Buying a Used Audi A3 Cabriolet
Used Audi A3 Cabriolet
Is a Used Audi A3 Cabriolet Right for me?
- Budget: Around £17,500/ £350 pcm budget will give you the best choice for your money.
- Trim levels: Available with SE, Sport and S Line. Of the three SE will give you the smoothest drive.
- Engines: A choice of 3 petrol and 4 diesel engines.
- Interior: Generous standard equipment including 5.8-inch display screen.
- Our Verdict: An affordable, mid-size family soft top.
FOR the purposes of this article we’re going to look at the latest Audi A3 Cabriolet and treat ourselves to an imaginary budget of around £17,500, or £350 a month on finance. With that sort of spend you’ll easily find a sub-30,000 miles and well spec’d, third generation version, a multiple award winner in its category for used cars.
This version was launched in 2014 and mildly facelifted two years later, the main alterations being at the front. It’s a stylish, mid-size soft top and in realistic terms, a four seater. As with any soft top you must expect a reduced boot space to accommodate the folding fabric roof (it is electronically lowered in just 18 seconds) but, when the sun’s out, who cares?
Audi did a very good job of eliminating the chassis shuddering you can often feel over bumps in a convertible as the body structure is weakened by taking off the metal roof. Extra strengthening in the A3 Cabriolet has gone a long way to compensating for that and the ride is good in this sense. The downside is that it adds weight, this car being 170 kgs heavier than the hatchback equivalent.
If you value smooth progress over our poor roads you need to be careful which version you buy; the A3 comes in SE, Sport and S line spec and the SE is the best in this regard. You will find a lot of cars fitted with big alloys which may look the part, but do little for comfort.
Apart from that the Audi is a lovely car to drive. It has the basic appeal of any convertible because there really is no nicer way to travel on our roads than with the roof down on a sunny day. If your car has the optional Comfort pack you get a very effective wind deflector which stops the airstream curling over the top of the windscreen and down the back of your neck!
This being the UK, sadly the roof will be up more often than it’s down and you’ll be glad to know that the triple layer fabric is very efficient at keeping out the wind noise but keeping in the warmth.
Audi always provide you with a very nice environment and the cabriolet is no different. It looks and feels good and the standard equipment is pretty generous. Every version has a 5.8-inch display screen with most of the main control functions, replacing buttons and making the cockpit a clutter-free zone; alloy wheels and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Option packs such as the Technology one add a bigger screen and Sat Nav and since the 2016 facelift Audi’s brilliant Virtual Cockpit and its exceptionally clear digital graphics and instruments has been an option too. Use it once and you will be hooked!
And there's decent room in the rear seats too!
The Audi A3 cabriolet is available with a choice of three petrol and four diesels and there is the option of four wheel drive in the quattro model; for economy go for the 70 mpg, 1.6 diesel or the 2.0 litre if you want more punch and rather more sprightly performance.
Over on the petrol side and if you want the full bananas, you’ll find a 300 bhp S3; it does 0 to 60 in about five seconds and its top speed is electronically governed to 155 mph.
It may not be a big point because few of us buy a car on safety grounds, but Audi has fitted an electronic stability control system to stop the car turning over in a particularly violent crash. Should that ever happen, strong rollover hoops will be triggered and activated in a fraction of a second to protect you and your passengers.
Taking our £17,500/ £350 pcm budget lets you into a nice part of the market.
Swansway have six Audi centres and on the net I can currently see they have a top of the range S Line TDI quattro with 26,000 miles at around about that money and of course cars come in all the time. If you know exactly which model, colour and engine you want, Swansway can assist by sourcing a car to fit your requirements.
You pay a small premium over a Volkswagen Golf convertible, but get a nicer car with a more premium feel interior. A good all-rounder in a market where there’s not much competition, the Audi A3 cabriolet is an affordable, mid-size family soft top.