Audi is on a roll at the moment with the strongest line up to come out of Ingolstadt for years. The A3 is one of our favourite premium compacts thanks to blending great fuel consumption with style and substance. So will taking the roof off help or hinder the A3? Audi has opted to give the A3 a soft top which may be surprising given that mainstream manufacturers now offer metal folding roofs for less. However there are advantages to this, such as a mechanism that opens in 9 seconds and closes in just 11. Also it gives the A3 clean lines and doesn’t intrude on boot space.
As well as being a great looking convertible the A3 also offers real substance. Build quality is first class, refinement is excellent and it is even relatively practical with a sensible 260 litres of boot space on offer and folding rear seats which liberate 674 litres. The only blot is typically firm Audi suspension.
The 1.2 litre engine may be the smallest ever fitted to an Audi, but thanks to direct injection and a turbocharger it allows the A3 to outperform the 1.6 MPI engine that it replaces. At the same time it emits a whopping 35 g/km CO2 less. Driveability is aided by 129 lb.ft of torque between 1,500 and 4,100 rpm and a six-speed gearbox.
The Audi A3 Cabriolet is an uber-desirable, small premium convertible car. There is much to like but it does come at a price. It is expensive and as always the options list is long and tempting. The only real niggle however is that the base model doesn’t get a fully automatic roof which seems a little mean.