2018 Audi A3 Convertible

#11
in Compact convertibles
2018 MODEL

$38,350 - $49,500

8.1

Overall Rating

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Overview

The best kind of drive is the one in which you can feel the breeze through your hair. Convertibles are the perfect tools for such rides. It also makes the perfect driving tool around town during pleasant weather and one such great car is the 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet.

The Base trim is named Premium and is priced at $38,350, offers a host of standard equipment along with a 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged engine that produces a decent 186 horsepower. The higher trims, the mid-range Premium Plus trim, and the top-of-the-line Prestige trim are priced at $41,600 and $46,800 respectively, use the same engine to power themselves while adding more features.

The A3 model range is a collection of beautifully crafted low-end, competitively priced luxury cars, and the A3 Cabriolet is the drop-top convertible of that range. Audi has essentially just entered their champion into the urban commuter segment.

See detailed review »

Pros

Frugal 2-liter powertrain

Rock solid driving manners

Intuitive infotainment system

Cons

Tight rear seats

Small trunk

What's New?

Heated seats and two USB charging port

Bang & Olufsen Audio System


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$38350

bodystyle

2dr Convertible

passenger capacity

4

top speed

126 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu. in.

horsepower

186 hp @ 4400 rpm

torque

221 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm

transmission

7-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

11 in. ventilated front disc/12.3 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

102.2 in.

length

174.1 in.

width

70.5 in.

height

55.5 in.

curb weight

3428 lbs.

ground clearance

6.3 in.

capacity

cargo volume

9.9 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.5 sec.

zero to 100 mph

14.9 sec.

rolling start (5-60 mph)

6.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.2 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

178 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/28/33 mpg

highway range

478.5 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

4 years/50000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Audi A3 Convertible in Florett Silver Metallic color  2018 Audi A3 Convertible in Monsoon Gray Metallic color  2018 Audi A3 Convertible in Mythos Black Metallic color  2018 Audi A3 Convertible in Nano Gray Metallic color  2018 Audi A3 Convertible in Tango Red Metallic color
Florett Silver Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.6

Engine

7.9

Fuel Economy

7.9

Interior

7.4

Exterior

8.6

Safety

8.1

Driving

9.3

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Audi A3 Convertible Premium

Premium

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 4

$38,350 - $41,050

Configurations
2.0 TFSI Premium 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 7AM
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/28/33)
HP: 186-hp @ 4,400 rpm Torque: 221 lbs.-ft. @ 1,600 rpm
2.0 TFSI Premium quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6AM
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (22/25/30)
HP: 220-hp @ 4,500 rpm Torque: 258 lbs.-ft. @ 1,600 rpm

 2018 Audi A3 Convertible Premium Plus

Premium Plus

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 4

$41,600 - $44,300

Configurations
2.0 TFSI Premium Plus 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 7AM
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/28/33)
HP: 186 @ 4400
2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6AM
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (22/25/30)
HP: 220 hp @ 4500 rpm Torque: 258 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

 2018 Audi A3 Convertible Prestige

Prestige

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 4

$46,800 - $49,500

Configurations
2.0 TFSI Prestige 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 7AM
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/28/33)
HP: 186 @ 4400
2.0 TFSI Prestige quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6AM
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (22/25/30)
HP: 220 hp @ 4500 rpm Torque: 258 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 4, 2018

8.1

Overall Rating


7.6/10
Features

 

7.9/10
Engine

 

7.9/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.4/10
Interior

 

8.6/10
Exterior

 

8.1/10
Safety

 
 
 

Available in 3 trims, the base trim is named Premium and is priced at $38,350, offers a host of standard equipment along with a 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged engine that produces a decent 186 horsepower. The other two higher trims i.e., the mid-range Premium Plus trim, and the top-of-the-line Prestige trim are priced at $41,600 and $46,800 respectively, use the same engine to power themselves while adding more features.

