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2019 Audi A3 Convertible

$38,900 - $41,700
Price Range (MSRP)
Audi A3 Convertible

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Review

by Roger Biermann

The Audi A3 has become a staple of the luxury compact market, and is known and loved for its blend of practicality and premium build quality. For 2019, Audi has chopped the roof off of their third generation A3, creating a practical four-seat convertible that is priced well below traditional players such as the topless Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series. The 2019 A3 Convertible packs a decent punch thanks to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that pushes out between 184 and 228 horsepower, and shifts through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Audi A3 Convertible finds itself in a curiously advantageous position, as the only real competition comes in the form of BMW's 2 Series convertible and the Buick Cascada. The A3 Convertible comes in three trims and is priced between $38,900 and $47,100.

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 A3 Convertible?

The Audi A3 Convertible proved to be highly popular back in 2018, so much so that Audi was having trouble keeping them in stock. That being said, Audi didn't feel the need to change much on the 2019 year model, but some changes have crept through: the high-output 2.0-liter turbo found in quattro-equipped cars now gets eight extra horsepower, while the standard features list gets a reshuffling across the range. The 2019 Audi A3 is part of the 8v third generation, the first to make use of Volkswagen's MQB platform.

Pros and Cons

  • Great balance between sporty ride and cabin comfort
  • Turbocharged engines offer strong performance, especially in the mid-range
  • Audi build quality is top-notch
  • The rear seats are actually usable - but suited to children
  • Forget about cargo space
  • It's ripe for a full redesign

A3 Convertible Exterior

The 2019 A3 Convertible manages to pull off the topless look without losing the essence of the basic design. It rides on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels in base trim, upgraded to 19-inches for the Premium Plus and Prestige models. The base trim has to make do with Xenon headlights, but higher trims get the full LED treatment. The optional 19-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension package lowers the car ever so slightly and gives the A3 Convertible a more assertive, eager look. Chrome exhaust tips in the rear add to the athletic appeal of the cabriolet.

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Front View
2019 Audi A3 Convertible Rear View
2019 Audi A3 Convertible Right Side View
See All 2019 Audi A3 Convertible Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The A3 Convertible rides on a 102.2-inch wheelbase, which is slightly shorter than the 103.8 inches of its tin-topped siblings. The convertible is 1.3 inches shorter, but retains the same height and width as the hardtop version: 55.5 inches and 77.2 inches respectively. Where the A3 Convertible differs most from the hardtop is in the weight department; thanks to all the electronic gadgetry required to power the soft-top roof, the convertible weighs in at 3,439 pounds, which is almost 250 pounds more than the hardtop.

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Exterior Colors

  • Cosmos Blue Metallic/Black Roof
  • Florett Silver Metallic/Black Roof
  • Glacier White Metallic/Black Roof
  • Monsoon Gray Metallic/Black Roof
  • Mythos Black Metallic/Black Roof
  • Nano Gray Metallic/Black Roof
  • Tango Red Metallic/Black Roof
  • Brilliant Black/Black Roof
  • Ibis White/Black Roof

A3 Convertible Performance

2019 Audi A3 Convertible In Motion
2019 Audi A3 Convertible In Motion
2019 Audi A3 Convertible Wheel

Engine and Transmission

The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine equipped to the 2019 Audi A3 Convertible is available in two different variations; the low-powered option pushes out 184hp and 221 lb-ft of torque and is only available in a front-wheel-drive configuration. The performance engine of the A3 range (excluding the S and mighty RS models, of course), is the 45 TFSI 2.0T, which for 2019 produces 228hp and 258 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that's docile and smooth when you're cruising around in full auto mode but delivers quick and precise gear changes when asked to. Low-speed jerking is an issue noted by some drivers, however. The low output engine does a fine job of zipping the A3 Convertible around town, but - although more costly and with slightly higher fuel consumption - the high-output 2.0-liter makes the most of the A3's competent chassis. The A3 convertible manages 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is relatively standard for this segment.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

