2018 Audi A3 Convertible

Style:
2018 Audi A3
2018 Audi A3

Pros

  • Good balance of a comfortable ride and sporty handling
  • Strong acceleration from the turbocharged engine
  • Refined and stylish cabin

Cons

  • Trunk is too small to hold a set of golf clubs
  • Backseat space is limited
Audi A3 years


Which A3 does Edmunds recommend?

We recommend the Quattro variant not solely for its all-wheel drive, but also for the nice bump in power it delivers over the front-wheel-drive version. Keep it simple, staying with the base Premium trim, to prevent the price from creeping up to A4 levels. The Convenience package has a lot of bang for the buck, and the Sport package's upgraded seats, selectable drive modes and optional sport suspension make it a worthwhile choice, too.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.3 / 10

The latest-generation A3 debuted in 2015 and marked a departure from the previous edition, eschewing the hatchback body style for sedan and convertible body styles. It then received a modest face-lift in 2017.

The A3's debut came just one year after that of the Mercedes CLA-Class, marking the dawn of a new entry-level era among German automakers. BMW has yet to introduce a sedan in the vein of the others, instead doing battle with its rear-wheel-drive 2 Series coupe.

The A3 Cabriolet models lose the roof but gain reinforcements elsewhere to shore up the structure. In the bargain they gained about 250 pounds compared to their sedan counterparts. The power-folding top is fully lined, but its narrow rear window and large, unbroken swaths of fabric obscure visibility.

Under the skin, the A3 is closely related to the Volkswagen Golf. That's no bad thing, as both are quite accomplished compact cars. Be aware that it's possible to option up an A3 to an eye-watering degree. At some point, buyers might consider an A4 over a heavily optioned A3.

2018 Audi A3 configurations

The 2018 Audi A3 is offered in four-door sedan and two-door convertible (Cabriolet) body styles. Both are available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The trim levels are named Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige, which are listed in order of increasing content.

Front-wheel-drive A3 models have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (186 horsepower, 221 pound-feet of torque) and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. These models have a fuel economy edge over their all-wheel-drive siblings to the tune of 2 mpg (EPA combined). All-wheel-drive variants (Quattro) have a similar engine, but a few changes elevate its gumption to a more robust 220 hp and 258 lb-ft. Perhaps paradoxically, Quattro variants have one fewer gear in their dual-clutch automatic transmissions than do front-wheel-drive models. Despite this and their inevitably heavier weights (160 pounds for sedans; 200 pounds for convertibles), Quattro models handily out-accelerate their front-wheel-drive counterparts. No manual gearbox is available on any flavor of A3.

The base Premium is well-equipped, sporting features such as leather upholstery, a backup camera, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, a 10-speaker sound system, heated front seats and an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment. Cabriolet models are similar but have a power-folding soft top, a nine-speaker sound system and six-way power front seats with lumbar support.

For a reasonable sum, Premium Plus adds a mix of cosmetics and worthwhile convenience features such as 18-inch wheels, an eight-way power passenger seat with lumbar support, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless ignition and entry, parking sensors, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. These models also gain exterior appearance items such as revised bumpers, side sill extensions and illuminated aluminum front doorsills.

Prestige goes all out with power-folding mirrors, LED headlights, an expanded Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster, navigation, a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system and a host of driver assistance features (including lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, automatic high beams).

Some of the features found on the Premium Plus and Prestige can be added to the lower trims as options. An optional Sport package is available on all three trims; it adds a sport steering wheel with wheel-mounted shift paddles, sport front seats with extendable thigh support and selectable driving modes. A sport-tuned suspension is optional with the Sport package selected.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Audi A3 Prestige Quattro Convertible (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2015, the current A3 has received some revisions, including a host of new driver assistance and cabin features, along with optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Our findings remain applicable to this year's A3, however.

Driving

8.0
Audi's familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter engine makes 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in Quattro guise, which is enough for confident passing and merging. While the A3 Cabriolet isn't a sports car, its precise steering and good body control give it a sporty feel.