Features

7.6/10

The Audi is available in three trims, the Premium, the Premium Plus, and the Prestige. All the three cars are powered by the same 2 liters 4-cylinder turbocharged motor, producing a mild 186 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The car is available in both FWD and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive options

The Premium trim is priced at $38,350 for the front wheel drive version and $41,050 for the Quattro all-wheel-drive version. The Premium Plus trim costs just a little more, at $41,600 for the front wheel drive and $44,300 for the Quattro all-wheel drive. The Prestige trim is the most expensive one, offering all the equipment that is available for the A3 and is priced at $46,800 for the front wheel drive version and $49,500 for the Quattro all-wheel-drive version.

Trims Premium Premium Plus Prestige
MSRP (FWD) $38,350 $41,600 $46,800
MSRP (AWD) $41,050 $44,300 $49,500
Ket Features
  • Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Audi music interface with 2 USB ports
  • Leather seating surfaces
  • Heated front seats
  • Audi pre-sense front
  • Rear view camera
  • Everything on Premium and:
  • S line exterior appearance and fender badges
  • Audi advanced key — keyless start, stop and entry
  • Rear cross traffic assist with Audi side assist
  • Audi smartphone interface including Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto
  • Parking system plus with a rearview camera (front and rear acoustic sensors)
  • Everything on Premium Plus and:
  • Full LED headlights and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals
  • Audi virtual cockpit
  • MMI Navigation plus with voice control system
  • Audi adaptive cruise control with stop & go
  • Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 13 speakers and 625 watts

We recommend

Our recommendation would be the $46,800 Prestige version, which gets the best equipment, while also keeping the price under a reasonable range.

 

Engine

7.9/10

“The entry-level unit pumps out 115 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque and, while it’s the least powerful, it returns the best fuel economy. Next in line is the 1.4 TFSI four-pot with cylinder-on-demand technology that turns off two cylinders when full output is not required. This engine generates 150 horses and 184 pound-feet of twist.”-TopSpeed

Engine and transmission

The 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet gets a 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder Turbocharged engine that produces a decent 186 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. All the different trims and versions of the A3 get the same engine, with the same max power output. The relatively low power output sees the car fall behind the competition in terms of performance.

The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, which is quite a responsive unit, although it isn’t the best from the Audi stable. Both the version, i.e., the front wheel drive and the Quattro get the same gearbox, which Audi like to call 7-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission.

Model Audi A3 Cabriolet(Premium) BMW 230i convertible Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune) Buick Cascada
MSRP $38,350 $40,750 $32,090 $33,990
Engine 2.0L TFSI 4-cylinder 2.0L TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder 2.0L Turbo inline 4-cylinder 1.6L 4-Cylinder Turbo
Transmission 7-speed Automatic 8-speed Automatic 6-speed Automatic 6-speed Automatic
Power 186 hp 248 hp 174 hp 200 hp
Torque 221 lb-ft 258 lb-ft 184 lb-ft 207 lb-ft

The Audi A3 manages to hold its own against the competition, although the BMW 230i convertible offers significantly more power at 248 hp. The Buick Cascada offers marginally more power than the Audi, 200 hp, while the Volkswagen Beetle is left behind with only 174 hp.

Acceleration

Even though the Audi lacks power, it isn’t a slow car that gets left in the dust by its peers. It takes a little less than 7 seconds to reach 60 mph, not blazing fast, but not a slouch either. The A3 manages to run a quarter mile in 15.5 seconds, which isn’t too bad for an affordable drop top car.

Models Audi A3 Cabriolet(Premium) BMW 230i convertible Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune) Buick Cascada
0-60 MPH 6.9 sec 5.6 6.4 sec 8.3 sec
Quarter mile 15.5 sec 14.6 sec 15.7 sec 16.5 sec
Engine 2.0L 2.0L 2.0L 1.6L

Emission

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

6.3 6.6 6.0 7.4

The BMW wins the acceleration run due to its high-power output and its overkill 8-speed transmission with short ratio gearings. The Volkswagen Beetle is faster than the A3, which is surprising, as the beetle was never marketed as a performance car. The Buick Cascada is the biggest surprise of all, as it manages to be the slowest in this bunch by a huge margin.

