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Review: Audi A3 Cabriolet

Driven April 2017

Review: Audi A3 Cabriolet

What's bright yellow, lacks a roof and has the power to make everybody smile? The new Audi A3 Cabriolet, of course. The little drop-top has to be one of the happiest little cars that we have gotten our hands on this year. And what's great about this little yellow number is that it isn't all show. There's enough go packed in it to make it a well-rounded package.

To be honest, the car looks exactly like what an A3 Convertible should look like. It looks like someone took an A3 and chopped the roof off. That’s a good look considering the A3 itself is a great looking car. And in the bright yellow shade that our test car came in, there weren’t many people who didn’t smile at it. The insides, like any other Audi, are top class. There’s leather and aluminium bits combined with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and music from a B&O sound system to keep you happy. Like the older car, this one too gets that well-made fabric roof that folds away in under 18 seconds up to speeds of 50kph and rear seats that’s barely adequate in terms of kneeroom.


The new generation car now uses a 1.4-litre TFSI motor that makes 150bhp and 250Nm of torque. The engine is butter smooth and you can almost not tell that it is working. It works well with that 7-speed S-Tronic ‘box to give you a great mix of performance and refinement. It can clock 100kph from standstill in 9.4 seconds and still return 11.6kpl and 13.1kpl in the city and out on the highway respectively. The motor does have a bit of lag until around 2000rpm, but once it gets going, the gearbox never lets it skip a beat.

Shifts are quick but just in case, the paddle shifters make sure you always have the option of making it do exactly what you want. But what’s most likeable about the motor, again, is the refinement and the smoothness with which it glides away. Cruising at 140kph is no stress at all. In fact, with the top down, that speed is a great way to enjoy this car.


The excellent ride quality also adds to this. The suspension is set up a bit softer than a lot of the European cars we are used to these days. But the surprise is that the A3 Cab never sacrifices dynamics for comfort. It instead manages to find this sweet spot between the two. It manages to soak up all the bumps and unevenness of our roads with nary a thought and still manages to go around corners fairly well. There is a tinge of understeer on fast corners, but it’s no bother. Especially when you consider the gains in ride.

The A3 Cabriolet is meant to be an easy car to live with. It is supposed to be an easy-going, happy little thing and that it is. It isn't raring to set lap times or set g-force records. It's built to be the perfect little car to take out on a sunny day to have yourself a little picnic where you can take in the sights and let the wind in your hair. And that it does exceptionally well. Full marks, Audi, full marks.


Photography: Parag Parelkar

Specifications:
1395cc, turbocharged petrol, 150bhp@5000-6000rpm, 250Nm@1500-3500rpm, 7-speed automatic
0-100kph: 9.4sec, top speed: 222kph
Fuel economy - City 11.6kpl Highway: 13.1kpl
Price: Rs 47.98 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

VERDICT: One of the nicest convertibles on sale today that does almost everything you want it to.




Ashok George

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