2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet review
- Published On: 20 June 2017
- 5 min read
There are cosmetic and tech upgrades as well as a smaller petrol engine.
This car is the smallest Audi in the line-up to use the tiny 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, and at ₹47.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it is also the most expensive. So, does this new motor pack enough punch?
On the outside
There are a few changes cosmetically outside. There are more aggressive-looking bumpers, especially at the back, which houses large grey inserts. The LED headlamps (optional) and tail-lamps feature a new design, with dynamic indicators at the rear. Audi's massive new hexagonal grille makes the nose look aggressive. The 16-inch alloys are unchanged but look a bit smaller than the old design.
On the inside
The car continues to feature the same all-black interior, spare for a slightly different steering wheel design and some differences in equipment. The previous car featured Audi's Drive Select drive modes, while this one doesn't. The car however does get an auto park feature and a wireless charging bay for Qi-compatible smartphones.
The Cabriolet also features the latest version of Audi's MMI infotainment interface. At the front, there’s a pair of pretty comfortable (though not electrically adjustable) front seats, a pair of tiny little buckets at the back (best for kids), and a surprisingly spacious boot, especially given the folding roof and the size of the car itself.
From behind the wheel
This car is tremendously fun - its compact dimensions, well-tuned suspension and sharp turn-in make it a blast behind the wheel. The steering is devoid of feel but it gets the job done. Though they don’t look dramatic, those wheels and their 55-profile tyres allow the A3 Cabrio to ride really well.
There's a '35 TFSI' and not a '40 TFSI' badge on the boot, which is because of the move from a 1.8-litre to a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine. This engine is more fuel efficient and thanks to cylinder-deactivation tech, the Cabriolet returns a claimed 19.20kpl, up from 16.60kpl. Though power is down from 180hp to 150hp, torque remains the same at 250Nm and that means the car is only marginally slower than the outgoing version – it does 0-100kph in 9.50sec, versus the old car's 8.59sec.
At low to medium speeds, you really can't tell the difference and this car gets off the line smartly and accelerates without a hiccup. The seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox works well too. At high gears, out on the highway, the car feels smooth and effortless. The only time the smaller motor is a bother is when you try to overtake quickly or when you try to drive this car hard. Here, it feels like the car has too work much harder than the effortless 1.8.
Is it worth the money?
This car is meant to be more of a cruiser than an all-out sportscar. It promises a comfortable and fun open-top motoring experience, and is fairly practical for a 2+2 family.