Audi currently has 48 models in its range and the latest addition is the A3 Cabriolet, which now brings eight variants to the A3 sector. With the weather improving it was the ideal time to get the roof down and put it through its paces.
Audi A3 Cabriolet Exterior and Interior
All Audi models make an impression in the design stakes, the A3 Cabriolet being no exception. Sleek lines make the third generation quite coupe-esque as it is based on the A3 saloon platform which makes it wider, lower and longer than the previous one.
The fabric roof goes down at up to speeds of 31mph and converts to open top in just 18 seconds. Rear space is unaffected by the hood and still holds 275 litres; 320 when closed while still holding four adults in the car.
Interior is of a premium quality as is expected with Audi, everything feels solid, well made and nice to the touch. An electronically folding 5.8-inch colour screen shows information including satellite navigation, media, parking camera and car set-up, all of this is available through the use of a scroll dial down in the centre stack.
It’s disappointing that the comfortable leather seats aren’t electronically adjustable nor the steering wheel, try as I might, I couldn’t find a USB socket which is surprising in this day and age with such a car. However there is an Audi connector that plugs into your iPod but it has a connector for the last generation iPhone, so anyone with a 5th-generation can’t sync up.
There are three trim levels, SE, Sport and S-Line and standard equipment is generous across them with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and a light and rain sensor package. Sport and S-Line versions give you 17 and 18-inch alloy wheel options, sports suspension, sports seats, dual-zone climate control and the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system.
Audi A3 Cabriolet Engine and Driving
There are two petrol TFSI engines, a 1.4 litre producing 140PS which is hugely efficient achieving up to 56.5mpg which compared to the previous generation is a big improvement. The 1.8 litre has a top speed of 150mph and with 180PS available it goes from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds.
The 2.0 litre TDIdiesel is a surprisingly quiet engine, powers to 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and produces 150PS. It goes smoothly through the rev range using a manual transmission emitting just 110g/km of CO2, with fuel consumption at 67.3mpg. Both figures give it excellent low running costs.
With the Audi ‘drive select adaptive dynamics system’ on the Sport version you have five different modes to enhance your driving experience, dependant on your journey. The drive is firm, handling is sporty and you can feel confident on tight, twisty roads with great stability and better traction.
Audi A3 Cabriolet Safety
The A3 Cabriolet has yet to be tested in the Euro NCAP ratings, but the A3 has achieved five stars. Safety equipment includes active bonnet pedestrian system, secondary collision brake assist, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, tyre pressure monitoring and the Audi pre-sense basic safety system.
Audi A3 Cabriolet Pricing
Prices start from £25,790 for the entry level 1.4 TFSI SE version, but we drove the 2.0 TDI Sport which with options was £37,225. It’s not cheap but still better priced than rivals although the lack of connectivity and electronic adjustments is poor. The car we drove had a Bang & Olufsen sound system at £750 and a wind deflector costing £290.
Audi will sell a fair few of the A3 Cabriolet, it has sold 60,900 to date but with the first compact S3 Saloon now also available - that goes from 0 - 62mph in just 4.9 seconds using a 2.0 litre TFSI turbocharged 300PS engine and costs from £33,240 - then the German brand will have another record year.
Motoring.co.uk likes on the Audi A3 Cabriolet:
Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system
Motoring.co.uk thumbs down on the Audi A3 Cabriolet:
Lack of connectivity