Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Audi A3 Cabriolet Typ 8V

The third-generation Audi A3, the first to be applied with the Volkswagen Group's new MQB platform. It gained in size, lost some weight, and for the first time, it expanded into a sedan version aside from the three-door and the five-door sportback and overall, it handles good. Now, there is a convertible version of the new A3 and if you're in a mood for your weekend break, would the new A3 Cabriolet be your bet?

2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet

This is the open-top version to the first Audi model and the first of VW Group to don the MQB platform. If you have any doubts, this really is it so let's find out what is like to be in the open-top version of the third-generation Audi A3. Although this is much more of a compact convertible, the new model still comes with features that you get from the normal hatchback and saloon versions only this time, with the retractable soft-top roof that can be closed or open for about 18 seconds, even when travelling at a 50kph speed. However, I don't hold much hope for this because when it does start to rain, I could still get wet even after I closed the roof 18 seconds later.

2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet interior

On the inside it still feels like the other A3 variants and even this is a two-door convertible version, there is some room for two at the back but frankly, I'm afraid the rear legroom is just plain too small for the lazy ones like me, the same thing I'd expect from the three-door hatchback equivalent because it takes more than a force to push the front seats backwards by a lever to gain access to the back seats. Connectivity aside, there is an optional MMI Radio that comes with an electrically extending 5.8-inch color monitor and the MMI user interface terminal. If you're a yuppie, it takes time to learn the fundamentals because between you and me, it can be somewhat a bit complicating like the other infotainment systems equipped on any other cars today. Good thing it wasn't a touch screen one because controls are made possible by a simple rotating push switch and some other buttons in it but having a car with too much buttons can be a bit of a mess here.

Because this is one of Audi's first to implement 4G LTE, the new model is tech-savvy and you can let your selfie-prone passenger to surf the net and post status updates on the run. I can hardly imagine what if I was in that position while someone's driving this. I could be spending the whole traffic watching much of those cat videos on the net. Get it?

2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet

My pick would be the one with the 1.8 TFSi because even though the new A3 Cabriolet may come with the base 1.4 TFSi and the 2.0 TDi diesel engine, I still prefer that top model for now because it feels like the same experience I got used to the hatchback model with that kind of engine. It runs pretty well and feels nippy through the corners even though front-wheel drive is standard with the quattro all-wheel drive system will be added in later stages. Because it weighs a bit more than the hatch and the saloon, 0-100kph time is 7.7 seconds and flatout in around 242kph. The 6-speed manual is fine for you and me then but the one with the 7-speed S tronic double clutch gearbox...that's a different issue.

As for pricing, the base starts at 30,500 Euros (estimated 1.9 Million PhP) while the 2.0 TDi model starts at 34,300 Euros (estimated 2.12 million PhP) so it's somewhat more than the normal hatchback model but I'm not a fool because this is more expensive than front-wheel drive convertibles like the Renault Megane CC but still, the A3 Cabriolet from Audi is a class of its own because no other German carmaker made hatchback-based convertible of this magnitude.

2014 Audi A3 Cabriolet

So, there we have it. The new A3 Cabriolet maybe somewhat a bit crampy on the back and a bit less taste when the roof is closed but overall, it still behaves like the same thing and the 1.8L TFSi model is definitely my pick because you can enjoy driving with it and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever until you slipped it up. It maybe an okay car to drive but unfortunately, it's gonna take more respect to give love out to this ride.

Photo: AUDI AG

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