No one would expect the A3 Convertible to handle like a track-day special edition, but it will surprise you with its willingness to change direction with minimal body roll. Audi has done a good job with the A3 Convertible's electric power steering setup; steering feedback is good, and the little Audi gives you a good idea of what's happening down under, although delivering an otherwise unexciting driving experience. The quattro does what all-wheel drive cars do well: it grips with impressive tenacity, eventually giving over to predictable understeer. The rear-wheel-drive BMW 2 Series Convertible offers a more engaging drive but can get a bit too frisky for inexperienced drivers. For a car that doesn't pretend to be an all-out sports car, the A3 convertible delights, and despite carrying some added weight, delivers the same, well-balanced ride and handling characteristics displayed in the hardtop version.

A3 Convertible Gas Mileage

The lower-output front-wheel-drive 40 TFSI 2.0T, mated to the seven-speed dual-clutch auto, demands the least amount of fuel and will deliver an EPA rated estimates of 26/35/29 mpg city/highway/combined. The more powerful all-wheel-drive version sees those numbers take a slight hit, returning an EPA estimated 22/30/25 mpg. Front-wheel-drive models are equipped with a 13.2-gallon fuel tank, while the quattro gets a larger 14.5-gallon tank, good for a 383- and 363-mile range respectively. With much less economical estimates from the main rivals, the BMW 2 Series and Buick Cascada, the A3 fares relatively well in this regard.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 26/35 mpg
* 2019 Audi A3 Convertible 2.0T Premium Plus FWD Cabriolet

A3 Convertible Interior

The A3 Convertible carries over the hardtop's key interior elements, including plush leather upholstery, with power-adjustable front seats that feature lumbar support. Thanks to a wide range of driver adjustments, getting comfortable in the A3 Convertible is a breeze and even taller drivers would find an ideal driving position quite easily. As you'd expect from any Audi product, the interior is well put together: the interior materials, buttons, and switches have a premium feel and soft-touch plastics feel durable and more high-end than expected. Brushed aluminum inserts are present in abundance, which adds to the upmarket, contemporary feel. The dashboard layout is simple yet elegant and puts all the important controls within easy reach of the driver. Front passengers have ample head and legroom, while passengers in the back are not so lucky. Rear legroom is severely compromised in the A3 Convertible and is realistically, only suited for children or really small adults.

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Dashboard
2019 Audi A3 Convertible Wheel Detail
2019 Audi A3 Convertible Interior Details
See All 2019 Audi A3 Convertible Interior Photos

A3 Convertible Trunk and Cargo Space

The A3 Convertible suffers from the classic lack of trunk space that affects most soft-top vehicles. With the top folded down, a large chunk of rear cargo space is impeded, leaving you with a shallow 7.1 cubic feet of space, which is slightly awkward to pack due to the guts of the roof getting in the way. With the roof up, there is a surprising amount of usable trunk space - 9.9 cubic feet to be exact - and a wide opening trunk lid helps you to access the space more easily. The rear seats fold flat via a simple-to-use lever in the trunk and open up enough space to fit a few duffle bags, groceries for a week or two, or a few sets of snowboards. Each occupant gets a place to put their coffee, and you can expect to find ample personal item storage in the traditional spots throughout the cabin.

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Front Seating
2019 Audi A3 Convertible In Motion
2019 Audi A3 Convertible Front View
  • Trunk Volume
    9.9 ft³

A3 Convertible Infotainment and Features

Features

The 2019 A3 Convertible shares its features list with the rest of the A3 range. The Premium's list of standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, folding front center armrest, leather upholstery, and a rearview camera. Active rollover protection systems are in place as well, and cruise control with coast, resume and accelerate features are included from the entry-point of the range. Higher up in the range does wireless phone charging, keyless entry and Audi's drive select system become standard. Audi's virtual cockpit featuring navigation, adaptive cruise control, and Parking System Plus are some of the premium features reserved for the Prestige trim.

