The Cabriolet differentiates itself externally from the A3 Sedan in several ways. The lack of rear doors is the most obvious difference, but Audi also went to great lengths to make the Cabriolet unique. The aluminum windshield frame flows into bright trim surrounding the cloth top, accentuating the line where sheetmetal meets the open sky.
The A3 Cabriolet is fitted with a clean, uncluttered dashboard that puts a strong emphasis on function. The highlights include understated styling elements such as chrome-ringed air vents and a simple instrument cluster made up of four analog gauges.
Unlike the Sedan, the Cabriolet seats only four adults. The lack of rear doors also makes the rear seat more difficult to access. The convertible top compromises cargo room, leaving only 9.9 cubic feet of luggage space.
The A3 Cabriolet can be ordered with Audi's MMI infotainment system at an extra cost. MMI groups the car's entertainment, connectivity and navigation (if equipped) functions into single operating system controlled by either a knob and a series of buttons found on the center console or a voice recognition function. The centerpiece of the system is a high-definition color screen mounted on top of the dashboard.
Another notable high-tech feature offered on the A3 Cabriolet is Audi connect, a software that provides a Wi-Fi connection and lets passengers find places of interest, travel information, weather reports, fuel prices and even access satellite images from Google Earth.
Under the Hood
The A3 Cabriolet is offered with two gasoline-burning TFSI engines. Both engines run exclusively on premium unleaded. With a displacement of 1.8-liters, the smaller unit sends 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes 7.4 seconds.
The larger 2.0-liter mill generates 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque, enabling the A3 to reach 60 mph from a stop in 5.9 seconds. Power is transferred to all four wheels via the same six-speed dual-clutch transmission that is linked to the smaller engine.
With either engine, the A3 Cabriolet's top speed is capped at 130 mph. Fuel economy for the 1.8-liter is rated at 24/35 city/highway mpg, while the 2.0-liter tops out at just 23/32 mpg.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Audi offers the A3 Cabriolet in three trim levels: Premium, Premium plus and Prestige.
Premium comes standard with leather upholstery, a multi-function steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, a 12-way power driver's seat, a ten-speaker stereo system, a driver information system integrated into the instrument cluster, a rear-view camera, a 90-day trial subscription to SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a SD card slot, park assist, heated mirror and washer nozzles, automatic wipers and headlights, Xenon headlights, LED tail lamps and power mirrors.
Stepping up to Premium plus adds 18", 10-spoke wheels, power-adjustable heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats and keyless entry and start.
Prestige builds upon the first two trims with S line exterior trim, MMI navigation with Audi Connect, an upgraded sound system built by Bang & Olufsen, adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, and LED headlights.
A full Sport package is available, which includes the sport suspension, sport seats, drive select and an upgraded steering wheel. The stand-alone sport suspension option is still available as well.
All A3 Cabriolets regardless of trim level and engine come standard with driver and front passenger airbags, knee airbags as well as front and rear side airbags.
The list of electronic driving aids includes Multi-Collision Brake (MCB), traction control (ASR), electronic stability control (ESC) and Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD).
The A3 Cabriolet's closest drop-top competitor is the BMW 2-Series convertible.