Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test Audi A3 Cabri­o­let -

THIS is a con­vert­ible I could live with. Im­prac­ti­cal­ity has al­ways been a big down­side of top-down cruis­ers, but the A3 cabri­o­let is the best of the bunch in this re­gard.

Its rear seats are wide enough to fit two adults and the boot is a rea­son­able size — the space doesn’t dis­ap­pear when you drop the roof.

Then there are those fold-down rear seats. They al­low you to not only carry long or bulkier items, but do so with the roof down.

The small Audi con­vert­ible is more liv­able in other ways, too, and has a softer sus­pen­sion set­ting than the BMW 1 Se­ries. This re­sults in a more com­fort­able ride, though the 2.0 TFSI test car didn’t feel as com­pli­ant as the cars tested on the launch a few months ago.

This is be­cause the test car was fit­ted with 18-inch rims (a $2900 op­tion) rather than the stan­dard-is­sue 17s.

The bumpier roads of the test loop re­vealed the A3 Cabri­o­let is not as stiff as the launch drive sug­gested.

Un­like the BMW, the Audi’s body wob­bles a lit­tle over im­per­fect sur­faces.

It is not as bad as, say, the Mit­subishi Colt cabri­o­let, which is ter­ri­ble, but you can still feel it and you can see the rear head­rests mov­ing in the rear view mir­ror.

The Audi han­dles well and is a fairly sharp tool. The steer­ing still doesn’t feel as direct or give you as much feed­back as the BMW sys­tem. Its su­per light at low speeds, which is pre­sum­ably tuned for shop­ping-cen­tre work, but it feels too light.

The en­gine is good. The 1.8-litre base en­gine is nicer than the fig­ures sug­gest, but the 2.0 has a lot of punch, es­pe­cially from 2600 to 4800 revs.

You can go pretty quick if you press hard or sim­ply use the strong torque to cruise with­out much ef­fort.


COM­FORT­ABLE, prac­ti­cal and good-look­ing pres­tige con­vert­ible that works out to be rel­a­tively good value.

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