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Audi A3 Cabriolet (2014–)

Last updated 11 March 2019

 
4
Kerb weight 1365–1620 kg
Warranty 3 years / 100000 miles
Servicing 9,000–25,000 miles

Full specifications

Driving

One of the first thing that shines through in the A3 Cabriolet is its refinement. Compared to the previous model it's far better when it comes to ride quality plus there's less vibration through the body. This is down to special reinforcements to aid rigidity plus the fact it's actually lighter than the model it replaces. A longer wheelbase and overall length help to. As a result it feels every inch the premium convertible it's marketed as.

The second thing you notice is what's absent - noise. The A3 Cabriolet is impressively quiet even with the roof down. You don't get too buffeted by wind, although the optional wind deflector does make a big difference, while even at higher speeds there's little in the way of wind noise from around the top of the windscreen. The roof itself is a traditional fabric affair while Sport and S line models come with an even better acoustic hood with more inner padding for better sound insulation.

This combination of a lighter weight, wider track and the fact the A3 Cabriolet uses the same platform as the A3 hatchback and the latest Volkswagen Golf, means it handles very well too. The steering is nicely weighted, albeit slighty artificial feeling, but there's nothing wrong with the way it responds through corners with impressive front end grip. Bodyroll is kept well under control too making it enjoyable to drive quickly.

The standard suspension on SE models provides impressive comfort and would be our choice. Sport and S line models get 15mm lowered suspension and 17-inch and 18-inch alloys respectively. However what you can do is choose either a Sport or S line and opt for the standard SE suspension at no extra cost. At the other end of the scale, S line models can be specified with S line sports suspension which is lowered by 25mm. Again it's a no cost option though so there's an impressive choice.

The precision of the major controls - such as the weight of the clutch and the slickness of the gear shift - add to that feeling of quality throughout the A3 Cabriolet. This flows through to the excellent engine range. The entry-level model is the 1.4 TFSI engine. We're big fans if these small turbocharged engines and it doesn't disappoint in the soft top version of the A3.

It's quiet, smooth yet has a lovely burst of pace from low revs thanks to the turbocharger. Its zest and refinement suit the nature of the A3 Cabriolet perfectly and it's also surprisingly good at motorway speeds where it's not frantic as you might imagine a small engine would be. The 1.4 TFSI is also fitted with a cylinder in demand system as standard. This switches off two of the cylinders when the engine isn't under stress - for instance when coasting along on the motorway - to save fuel. 

For more pep there's the 1.8 TFSI which has 180PS and makes the A3 Cabriolet feel like an open top GTI. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 7.8 seconds and it has great response when you press the throttle. This was later replaced by a 2.0 TFSI with 190PS. If you want outright enjoyment then this is the one to go for aside from the 300PS S3 Cabriolet of course.

Diesel engines and open top cars aren't often a winning combination but the TDI units in the A3 Cabriolet work well. For starters both the 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI engines are quiet - so even with the roof down you rarely notice you're in a diesel unless you really reach high revs. The 1.6 TDI may lack a bit of sparkle but it's impressive for a small diesel.. It pulls well and is excellent on the motorway. The best aspect is economy which should be more than 70mpg.

The 2.0 TDI was initially available as a 150PS version while the 184PS variant arrived in February 2014 and can be specified with quattro four-wheel drive. Again economy is impressive with the 150PS model returning a claimed 67.3mpg with CO2 of just 110g/km.

Engines

Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
1.4 TFSI 140 57 mpg 9.1 s 135 mph 114 g/km
1.4 TFSI 140 S tronic 58 mpg 9.1 s 135 mph 114 g/km
1.4 TFSI 150 57–59 mpg 8.6–8.9 s 138 mph 110–118 g/km
1.4 TFSI 150 S tronic 55–58 mpg 8.6–8.9 s 138 mph 114–118 g/km
1.5 TFSI 150 54 mpg 8.9 s 138 mph 118–121 g/km
1.5 TFSI 150 S Tronic 57 mpg 8.9 s 138 mph 114–118 g/km
1.6 TDI 67–72 mpg 11.0–11.4 s 124–125 mph 104–114 g/km
1.8 TFSI 47 mpg 7.7 s 150 mph 140 g/km
1.8 TFSI quattro S tronic 42–43 mpg 7.6 s 145 mph 154–157 g/km
1.8 TFSI S tronic 49 mpg 7.8 s 150 mph 133 g/km
2.0 TDI 63 mpg 8.6 s 139 mph 115 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 64–67 mpg 8.6–8.9 s 139 mph 110–115 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 quattro 57–58 mpg 8.5–8.8 s 136 mph 128–131 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 S tronic 58–64 mpg 8.5–8.8 s 139 mph 115–126 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 60–66 mpg 7.9 s 149–150 mph 117–123 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 quattro S tronic 54–58 mpg 7.4–7.6 s 147 mph 132–134 g/km
2.0 TFSI 49 mpg 7.3 s 155 mph 131–132 g/km
2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic 46 mpg 6.9 s 150 mph 139–141 g/km
2.0 TFSI S tronic 48 mpg 7.2 s 155 mph 134–135 g/km
35 TFSI 50 mpg 8.9 s 137 mph 128–129 g/km
35 TFSI S tronic 54 mpg 8.9 s 137 mph 119–121 g/km
40 TFSI S tronic - - - 142 g/km
S3 2.0 TFSI S tronic Hatch 40 mpg 5.4 s 155 mph 165 g/km
List Price from £22,720
Buy new from £18,935
Contract hire from £219.18 per month
 

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