What's the used Audi A3 sports like?
It’s fair to say we Brits love our open-top cars, gobbling up more of them than most of our European counterparts, despite the vagaries of our weather patterns. Those seeking a premium car of modest size and price that can, at the touch of a button, offer some wind-in-the-hair fun could do a lot worse than seek out a used version of the Audi A3 Cabriolet, a previous What Car? Car of the Year award winner in the convertible section.
It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular: it exudes class and cabin quality, and comes with a range of lively and efficient engines. Factor in the precise steering and handling, as well as its refinement, and the A3 is hard to fault. It also has a lightweight fabric roof, as opposed to a folding metal one, that can be raised or lowered at speeds of up to 31mph, with the whole operation taking just 18sec from start to finish.
There’s a good choice of petrol or diesel engines. The 1.4-litre TFSI 150 petrol unit is our pick of the range, blending excellent performance with impressive economy. A 1.8 TFSI 180 offers up more performance for some sacrifice at the pumps. There’s also a sporty S3 version that’s quick enough to tear the follicles from your scalp. Diesel fanciers can choose from a 1.6 TDI 110 or 2.0 TDI 150, both of which offer the advantage of improved economy.
The only problem with the A3 Cabriolet is that it’s so desirable that demand on the used car market is high. It’s not a cheap car new, either, and its strong residuals mean you’ll have to persevere to find one at a similar price to its main rivals, such as the BMW 2 Series Convertible and the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet. A facelift in 2016, adding some styling tweaks and introducing some newer, more efficient engines, only added to the A3’s appeal.