There is no better way to describe it than we adore the Audi A3 sedan for a variety of reasons. It has a better appearance than its brothers and a level of passion that its competitors find difficult to equal, but there is a little flaw in it. The A3 takes itself far too seriously when it comes to being good. It reminds me of an obedient first bencher who is working hard to improve his exam scores.
In contrast to the sedan’s seriousness, we have its cousin, who chooses to wear a cotton hat rather a metal one and lives a laid-back lifestyle. The A3 Cabriolet, which is based on the sedan, is more for those who want to feel the wind in their hair. At Rs 44.75 lakhs, it is also India’s most affordable premium cabriolet. It also features a 1.8-litre 177-hp engine that can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds, indicating that it is not just for show but also has the performance to back it up.
We drove the A3 Cabriolet through a series of turns and curves to get a better sense of Audi’s lifestyle offering.
They haven’t made any significant changes to the exterior design, owing to the fact that the A3 Cabriolet is effectively an A3 sedan below. While the metal roof has been reduced in size and the number of doors has been reduced, the Cabrio now has a more attractive appearance.
A single-piece radiator grille with a chrome surround is included. Bi-Xenon projector lights with LED DRLs have been added to the standard equipment list. Large pockets with matte mesh may be found in the lower area of the front bumper. A low-positioned air splitter is also carved below the grille to help reduce air flow resistance. The bonnet’s sweeping flowing lines give it an extended look.
A beautiful brushed aluminium rim surrounds the front windscreen, which is emphasised when the fabric roof subsides in the boot region. The A3 Cabriolet, too, rides on stylish 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. Getting into the front seats is simple; however, getting into the back seats is a little more difficult because there are only two doors for access and exit. With a wide glass section on the side, it manages to look as attractive even with the roof up. The long fabric roof creates a sleek side appearance.
The A3 Cabriolet has a striking rear appearance thanks to its sharp tail lights and crisp tail section. The rear windscreen is conveniently located on the fabric roof and folds down with the roof. While the remainder of the setup is comparable to the sedan, it does have twin chrome-tipped exhaust nestled neatly below the rear bumper.
Inside all new Audi automobiles, upmarket quality and a solid build have become a hallmark attribute. The A3 Cabriolet, too, has the best and most up-to-date features and technology. The elaborate embellishments on the trims, which are truly stunning, provide justification for the high price tag.
The dashboard’s front arrangement has been kept simple to give it a more expansive appearance. The front dashboard is semi-beige and black in colour, and it looks sleek and tidy. It may lack the flashy toys found within its competitor, but that doesn’t matter as long as you like simplicity.
Because of the top-down approach to interior design, nothing seems out of place inside this costly Audi. As a result, if you’ve been inside one of their higher-end sedans, you’ll be able to connect to this. Also, this is the closest you can get to a high-priced convertible, while the others are much out of reach.
It has a little switch to control the fabric roof, which folds up neatly within the rear boot in 18 seconds. Obviously, it isn’t the fastest, but it also isn’t a mood killer. The switch sits on the console, within easy reach of the front passengers. If necessary, the 7-inch infotainment screen may be lifted electrically, or it can be made to drop, which is a function I really appreciate because otherwise the screen seems forcedly placed like it does in the CLA Class. The on-board storage memory can hold up to 20GB of data. Needless to say, USB, AUX-in, and Bluetooth are all standard, as is the ability to link telephony.
The front passenger compartment seems spacious, with plenty of knee and legroom. It can comfortably fit two average-sized adults without being too crowded. However, things aren’t as happy in the back since, first, getting inside requires folding down the front seats, and second, the lack of space makes it difficult for adults to fit in. Making kids sit or possibly throwing in a bag or two is the greatest approach to make use of this area.
There are many storage options, including twin cup slots for back passengers and a moderately large storage bin between the front seats. The boot part is the only place where it becomes a little snug. When the top is folded down, it neatly folds and tucks inside the back compartment, consuming the luggage zone and making it smaller than the sedan’s.
Driven by Results
In terms of performance, the Audi A3 appears to have ticked all the necessary boxes. With this compact luxury class, the ride and handling have only gotten better. All of these characteristics have been carried over to the A3 Cabriolet, which is a welcome addition.
For starters, the A3 Cabrio is only available in a 40 TFSI form, which means you can lower the top and listen to the 1.8-litre engine hum along. At just 1250 rpm, this pint of a motor produces 177 hp of power as well as 250 Nm of torque. It also comes with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with Audi Drive select to ensure that all that power is delivered precisely when it’s needed.
When idling, it is as quiet as a sheep’s whisper, and only becomes noticeable when the engine is forced to deliver powerfully. Also, because this one has paddle shifters, there is no need to continuously shuffling between the steering wheel and the shifter stick, delivering a seamless shifting experience. Shift it into D-mode for a smooth drive mode without having to totally shift. The troubles of city traffic vanish instantly in this mode, and the motor feels more alive than the diesel unit. The advantage of this gearbox is that once one gear is engaged, the other is waiting to be triggered, minimising the number of intermittent shifts. If you run out of patience, you may switch to Sport mode for a more spirited driving experience.
When it comes to Sport mode, the A3 Cabrio isn’t exactly a tarmac scorcher. It has a fair number of mood swings, and the TFSI does a good job of generating enough boosts to keep things interesting. Around the edges, everything appears to be extremely carefully put together and securely held together. With the roof off, all of the motor’s zeal is felt in real time as the breeze gives a realistic impression.
Ideally, the Cabriolet should have lost the confidence of the standard sedan, but thankfully, this is not the case with the A3, as the overall design and chassis tuning have been done to ensure that the vehicle’s agile dynamics are retained while also having some unique characteristics to the body type.
The A3 Cabriolet, like the sedan, uses Audi’s Drive Select, which fine-tunes throttle, gear shift pattern, and steering response according to five different modes. Overall, it provides a pleasurable driving experience and is well-suited to its personality.
Spending Rs 44.75 lakhs on this small convertible of a car may seem completely insane to a rational person, but you might want to reconsider after seeing the A3 Cabriolet. It appears to be ideal for a weekend vacation or an excuse for late-night coffee at a popular local hangout.
The A3 Cabriolet will easily find a parking spot next to your principal mode of transportation. To add to the allure, it comes with a plethora of features and best-in-class comfort. So the next time you want to get a real sense of nature, the A3 Cabriolet will suffice.