What is it?
The entry-level version of the A3 cabriolet, powered by a 158bhp version of the 1.8-litre TFSI engine. It combines decent performance with good fuel economy – and undercuts the diesel version by a big enough margin to make it attractive to value hunters.
Even in base trim the A3 cabriolet gets reasonable kit, including alloys and aircon – although you have to make do with part-electric operation for the fabric hood. This means you have to manually release the roof from the header rail before it performs its dance – losing the spectacular nine second operation time of the full-auto roof in more expensive models.
What’s it like?
Very impressive. Out on the road, the 1.8 TFSI is a surprisingly strong performer. The 158bhp helps the A3 to sprint to 62mph in a creditable 8.3 seconds, and the wide spread of torque and well spaced gear ratios help keep you fizzing along at a decent pace.
The absence of a fixed roof is noticeable in the occasional wobble from the dash or through the steering wheel, but this is only obvious over particularly broken surfaces.