First DriveWe've driven the facelifted version of the ever-popular Audi A3 Sportback in 2.0 TDI guise on UK roads for the first time
First DriveNew 2.0-litre petrol joins the A3 range in place of Audi's older 1.8, offering more power and lower running costs. We've driven it abroad
What is it?
This is the entry-level Audi A3 Cabriolet, the elegant four-seat BMW 1-series rival that has done much to wow buyers looking for something a bit more upmarket than a Ford Focus coupe-cabriolet, Vauxhall Astra TwinTop or Volkswagen Eos.
The base petrol engine has 101bhp and 109lb ft of torque. It averages 40.4mpg and pumps out 167g/km of carbon dioxide, putting it in VED road tax band H.
What’s it like?
Slow. Getting from 0-62mph takes 12.5sec, but it feels even longer – possibly because the Audi A3 is such a sporty-looking car in the metal. It’s clean, uncluttered look deserves to be complemented by a modicum of performance, and it just doesn’t get anything remotely sprightly with this engine.
It is, however, a refined unit, quiet to all but the highest revs, smooth throughout the range and, as you would expect, reasonably frugal – although the 1.8 TFSI achieves greater economy and the 2.0 TFSI isn’t far behind.
Elsewhere, the A3 continues to impress in most areas. The cabin is well appointed, there’s a decent level of equipment and the driving position is good, adapting to most shapes and sizes of drivers (although taller drivers do get a good buffeting when the roof comes down).
The cloth roof does a pretty good job of insulating you from road and wind noise, while you also need to find a below-average road surface to really notice the shudder and shake that tells you you’re in a cabrio.
Should I buy one?
The A3 Cabriolet is a fine car, managing to do pretty much everything well in a nicely understated way. However, this isn’t the engine the car deserves, and we’d recommend digging deeper to get something with a little more poke.