When I say Audi, you probably think about a fairly capable, rather impressive performance vehicle with sharp, taught responses.
But sometimes they make a car that's just kind of silly and fun.
This is that car.
Let's drive the 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet with a little engine and no quattro.
The checked attack.
Now the A three was heavily revised for this twenty fifteen model year.
It's got a nice power top, beautifully inflated glass backlight it cycles in less than twenty seconds and can do so up to thirty-one miles an hour.
Okay our A three cab, keeping it affordable here, is about thirty-six five base, that's a one eight, front wheel drive and the basic trim level.
A tick under two grand gets us navigation, this is one of my favorites in the industry, worth the money.
Driver assist for fourteen hundred gets you parking sonar, rear camera and blindspot check.
And like it or not, I kind of not.
The Audi AMI music interface is something you're gonna want for your portables.
That's about $350.
So all in run about $40,100, that's kind of your minimum CNET spec.
Now, inside the A3, just like outside the A3, this car is growed up.
It is a premium compact car.
You can tell by the nice finishes in the vehicle even though it's not terribly ornate.
Your eye is drawn immediately of course to this head unit.
This pop up screen that in the sedan I think is silly.
In the cab I think it's great because it hides this delicate piece of gear from the elements when you either want to on demand.
Or when the car turns off.
Some other things to tell you this car is premium is the fact that you can get Bang & Olufsen audio, I wouldn't, but you can get it.
Audi drive select, lets you really control the personality of the vehicle exceptionally well.
And you've got a built in, 4G connection.
That brings us back to this head unit.
Look at that nav display.
You're looking at a combination of 4G data pipeline.
Google Earth data and imagery and in videographics processing.
In terms of sheer map interface, this is the best in the biz right now, and it moves very smoothly under way, which a lot of other cars don't, even without photorealism.
Now that 4G icon you see down there is right next to phone icon, because they're separate, this is not pulling data from my phone like most connected cars do today.
It's got its own LTD radio.
Pricing on that 4G connection's going to be a sticky point for both.
After a six month free period, you're going to pay $100 for five gigabytes.
Across 6 months, or 500 dollars gets you 30 gigabytes across 30 months.
Nobody likes another wireless bill.
I think that goes to zero in the industry in the years ahead.
But, for now, it's going to stick in your car.
Being a german car, as typically is the case, no touch.
We've got a voice command button over here, but that's a tease.
In the cab, there is no voice command.
The hardware is not in or available, in the Sedan, of course it would be.
This is how you control everything, you've got to turn, kick, and click wheel.
You've got four zone buttons around it that correspond to the menu zone and the corners of the screen.
You've got these two rockers that kick up or down in to any of the four major functions.
And on top of that controller you've got a nice big finger touch pad particularly good for writing out things like addresses.
Let's talk about media.
Audis have a great assortment of that of course.
The part that I want to point out is that they're still using this damn Audi AMI connector.
Which is a proprietary buck on one end and then you choose the cable that has the other end that goes to what you want.
iPhone, or USB, or what have you.
This makes me nuts, they've got a USB port now in here, which is what I want to use but notice it's charge only.
Maybe next year they'll give us a USB port that's also SMART.
Now under the little button nose of our little A3, we find in this case.
The lessor of two engines that aren't that far apart.
This is the 1.8 liter side-saddle four turbo-charged with direct injection.
And they call it a TSSI engine.
This is going to give you 170 horsepower, 200 pound feed of torque.
So this little guy's got about 3,400 pounds of car to move.
Which it gets up to 60 in about seven and a half seconds.
While delivering good MPG, 24/35.
There in, the rationale for the 1.8.
Now these 1.8s by the way, are all front wheel drive.
If you want all wheel drive, you're going in to a two liter.
And they all use the six speed duel clutch automated manual.
Well as I mentioned we had the two liter quattro when we had the sedan of this car, now I've got the one point eight liter front wheel drive and I missed the two liter quad [UNKNOWN].
Not so much the four wheel drive which I don't need right now in this situation, but.
But I miss the engine and the transmission relationship we had.
There's some turbo lag I detect.
There's some gear logic lag.
There's some transmission actuation lag.
And in general therefore feels like it's kind of always playing catch up.
It's always behind the eight ball in terms of power response.
The ride quality however is really good and fits a car like this.
I mean it's a little cab.
I don't really want a gutsy, [UNKNOWN] suspension in a car that has the top going down.
It's a great little car though, even though it's not as sharp as Audis are in a performance sense, it's very livable.
I just wish the powertrain was a little more snappy to go with its nice tidy lines.
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