Review: Driving The Audi A3 Cabriolet With & Without The Roof

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The A3 Cabriolet by Audi is the only convertible model on offer by the German manufacturer in the country. The Indian market does not have many convertible models on offer owing to our varying weather conditions. The A3 Cabriolet is based on the regular A3 sedan with a retractable roof.

Audi's A3 Cabriolet is similar to the A3 S-Line trim that is offered in the Indian market. The Cabriolet, however, is a two-door fashion conscious model over its sibling. It's the perfect vehicle for stylish people to show-off their recent look and fashion quotient.


Powering the Audi A3 Cabriolet is a 1.8-litre, 40 TFSI, petrol engine with direct-injection, and a turbocharger. The engine is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for a sporty drive. In terms of performance, the engine churns out 177bhp and 250Nm of torque.

Audi claims that their A3 Cabriolet delivers a fuel economy of 16.6 km/l, which is certified by ARAI. During our drive, we noticed a similar result with mixed driving conditions (highway/city). We experienced a fuel efficiency figures of 14 km/l in our driving experience of the A3.


From the front, the A3 Cabriolet looks very similar to other A3 models on offer in the country. Somehow the cabriolet bonnet looks smoother and more roundish when compared to the regular A3. Audi has retained its superimposing front grille that looks sporty and stylish.

From the side profile is when you would realise that the model is an A3 Cabriolet S-Line. Being a cabriolet the model gets two-doors rather than the traditional four-door layout. Highly noticeable will be the soft-top roof on the Audi A3 Cabriolet, which looks sleek and blends into the design of the vehicle.

The A3 Cabriolet drives on 17-inch alloy wheels, which are also seen on the regular A3 model. Audi has fixed the S-Line badge on the front three-quarter panel just above the front wheel. Dual exhaust pipes in the rear lend the A3 Cabriolet a rather sporty avatar.


The dashboard gets a premium and classy looking black with a tan interior combination. Air-conditioning vents get the similar treatment that is provided in the regular A3 sedan. The cooling vents look almost identical to jet fighter's diffuser, which lends a sporty touch.

Instrument console looks clean and is easy to read with white lettering and red needles. The speedometer and tachometer are divided by a digital display, which can provide a lot of information to the driver. The A3 Cabriolet gets paddle shifter for a more involving driving experience.

In the glove box is a CD player along with a memory card reader. Designers have hidden the huge entertainment system well in the glove box. The overall the entertainment system is exceptionally good and does not let ambient noise interrupt in your listening experience.

Getting into the rear seat is tight and tough for even the average height individual. Knee room is cramped up and would not be suitable for long drives. Material used for the seats is premium and the leather feels really soft against the skin.


The A3 Cabriolet is very easy to drive and manoeuvre around the city. Audi engineers have made it a driver's car and we are sure people will be fighting over who gets to be in the driving seat. Paddle shifters behind the steering wheel gives the driver an engaging experience.

Handling is precise and there is very little to fault from the driver's seat. The ride does feel a bit stiff, however, that aids in the precise handling. A3 Cabriolet, when driven with the roof down, is always more fun and maintaining high speeds is not a problem, you also do not have to worry too much about your hair getting rustled in the wind.

Audi engineers claim that the soft-top roof can be retracted in a matter of 18 seconds. The roof can also be retracted while the car is in motion within a speed limit of 50 km/h. During our drive we experienced that it is easy to retract the roof, however, we do not recommend trying to open it while on the move.

Safety Features

Audi equips the A3 Cabriolet with six airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), ESP (Electronic Stability Program), TCS (Traction Control System), BA (Brake Assist), and Hill Hold Control as part of the safety equipment.

Audi A3 Pros & Cons

+ Premium and sporty exterior design
+ Exclusivity
+ Drive and handling
+ Safety features

Similar Audi design
Stiff suspension
Premium price tag
Cramped interiors


Audi India has priced the A3 Cabriolet attractively at Rs. 45.90 lakh ex-showroom (Delhi).


The A3 Cabriolet is not the most suitable offering by Audi in the Indian market. Cabriolet's are not overly popular in the country, however, they work as exceptional novelty models. It is the perfect vehicle for those who love to be seen in their luxury vehicle.

The Audi A3 Cabriolet comes to India as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) and thus attracts a higher price tag. We believe better pricing could attract more buyers to one of the few cabriolets available in India. The paddle shifters do make a difference and provide a more engaging drive compared to the normal automatic experience.

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Story first published: Friday, April 15, 2016, 9:10 [IST]
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