Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.2 TFSI S line 2dr Car Review - January 2012

List Price: £26,210
Tax Band: E
Insurance Group: 18
MPG: 49.6
CO2: 132
0-62 Mph: 12.2 secs
BHP: 104 BHP
Range: 600 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.5/5
Cabriolets are often considered to be luxury second cars that are completely impractical to use as an everyday car in the UK, but the A3 Cabriolet really tries hard to turn around this image. Offering fuel performance of nearly 50mpg it is practical to use as a regular car, and although it will never break any speed records it is practical in the rain and is certainly fun to use on the rarer sunny days.

PROS:  A stylish cabriolet with an automatic folding roof which is still practical to use as an everyday car, which is still able to deliver excellent fuel performance.

CONS:  Not a very powerful car, and the trade off for good fuel performance is a sluggish and slow engine that defies the sporty image.

Behind the Wheel

The 1.2 TFSI engine is the smallest to be found in an A3, and in fairness this does show in terms of the performance it can deliver. A sluggish 12.2 seconds over 0-60mph will leave few other cars behind, and getting to the top speed of 118mph will rarely happen for those who are driving this particular model.

In reality, most people will be considering this cabriolet because it is the smallest and least expensive of the Audi cabriolet range, and the fuel performance certainly makes it much easier on the wallet than the larger engines. The handling of the car is very good, although the lowered and sportier suspension does deliver a few more bumps than necessary. The ride on the whole is comfortable, and this model is ideal for those who are looking for a relaxed drive in the sunshine rather than a sporty and powerful car.

Looks & Equipment

One of the biggest features about the A3 Cabriolet is that even those with smaller engines have been given a sporty image, and the lowered suspension and alloy wheels certainly give it an attractive look at the kerb. The folding roof is in classic black, and having the automatic roof makes a big difference, although it is one that has become standard among the competitors too. It has four seats instead of the five to be found in the hatchback version, but this is a common sacrifice for those looking for a practical cabrio rather than a hatchback.

The equipment that comes with the car is acceptable, and the climate control and electric windows will be very useful for those days where the weather changes quickly. The roof folds in nine seconds, which is particularly impressive and means that even a surprise shower won't leave you drenched as the roof is raised.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The loss of the centre seat in the rear of the car is part and parcel of opting for a cabriolet car, and it is quite spacious at the back. However, one clever feature is that the roof folds into a slim pocket meaning that there is still a practical boot that will carry a family's shopping for the week if necessary.

The Audi does suffer in terms of safety tests, and is similar to the A3 hatchback in this type, with the Euro NCAP tests offering four stars for adult and child occupants, but pedestrians getting one star protection. The deadlocks and immobilisers are standard security features, but the fabric roof is one which can be a weak spot for thieves. The car comes with a three year warranty and three years roadside breakdown assistance, but with Audi being noted for making reliable cars, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Value for Money

The Audi cabriolet is up against some very tough competition in terms of budget cabriolets and is quite expensive in comparison, especially with the Peugeot 207CC which is able to offer a folding metal roof. The fuel performance of 49.6mpg is certainly impressive, and makes owning a cabriolet a little more practical.

One benefit for buyers is that it does hold its price well, and those selling in the spring will often get the best possible price for the car. For those who are looking for a sportier ride, then they may want to consider looking at the 1.8 engined models, but this will see an increase in terms of the price, fuel consumption and insurance costs.

Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.2 TFSI S line 2dr Car Review - by 
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