Nearly Perfect, the Audi A3 Cabriolet

In Audi, Car Reviews by Neil Lyndon

Apparently – or so I am told – there are people in the world who think the Audi A3 Cabriolet is too good. Because this car is nearly perfect, the carpers say it “lacks character” and is “bland and boring”.

Neil Lyndon rants and raves about the Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI COD S line
Unbelievable. Such people deserve to be herded together into an open-air stockade on the Siberian steppes and kept barely alive on slops and gruel until they repent.

Theirs is the cast of mind that leads spoiled people who live far from the real world to criticise McLarens for lacking “edge” and “involvement” compared with, say, Ferraris or Aston Martins. The fact that they would never be able to buy any of those cars unless they sold their granny into bondage. This doesn’t hold them back from griping over some of the best cars ever made in Britain whose supreme achievement is that they can be safely and pleasurably driven by a learner-driver and, equally, an F1 ace who is taking the car and himself as far as they can go.

It is true that, at £41705, the all-in price of the car we borrowed is enough to make your scrotum shrink (if you happen to have one) in sheer panic.
Much the same goes for the A3 Cabriolet. This car is

  • Gorgeous to look at
  • Fantastic to drive
  • Wonderful to sit inside

What more could anybody ask?

It is also undeniable that the boot space, even with the roof up, is probably less than an average desk drawer; and that all-round visibility is slightly worryingly limited with the roof up. Anybody thinking of spending £41705 of their own money on this car would be well-advised to check out Audi’s reliability record through the websites of Which?, J.D. Power and Warranty Direct – where they will find objective evidence that might give them pause.

But that, my friends, is the sum total of reservations I can find to level against this car and I promise you the bottom of the barrel has been swept clean of every crumb.

For performance (see figs), driving pleasure, comfort, equipment, interior design and lay-out and sheer bloody rapture, the A3 Cabriolet is so good I’d almost consider swapping one for my MX-5 (but not quite).

There is no higher praise.

But, then, I suppose those grimblers would say the MX-5 “lacks character”. We can only laugh in their faces.

Car reviewed: Audi A3 Cabriolet 1.4 TFSI COD (150PS) S line – On the road £32,125, price fully loaded as tested £41705 0-62mph 11 secs Top speed 114mph Fuel Economy combined 55.4mpg CO2 emissions 118g/km Engine 1395cc 4-cylinder in-line Petrol Max Power 150PS@5000rpm Torque 250Nm@1500rpm Transmission S tronic dual clutch man sequential auto mode

  • Gorgeous Looking

  • Great to drive

  • Exceptional interior

  • Because you're worth it

About the author

Neil Lyndon


Neil Lyndon has been a journalist, broadcaster and writer on the UK's national stage for 40 years, writing for every "quality" newspaper on Fleet Street. He started writing about cars and motorbikes for The Sunday Times in the 1980s and was Motoring Correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph for 20 years, having previously written a column on motorbikes for Esquire. He is also recognised as a leading commentator on gender politics, having published No More Sex War in 1992 - the first ever critique of feminism from a radical, egalitarian point of view.

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