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[Music] We brits love our open-top cars, despite
our temperamental weather – although we’ve been very lucky today – we buy more of
them than the Spanish, Italians, and French. Just because we like the wind in
our hair though, doesn’t mean to say we have to compromise on space and
practicality. With our weather, it’s important for a convertible to have
decent enough driving manners to put a smile on your face whether the sun is
shining or not. We’ll find out if the Audi A3 Cabriolet can do this in our review. As
well as revealing our favourite engine and trim level, and seeing if it’s better
all-round than its rival the BMW 2 Series Convertible. And remember if
you’re in the market for a new car you can head to our New Car Deals section
where we can help save you thousands! First though, let’s see what this Audi A3 Cabriolet
is like on the road. There are two diesel and two petrol engines to choose from.
But, our favourite is the 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol fitted to the car
that we’re testing today. It’s cheaper to buy than the more powerful petrols and
diesels, and it’s fitted with some clever technology called Cylinder On Demand.
Which deactivates two cylinders, which helps save you money on fuel, and it’s
almost as light on fuel as a diesel. It’s not as agile to drive as its main
rival, the BMW 2 Series, that said it does change direction keenly and it grips
well through the corners. The only bugbear is the road noise which
can be quite intrusive if you go for a car with the sport suspension or if you
go for the s-line model with the wider alloys. It’s worth noting that if you
want the s-line sporty styling you can pick this trim level and change its
suspension to the softer dynamic setup for free. Doing this will reduce the
A3s crashiness over potholes. As for the gearbox you can specify Audi’s
automatic S tronic gearbox, but we wouldn’t bother because the payback for
super slick fast gear changes when you’re driving with some pace, is some
rather jerky uncomfortable gear changes when driving around town and also
parking. Audi has really mastered the art of creating opulent interiors and the Audi A3
Cabriolet is no exception. It’s clad in soft touch materials, matte
Aluminium trim, and metallic detailing. It’s really lovely in here. In terms of
getting comfortable for driving, there is plenty of adjustment in the seat, and the
steering wheel. Only criticism is that lumbar support does not come as standard,
so if you’re a long-distance driver we recommend specing that. In terms of
visibility it’s great – with the roof down – but with the roof up it’s a little
difficult to see out the back. However you do get parking sensors as standard.
Also coming as standard is Audi’s MMI infotainment system and you control most
of the cars functions using this chunky rotary dial here. It’s one of the best to
use on the market, and it has some practical touches such as raised buttons
so you can make some adjustments without taking your eyes off the road too long.
It’s a game of two halves when it comes to practicality with the Audi A3
Cabriolet, because well it’s great in the front and poor in the back – let me
explain. If you’re six-foot you will find there
is plenty of room to stretch out, I’m only five foot four and a half so I
don’t really ever have that problem. When it comes to storage spaces, we have got
one underneath the armrest, and there’s two cupholders in front of the gear
shifter, and the big bottle of water, will it fit in the door bin? Not safely.
It’s definitely not going to go in the cup holder, what about the glove box? Yes
we have a winner! And somewhere to put sunglasses, which we will need on a day
like today. And as you can see in the back there is not as much space. So I get
a cup holder, which is great, but if you’re sitting behind somebody who’s six
foot tall your knees are likely to be up like that. And the seats are quite upright
and not the most comfortable, so I think it’s probably safe to say that Audi
definitely favours the people sitting in the front. For a convertible, the Audi A3
Cabriolet does have a decent sized boot. Okay, it might not look like it at the
moment, but with a bit of clever camera trickery. As you can see it was a lot
bigger, and you can easily fit sizeable weekly shop or a couple of large
suitcases. In this guise though the loadbay is quite shallow and tricky to
access. One good thing about the A3 Cabriolet is that you don’t have to
break the bank by stocking up on extras. Even entry-level Sport trim comes with a
digital radio, sat-nav, and dual-zone climate control. This S-line
version meanwhile gets large alloy wheels, part leather upholstery, and LED
lights. As for engines we’d opt for the 1.5 litre petrol – because it’s innovative
technology keeps emissions down and fuel economy up. The Audi A3 Cabriolet may not
be as involving to drive as a BMW 2 Series cabriolet, however it has a more
luxurious interior and a marginally bigger and more accessible boot. So for
those who would like an affordable way to enjoy
drop-top motoring, and are a family of four it’s a better all-rounder. For plenty
more on the Audi A3 Cabriolet, including our full online review head to whatcar.com You’ll also find reviews on its
competitors, and we can help save you money on your next new car, head to our
New Car Deals section, but before you do anything hit Subscribe!

42 thoughts on “2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet review – the best small convertible? | What Car?

  1. it is spring already in Britain? still winter in too much of north america. Rebecca gets hotter every time she posts a newer video.

  2. She must’ve been reading some of the comments as her delivery and intonation is MUCH MUCH better, less 90’s Quentin Wilson Robot and more and more personality. Just wished WhatCar didn’t have such a car crush on VAG group cars as almost every car from that group is praised far too highly.

  3. The car's not my cup of char on so many levels, but this is one of your best reviews none-the-less! It comes across as less scripted and more natural. Your personality and sense of humour shine more brightly here too. Good job Rebecca. Hope you get sorted with a race team for this season soon

  4. Really liking this more low-key and natural presenting style – especially when there’s some spontaneity and humour! Lovely review, much more personable than the usual What Car review, excellent work!

  5. Comment on S-Tronic is utter nonsense, I have no trouble at all making perfectly smooth progress in urban, stop-start traffic or parking, you just need to use a little finesse on the accelerator. Good comment on the MMI and physical controls though, far too many cars are using touch-screens for everything these days which compromise safety by requiring you to take your eyes off the road for even the simplest functions.

  6. damn I've been looking for this woman everywhere…. never knew where she went after leaving that other channel lol

  7. Wow Rebecca, I must admit I used to troll you over your Quentin Wilson presenting voice but it’s completely vanished in this video and much the better for it! Thanks for listening

  8. Love!!!! Better with a manual but wow that's a great car for the money so long as kids are in the back or luggage:)

  9. My wife has one of these, with the engine recommended in the video. It is a lovely car and we found it slightly larger inside than the BMW as Rebecca points out. I don’t agree about the auto gearbox though; my wife’s isn’t at all jerky. However, my A4 auto is rather jerky, so maybe it’s just the luck of the draw with Audi s-tronic gearboxes.

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