Driving the New Audi A3 Cabriolet and S3 Sedan

  • Audi S3
  • Audi S3
  • Audi S3
  • Audi S3
  • Audi S3
  • Audi S3
  • Audi S3
  • Audi A3 Cabriolet
  • Audi A3 Cabriolet
  • Audi A3 Cabriolet
  • Audi A3 Cabriolet
  • Audi A3 Cabriolet

Sometimes, one of the most instructive exercises for those of us who review top-end sports and luxury automobiles is experiencing a marque’s more modest offerings. And the new Audi A3 Cabriolet and S3 Sedan speak volumes about how the German manufacturer treats its entry-level customers.

We recently took the all-new 2015 A3 Cabriolet 1.8T FWD S tronic (quite a mouthful) for a quick jaunt to Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., about 135 miles from Los Angeles. Equipped with a 1.8-liter, 170 hp, turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed S tronic automatic transmission, the compact A3 Cab is a front-wheel-drive drop-top that gets good mileage—about 28 mpg average—and offers a sporty road feel with ample comfort in a very appealing and shapely little package. While the base price is $35,600, our Shiraz Red metallic example topped $45,500, optioned as it was with the $8,450 Prestige Model accessory package that included 18-inch wheels, Bang & Olufsen sound, and a host of electronic niceties for which Audi leads the charge. (The beautiful chestnut-brown leather interior comes standard.) The black fabric roof is a thick, insulated affair, making the car a true cabriolet according to the proper German definition.

The little A3 Cabriolet swallowed up freeway miles like a bigger, longer car—though it did lack for luggage space, as the trunk was occupied by the convertible apparatus, in an effort to retain as much rear-passenger legroom as possible (which the car does admirably). Altogether competent and built with a fit-and-finish precision absent in many automobiles priced much higher, this Audi demonstrates the carmaker’s commitment to one level of quality across its model spectrum.

(Continues on next page…)

From Around the Web...
The division’s projects include the frist example of the rarest Lamborghini Miura, the P400 SV…
Able to cover zero to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, the car will enter the fray at Formula E on October 9…
We put the new wagon and sedan through their paces on Mercedes-Benz’s home turf…
The model is Ferrari’s first four-seater to feature a V-8 engine…
These cars were game-changers and pioneers in the luxury segment…
Photo by Cordero Studios/corderostudios.com
In this video, the Beverly Hills car collector takes us inside his incredible vintage car...
From diamond detailing to hand-painted silk, these cars reveal the real mastery of the marque…
The performance package includes carbon-fiber components and an engine upgrade to 612 hp…
There is nothing mellow about these performance cars, for which a bold yellow paintjob is befitting…
The shapes of these cars are instantly recognizable and shining examples of automotive design…