Acceleration

7.5
The powertrain feels hesitant off the line, but once the turbo kicks in, you're going places. Compared with others in the class, the 0-60 mph sprint of 6.2 seconds is just OK. The sedan is a half-second quicker (and 300 pounds lighter).

Braking

7.0
The A3 Cabriolet showed excellent braking composure, stopping straight with intuitive pedal feel, no extraneous motions and zero brake fade after repeated hard stops. A panic stop from 60 mph took 120 feet with all-season tires — a satisfactory but not stellar result.

Steering

8.0
Our test car's steering effort was adjustable via Audi's Drive Select system, but even the heaviest Dynamic setting still felt light. Path control is very good, though, and this precision inspires confidence in real-world driving.

Handling

8.0
Our tester, equipped with the optional sport suspension, felt nimble and composed. No surprise there; the suspension tune and MQB platform mean it's kind of like a Volkswagen Golf GTI convertible. But there's little playfulness at the handling limit. The A3 is capable but not particularly exciting.

Drivability

8.0
The light steering makes parking maneuvers a breeze, as does the A3's compact size. Rev-matched downshifts from the dual-clutch transmission are awesomely quick and precise. The transmission can feel sleepy at low speeds but is mostly on point.

Comfort

7.0
Manually adjustable front seats with modest bolstering offer generous space but could hold occupants tighter. The rear seat is tight, though the BMW 2 Series is similarly cramped. On the bright side, the ride is supple and the top creates a well-insulated cockpit when it's in place.

Seat comfort

7.0
Our A3 Cabriolet's Sport package included manual front seats that offered wide adjustability. There's not much lateral support by sport-seat standards, and rear seat comfort is hurt by a lack of space.

Ride comfort

7.5
Even with the optional firmer suspension, the ride remained reasonably supple over most surfaces. Mild wobbling of the windshield was noted on rough patches, as were occasional pops and creaks from the top of the windshield with the soft top up.

Noise & vibration

7.0
Top up, the A3 Cabriolet is well-insulated from the elements. Talk radio on the highway is easy to hear. Lower the roof and you'll notice wind noise and buffeting at speed. The wind-blocker reduces both but makes the rear seats unusable.

Interior

7.5
Audi is renowned for its superlative interiors, and the A3 is no exception. The austere dashboard takes Audi's minimalism to a new level, but the effect is distinctly upscale. The cramped back seat and trunk are on par with what you'll find in the 2 Series.

Ease of use

9.0
The controls are well-placed for quick access while driving. The knob-based MMI infotainment system is responsive and pretty easy to get the hang of. The central display screen provides crisp graphics and sensible menus.

Getting in/getting out

7.0
The long, heavy doors can make you think twice in tight spots. The A3's sedan roots mean the front seats aren't too low; you don't fall down into them. Rear seat access isn't the issue; it's the lack of space once you get back there.

Roominess

6.5
There's no shortage of space up front. The wheel telescopes out as far as you need. The rear seats have climate vents, which is a nice touch, but also hard armrests, limited legroom and scant top-up headroom. The Cabriolet looks like a four-seater but is more of a 2+2.

Visibility

7.5
The relatively thin windshield pillars mean excellent visibility out the front. Rear visibility is predictably limited with the top up. The high beltline makes you feel ensconced within the car, but drivers with short torsos might complain.

Quality

9.0
The interior materials are beyond reproach, even in this entry-level Audi. Supple and thoughtfully textured materials are everywhere. Knobs and levers move with well-damped fluidity. Top-shelf engineering and construction is evident.

Convertible top

7.0
The A3's power soft top has a lot of real estate to cover from windshield to rear deck, and it shows in the leisurely 19.3 seconds required to power it down (20.5 seconds on the way up). The top stows neatly under its tonneau lid.

Utility

7.0
The A3 Cabriolet loses a pair of doors along with its roof, but thankfully it doesn't give up much of its already limited trunk space. Still, you'll have to pack smart and keep in-cabin personal effects to a minimum.

Small-item storage

7.0
Though pleasing to the eye, the A3's clean interior design lacks storage solutions, with modestly sized door pockets and a small console bin and glovebox.

