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Reader test: Audi A3 Cabriolet

2009-10-23 07:17

Richard le Roux, Cape Town

A year ago I decided to take the plunge and do what many people told me not to do - buy a cabriolet!

All comments about it being a car for the fairer sex and not practical did not bother me.
Being a big fan of the Four Rings, the natural choice for me was the A3 Cabriolet. The model I purchased was the 2.0T with the S-Tronic gearbox.

The good

Well, let’s start with the good. You just have to sit in an Audi and you immediately know it is a special place to be. The A3 does not disappoint here.

The size of the interior is perfect and for around town driving it easily fits 4 adults in comfort. Headroom is fine and the car does also not feel at all claustrophobic with the roof up.

Another good point is that there is almost no “scuttle shake” and I think Audi has done a really good job to ensure a comfortable ride.

The engine, which produces 147kW, provides effortless power and is a dream when mated with the S-Tronic gearbox.

The fuel consumption is not great when the car is “driven” with gusto. But most of the driving in this car should be relaxed so you can enjoy the whole experience. The wind noise with the roof up is also a bit more than I had expected.

Audi claims it is only two decibels noisier than the tin top but my previous car was the tin top version and it was a lot quieter. I also found the option list to be very expensive, but the must haves are xenon lights, aluminium trim for the roll over bars, and parking sensors at the rear as visibility is not great.

The ugly
The “ugly” part is that some unsightly marks have developed on the canvas roof, caused by the folding mechanism. After numerous attempts by Audi SA to fix this, they have said I would need to live with it. The roof has been replaced once and some factory amendments from Germany have been done. Audi SA did however say the roof was fully covered by the warranty for five years and would be replaced if need be.
The after sales service is reasonable but I wish it would live up to the high standards set by the sales representative who was very knowledgeable and always willing to help.
In summary, this is a great car best driven with the top down on a sunny day or on a beautiful night under the stars.

The best advert for it is when people who had the bad comments beforehand are totally sold over when they have driven it. I now need to take out extra insurance because of all the people who want a drive.

And the best of all is that it makes you feel special. My suggestion is try one; you, too, will be sold.
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