Cost & verdict

Audi A3 Cabriolet review

Manufacturer price from:£29,985
What Car? Target Price:£27,873
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Audi A3 Cabriolet
Review continues below...
16 Dec 2015 14:23 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 09:59

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Audi A3 sports running costs

Prices are on the high side but strong resale values mean you should get a lot of your money back when you sell your A3 Cabriolet. They also mean you can expect a high future value, keeping PCP payments low. In fact, it can be surprising just how low. Despite its high price, an A3 Cabriolet can be cheaper to run on a PCP or lease deal than a more mainstream rival.

All the engines are remarkably efficient by the standards of the class and low CO2 emissions mean the A3 Cabriolet is a fairly tax-efficient company car. The 1.6-litre diesel is the most efficient, but even the 1.5 turbo petrol pumps out just 117g/km in Sport spec, thanks to a clever piece of technology that can deactivate half of the engine’s cylinders when you’re cruising.

Audi A3 sports equipment

Despite being the entry point to the range, we’d recommend Sport trim. This gets you a range of desirable features including an ‘acoustic’ roof, DAB radio, sat-nav and dual-zone climate control.

S line models add larger alloys, part-leather seats, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and various sporty-looking touches for not much of a premium. If you’re tempted to go for this range-topping trim, we’d suggest sticking with Dynamic suspension – it’s a no-cost option.

Audi A3 Cabriolet

Audi A3 sports reliability

Although we don’t have data on the A3 Cabriolet specifically, the A3 hatchback performed above average in our latest reliability survey. It’s worth remembering that the BMW 2 Series performed even better, though.

Like most Audis, the A3 Cabriolet comes with a three-year warranty as standard, which is limited to 60,000 miles. Audi does offer four and five-year extended warranties at reasonable prices but, again, their mileages are capped at, respectively, 75,000 and 90,000 miles.

Audi A3 sports safety and security

Every version of the Cabriolet comes with stability control and front, side and curtain airbags. You have to pay extra for Audi’s Pre-sense system, though, which automatically primes the safety kit if it senses a collision is inevitable.

It’s quite expensive but the optional Driver assistance package bundles up some impressive driver aids including adaptive cruise control, active lane assist and Audi parking system. Far cheaper is optional Audi side assist, which monitors the car’s rear blindspots and alerts the driver if another vehicle is present or approaching at speed. Adaptive cruise control with Pre-sense front is also a good value-for-money package featuring valuable safety aids.

The A3 Cabriolet hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the A3 hatch on which it’s based has. That car was awarded an impressive five-star rating and a particularly strong score for adult crash protection. Its child protection rating was only reasonable – slightly worse than a Volkswagen Golf’s.

Deadlocks and an alarm with immobiliser are fitted as standard, and the A3 Cabriolet received the maximum five stars from security body Thatcham for its resistance to being stolen. It also scored four out of five for its resistance to being broken into.

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Verdict

Comfortable, classy and great to drive - one of the best open-tops on sale

  • Superb balance between comfort and agility with Dynamic suspension
  • Beautifully finished cabin
  • Strong resale values
  • It’s not particularly cheap to buy
  • There isn’t much room in the back
  • The optional S tronic automatic gearbox is jerky
There are 3 trims available for the A3 sports. Click to see details.See all versions
S3
This range-topping, high-performance model gets 18in wheels, lowered and stiffened suspension, a revised steering set-up, nappa leather upholstery, heated front seats, aluminium interior trim, a fl...View trim
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OUR PICK
Sport
It might be the entry-level trim, but Sport still gets plenty of kit. This includes 17in alloys, a 7.0in infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and sat-nav, a colour information...View trim
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S Line
S line trim is focused on performance. You get larger wheels (18in), a bodykit, part-leather upholstery with S line logos, LED headlights, LED running lights and aluminium inlays in the fascia. Aga...View trim
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