The Audi A3 cabriolet is most affordable and practical two-door convertible available on sale in India right now. You’ll definitely get the full Audi experience, but just in a shrunken package. The 2017 Audi A3 is the refreshed version of the earlier model with some more practical tweaks and much more aesthetic design. Moreover, this new A3 Facelift looks just like an A4, atleast on the front.
This facelifted version is not just an aesthetical upgrade, major insides have been taken care of as well. It gets an all new engine and some other practically useful features which makes this car even more appealing. Overall, there is quite a lot to talk about.
To make the entry level cars more affordable and economical, Audi India has been replacing the engines on its entry level cars from the original 1.8 Liter Petrol engine to a smaller 1.4 Liter TFSI Turbocharged Petrol engine.
This change was initially implemented on the new Audi A3 Sedan, followed by the 2017 Audi Q3 and now, the Audi A3 Cabriolet. The Engine being provided on the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is less powerful and more economical. The 1.4 litre TFSI motor generates 150 PS of peak power at 5100 Rpm and 250 Nm of peak torque between 1500-3500 Rpm. The peak torque production by this new unit is same as that of earlier 1.8 Liter one but it is the peak power, which saw a drop of 30 Ps. The Audi’s 7-Speed S-Tronic gearbox is extremely smooth and responsive and you’ll not get a chance to complain.
Another one of a great economical feature that the new Audi A3 inherits from its bigger sibling, the Audi Q7, is the Cylinder On demand (COD) which shuts down 2-cylinders out of the available 4 when car is coasting and results in notable fuel savings in overall. The fuel efficiency of 1.8 Liter engine in the previous version car was quiet good in real life, but the new engine is as much as 10 -12% better.
The engine might appear smaller but it generates the same amount of torque as the previous generation engine. The 1.4 TFSI Turbocharged petrol motor provides a sudden burst of acceleration every time you need it. The Audi A3 Cabriolet accelerates from a standstill to 100 Kmph is just about 9 seconds, which is pretty impressive for this mid-ranged sedan.
The Audi A3 cabriolet has a slight edge over other everyday cars. It is quiet economical and much more practical. It’s much refined and it is definitely not for the true enthusiasts. If you’re an enthusiast and is expecting much from this car in terms of engine power and torque reliability, you’ll definitely be disappointed.
Now for the comfortability, the rear seats are strictly not for adults. The rear seats lack legroom and are much tighter, especially for the adults. However, it is much better for children.
The Audi A3 cabriolet is an uncannily better for its class and its ride quality. The Audi A3 Cabriolet glides on rough surfaces and broken roads quite well and the dual-zone AC unit provides a good air conditioning and a premium Bang and Olufsen sound system creating melodious beats. The seats are comfortable, however, the lack of electrical adjustment for the seats (driver’s seat at least) is not acceptable for this price range.
Other New Features ?
The Audi park assist in the new A3 surprised us as it was not available in the earlier version. Using the Audi’s Park Assist system, the Audi A3 cabriolet can park itself either parallel (or perpendicular) when guided to a suitable spot.
The three spoke steering wheel is standard with analogue-speed tacho and a color-MID display in the middle. However, you can opt-in for an optional virtual cockpit as well as it displays vital driving information in a High Resolution 12.3 inch TFT screen. This system has been installed out for the very first time in an Audi A3 cabriolet.
The MMI menu is retractable and is redesigned to make it more responsive and feature loaded with Apple’s car play compatibility. The MMI button control sports a touch sensitive touchpad, compatibility for multi-fingers gestures and to allow zoom-in function as well.
This update also features the wireless charging for mobile phones and a more receptive voice control. Bi-Xenon headlamps are standard, however, you can also opt for the optional LED Headlamps for a premium. With the LED package, you’ll also get amazing set of LED taillights which features the Audi’s latest dynamic turn indicators.
How well does it drive ?
The audi A3 is focussed on comfort, reasonable price and its practicality. However, some amount of body roll is experienced when you steer really hard. It is much comfortable for bad roads and It is quiet and good to drive. The gear lever is pretty well shaped and manual mode is the place where the most fun can be had.
The bumper is restyled and the front is now sportier with the radiator grille and the grille is bigger and more edgier than before. The bumper features bigger, angular and fuller looking air intake and the 7 horizontal single slats is replaced by six units of paired elastic. Now the headlamps are more flatter with a new found angular extension at bottom. Under the bumper, the rear diffuser is redesigned into a new shape and new colours are also added to palette.
The overall theme remains unaltered. However with addition of a bit more aggression and flamboyance to the front.
We believe that this one is more practical and reasonable and can be used as regular everyday cars pretty well. Other options are available, however, they are premium Mini cooper S or C – class cabriolet. The C class is more comfortable and practical but the prices are higher too.
At INR 49 Lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) Audi A3 Cabriolet is the most affordable convertible . You maybe thinking of a better alternative, but you won’t find anything much better at this price range.
*Price When Tested – Rs. 49 lakhs