to-find fault.
Answered by Keith Moody

How can I replace the rear window on my Audi Cabriolet

"Can the rear window of a 20 year old Audi Cabriolet E be replaced without a whole new hood being bought?"
Specialised job, but a local 'car upholsterer and trimmer ( might be able to do it or a specialised car hood repairing company (under convertible hood repairs):
Answered by Honest John
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