Braking and Handling

Braking duties on the 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet are handled by disc brakes on all four wheels. The front wheels get a pair of 12.3-inch discs and the rear gets a pair of 10.7-inch discs. They manage to bring the car to halt from 60 mph in 109 feet.

Handling of the car is an equal mix of precise and unexciting. The steering is direct and the suspension feels firm under cornering, but the feedback from the wheels is quite dead. The front wheel drive versions are plagued with understeer too. The ride quality is very supple though, and it feels like the car is driving over smooth ribbons of butter.

Model Audi A3 Cabriolet(Premium) BMW 230i convertible Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune) Buick Cascada
Brake Front(in) 12.3 12.3 11.3 12.6
Brake Rear(in) 10.7 11.4 10.7 11.5
Curb weight(lbs) 3439 3680 3225 3979
60-0 MPH (ft.) 109 106 120 124

The BMW 230i convertible has the brilliant rear wheel drive set-up that all BMWs are known for. The car is exciting to drive around the racetrack and on the roads. The Beetle is a great handler too, although its main purpose is to be driven around town, as is the case for the Buick.

Fuel Economy

7.9/10

The Audi A3 shines in the fuel economy tests, managing to run for a great 25 miles in the city and 33 miles out on the highway on a single gallon of fuel, for the front wheel drive versions. The Quattro all-wheel-drive versions manage 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg out on the highway. Thus, both the versions of the car quite fuel efficient.

Model Audi A3 Cabriolet(Premium) BMW 230i convertible Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune) Buick Cascada
MPG (city) 25 23 26 21
MPG (highway) 33 34 34 29
MPG (combined) 28 27 29 24

The Beetle manages to be more fuel efficient than the A3 in all respects, primarily due to its lighter weight and smaller dimensions. BMW’s rear wheel drive system gives if the advantage on the highway, but in the city, it costs more fuel. The Buick, again, loses here, primarily due to its weight.

Interior

7.4/10

“Everything from the dashboard to the door panels remained essentially unaltered, with only the steering wheel, instrument cluster, and A/C vents showcasing new designs. The steering wheel gained a larger central element and a shorter lower spoke that gives it a sportier appearance. The controls have also been revised, but nothing major.”-TopSpeed

Seating and Comfort

The 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet gets beautiful Black and Brown Interiors, with the black covering the Dashboard area, and the brown covering the seats and the door panels. The A3 does not get paddle shifters behind the wheel, although there is a chunky gear lever in the center for mode selection.

Model Audi A3 Cabriolet(Premium) BMW 230i convertible Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune) Buick Cascada
Passenger capacity 4 4 4 4
Passenger Volume (ft cube) 79 83.5 81.4 82
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.4/54.8/41.2 40.5/54.5/41.5 39.3/55.3/41.3 37.8/54.6/42.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 36.6/45.7/31.9 37/42.2/31.8 37.6/43.1/31.4 36.1/45.8/32.8

The Front seats get plenty of room all around, although, for a tall driver, the headspace might be a little disappointing. The rear seats are a little cramped, even for an average sized person. Although the official figures state that it can carry 4 passengers, carrying more than two might be a hassle for the A3.

Infotainment

Audi offers the updated version of its brilliant MMI infotainment system in the 2018 A3 Cabriolet. The 7-inch infotainment system is easily accessible by both, the driver and front passenger and has pretty intuitive features. The system has the following features:

  • Audio system with 10 speakers
  • CD player
  • Auxiliary input
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Bluetooth and AUX

Cargo volume

The 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet has a very disappointing storage space, barely enough for two bags. Things don’t get any better with the top folded in, which eats even more into the boot space. The load floor height is low enough which should come in handy for picking and dropping duties for most adults.

