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.
What is far more remarkable is the A3’s behaviour through bends – this is a four-seat, hatch-based convertible that is actually enjoyable to fling along a twisty road.