- FIRST DRIVE – AUDI A3 CABRIOLET
The UK is a leading market for convertibles, despite the questionable climate.
So, there’s likely to be a shedload of drivers reaching for their coolest shades and their cheque books when they set eyes on the new Audi A3 Cabriolet.
We just can’t get enough of drop tops, and the German maker’s latest little number joins a class of cars that offer you truly civilised al fresco motoring.
Civilised? Well, there’s no struggling with a crumpled hood, as of years gone by. Just press the button and the powered fabric roof cleverly folds smoothly and quickly, at speeds of up to 31mph.
The weather was made to order – all blue skies and sunshine, and it was a pleasure to pop the top and hit the road.
With the wind deflector in place behind the front seats, there wasn’t a whisper to disturb your coiffeur, even at get-along speeds.
I tried a 1.4-litre petrol-engined version and a 2.0-litre diesel, with the former motor winning the plaudits.
Despite its small capacity, it produces 140bhp and has cylinder-on-demand technology, which imperceptibly cuts from four cylinders to two when circumstances allow, saving fuel and cutting emissions while offering plenty of usable power.
Features include the likes of upmarket sat nav, heated front seats, adaptive headlights and tyre pressure monitoring.
The A3 Cabriolet is the latest example of Audi’s blend of high-technology, understated style and top-quality fit and finish.
And, unlike many convertibles, it scores in the practicality stakes, offering good boot space with the top stowed inside. Prices start at £25,790.