Cargo space

7.0
The A3 Cabriolet's trunk loses a negligible amount of space on paper at 9.9 cubic feet and it's fine for a grocery run or a weekend getaway. But it's slightly smaller than the BMW 2 Series' cargo area, and it's not wide enough to stow a full set of golf clubs.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Audi A3.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

so far so good. It looks great and drives well.!
Noah,07/21/2018
Check out exact features of each car before buying. Each car has different features which aren't always explained.
Amazing Vehicle
Paul L.,08/04/2018
Best car I have ever owned and driven. It exceeds my expectations. It’s the quietest convertible I’ve ever been in and the digital cockpit will blow you away.
I'm talking to you
Martin,08/13/2018
Speech dialogue or voice recognition was disabled by Audi in my car. This was a major annoyance since neither Audi tech headquarters nor my dealer had any idea what to do to install the needed software. I had to show them online comments from other owners with this problem and how they got it corrected. Your dealer CAN download needed software to enable voice recognition. Other then that, this is a great car. High quality interior, superior acceleration and ride comfort. A few minor design improvements I would like are: more light in the trunk and since the doors are very wide, an inside door handle closer to where the door opens so it is easier to control. Also another "catch point" to hold the door open when getting out. As it is now, you must open the door quite a bit before it catches open. Combined with it being hard to control the door due to the placement of the handle, this can take some doing.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$44,300
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed automated manual
Gas
220 hp @ 4500 rpm
MSRP
$41,600
MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 4
7-speed automated manual
Gas
186 hp @ 4400 rpm
MSRP
$38,350
MPG
25 city / 33 hwy
Seats 4
7-speed automated manual
Gas
186 hp @ 4400 rpm
MSRP
$41,050
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed automated manual
Gas
220 hp @ 4500 rpm
See all 2018 Audi A3 Convertible features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite A3 safety features:

Active Lane Assist
Helps to keep you in your lane by monitoring lane markings and applying gentle steering corrections.
Side Assist
Monitors the car's blind spots and activates a light when a car in an adjacent lane is in your blind spot.
Adaptive Cruise With Stop & Go
Adjusts your set speed when you approach traffic and maintains a predetermined gap. Can resume travel even after traffic stops.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

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More about the 2018 Audi A3
2018 Audi A3 Convertible Overview

The 2018 Audi A3 Convertible is offered in the following styles: 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro w/Prod. End 6/18 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus w/Prod. End 6/18 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 2.0 TFSI Premium w/Prod. End 6/18 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 2.0 TFSI Premium quattro w/Prod. End 6/18 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 2.0 TFSI Prestige quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 2.0 TFSI Prestige 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus Summer of Audi 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 2.0 TFSI Premium Summer of Audi 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), 2.0 TFSI Premium quattro Summer of Audi 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), and 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro Summer of Audi 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM).

What do people think of the 2018 Audi A3 Convertible?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Audi A3 Convertible and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 A3 Convertible 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 A3 Convertible.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Audi A3 Convertible and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 A3 Convertible featuring deep dives into trim levels including 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro w/Prod. End 6/18, 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus w/Prod. End 6/18, 2.0 TFSI Premium w/Prod. End 6/18, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi A3 Convertible here.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.3 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration7.5 / 10
Braking7.0 / 10
Steering8.0 / 10
Handling8.0 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

7.0 / 10

Seat comfort7.0 / 10
Ride comfort7.5 / 10
Noise & vibration7.0 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use9.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.0 / 10
Roominess6.5 / 10
Visibility7.5 / 10
Quality9.0 / 10

Utility

7.0 / 10

Small-item storage7.0 / 10
Cargo space7.0 / 10
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Audi A3 Convertible?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Audi A3 Convertibles are available in my area?

2018 Audi A3 Convertible Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Audi A3 Convertible.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Audi A3 Convertible for sale near you.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Audi A3 Convertible and all available trim types: 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus w/Prod. End 6/18, 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro w/Prod. End 6/18, 2.0 TFSI Premium w/Prod. End 6/18, etc. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Audi A3 Convertible include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Audi A3?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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