Model Audi A3 Cabriolet(Premium) BMW 230i convertible Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune) Buick Cascada
Volume Top Up (ft. cube) 9.9 11.8 N/A 13.4
Volume Top Down (ft. cube) 7.1 N/A 7.1 9.8

The Buick Cascada offers a bigger trunk with both top up and top down. The BMW 230i also has a better cargo capacity than that of the 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet.

Exterior

8.6/10

“The new A3 Convertible is by far the most aggressive looking compact drop-top Audi has released to date, especially when equipped with the S Line package. But, while the exterior gained updates worthy of a redesign, the interior remained pretty much unchanged, with all the noticeable upgrades operated in the technology department.”-TopSpeed

Dimensions and weight

The 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet is a relatively heavy car, tipping the scales at close to 3 and a half thousand pounds. The dimensions are fairly small though, and the A3 manages to be compact enough to be easy to squeeze around traffic in the city with extreme ease. The ground clearance is the best in class, over 6 inches, and is great to handle a little dirt road action, but not hardcore off-road action.

Model Audi A3 Cabriolet(Premium) BMW 230i convertible Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune) Buick Cascada
Curb Weight(lbs.) 3439 3680 3225 3979
Length(in) 174.3 174.7 168.4 184.9
Width(in) 77.2 69.8 71.2 79.5
Height(in) 55.5 55.6 59.1 56.8
Ground clearance(in) 6.4 5.5 5.9 5.7
Wheelbase(in) 102.2 105.9 100 106.1
Track width(in) F/R 61.2/60.1 59.9/61.1 62.1/61.2 62.5/62.5

The Buick weighs close to about 4 thousand pounds thus making it the heaviest car in this comparison by far. All the cars are closely matched in terms of dimensions, with the beetle being the smallest in terms of length and Buick being the largest in the same.

Exterior features

  • Daytime running LED Headlights
  • Panoramic roof (optional)
  • Quick folding roof

Safety

8.1/10

The 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet gets a host of safety features onboard like the stability control system and adaptive cruise control. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have not yet rated the 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet. Some of the standard safety features are:

  • StabiliTrak stability control system
  • Automated rollover pop-up bars high-strength steel, located behind rear seats
  • LED Daytime Running Lamps
  • Front airbags, Seat-mounted side-impact airbags, Knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, Knee airbags for the driver and front passenger with the safety belt system
  • Airbag front Passenger Sensing System
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Trunk emergency release handle
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Horn, dual-note high and low

Competition

Audi A3 Convertible vs BMW 230i convertible

BMW 230i is a brilliant car, and the convertible is a wonderful deal at the price, especially considering the power and handling capabilities that are on offer. The driver and the front passenger will have a great time in the car. The rear seats are extremely cramped though and can only seat children in comfort.

Audi A3 Convertible vs Volkswagen Beetle convertible (Dune)

The Beetle is a cute little car for inner city commutes and weekend getaways around the city. The puppy dog looks and the peppy fun to drive engine make it a very popular choice among urban dwellers. The car lacks the performance that the 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet offers.

Audi A3 Convertible vs Buick Cascada

The Buick Cascada is a heavy drop-top car with poor performance and above average fuel efficiency. The car really fades in comparison to the A3, which offers better performance, efficiency, and equipment.

 

Final Verdict

The 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet is a great car for city commuters, as it is small, affordable and efficient. The performance isn’t too good, but it should be remembered that the A3 isn’t built for a racetrack. It was built for the city roads, to weave to and fro in heavy traffic, and that it does pretty well. It looks gorgeous although a bit understated and has Audi’s badge of four rings on the front grill.

If you are looking for a performance-based vehicle, the BMW 230i Convertible is the one you should go for. But if you are looking for an overall decent car, 2018 Audi A3 Cabriolet is the perfect buy for you.

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