Infotainment

Audi's well-liked MMI infotainment system features a seven-inch display and a 140-watt, nine-speaker sound system. You'll get a single disc CD player with MP3 and Bluetooth capability, satellite radio and a 32GB SDXC harddrive slot as well as a handy USB port on the base trim. The Prestige trim benefits from Audi's virtual cockpit system with a 12.3-inch display, as well as a banging Bang & Olufsen stereo system, featuring 13 speakers and 625 watts of power. Additionally, the Audi smartphone interface allows for the use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and navigation is equipped as standard.

A3 Convertible Problems and Reliability

There have been a number of recalls that have affected the A3, but only a few warranted serious concern. 2017 models were thought to have the potential to deploy their airbags with excessive force. Other problems noted include minor fuel leak issues, interior fitment defects, and electronic stability control recalibration issues. Still, the Audi A3 as a whole scored a three-and-a-half out of five on the J.D. Power Predicted Reliability scale, which is between marginally higher than average.

Audi covers the 2019 A3 Convertible with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty, a four-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty, and a one-year/10,0000-mile maintenance warranty. A four-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance plan is also included.

A3 Convertible Safety

The A3 Convertible shares its safety features with the rest of the hard-top A3 range. The 2019 A3 Sedan was awarded the IIHS Top Safety Pick title in its hard-top variation for its superior crash test results. It scored excellently in all evaluations. While the NHTSA has not yet rated the Cabriolet, the A3 sedan scored a perfect five-star overall rating.

The A3 Convertible comes standard with cruise control, front and rear pre-collision warning, a rearview camera and an active rollover protection system custom-tailored for the convertible. Children will also be kept safe thanks to LATCH child-seat anchors and tethers in the rear seats.

Verdict: Is 2019 Audi A3 Convertible a good car?

Take the ever practical, balanced and comfortable A3, skim the roof off, and you end up with a car that delivers the best of both worlds. Little is sacrificed in the A3 convertible; you get the same levels of comfort and interior quality and the same responsive and powerful turbocharged performance, with the added bonus of being able to pop the top down. The low-output 2.0T engine does an admirable job of hauling around the 3,500 pound A3 and delivers impressive fuel economy to boot. The higher output powerplant sees the zero to sixty times dip below the five-second mark. The dual-clutch auto works well and does what is asked of it, but can be a bit jerky at low speeds. The convertible is just as sure-footed as the hardtop when it comes to handling: feedback through the steering wheel is impressive, and the suspension setup copes well with low-speed bumps and high-speed cruising. The interior has a premium feel, and mid-level trim cars have a lot of standard features. The A3 Convertible is more practical and more fun than it may seem, and with affordable pricing, there's almost no reason not to buy one.

What's the Price of 2019 Audi A3 Convertible?

The Premium A3 starts at an MSRP of $38,900 for the front-wheel-drive 40 TFSI 2.0T, and the 45 quattro will set you back $41,700. The Premium Plus trim has a starting cost of $42,300 for the 40 TFSI and climbs to $45,100 for the quattro. The top of the line Prestige variant has a base price of $47,100. For the quattro budget for $49,900. These prices exclude a destination charge of $995.

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0T Premium
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,900
2.0T Premium Plus
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,900
2.0T Prestige
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$38,900
See All 2019 Audi A3 Convertible Trims and Specs

What Audi A3 Convertible Model Should I Buy?

The number of standard features on the 2019 A3 Convertible is rather impressive, and luxuries such as full leather upholstery, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, are nice to have in what is essentially a topless hatchback. The Premium Plus adds significantly to the list of entertainment and safety tech for not much more money. The price difference between the two engine options is rather negligible, so the choice really boils down to whether the buyer prefers fuel economy or outright performance, which leads us to the next point. The A3 Convertible isn't a purebred sports car: it will fare well driving to the mall or beach (or both) on a daily basis, therefore the more powerful and more complicated quattro seems a bit over the top. The front-wheel-drive Premium Plus then makes a whole lot of sense in terms of value for money.

Check out other Audi A3 Styles?

2019 Audi A3 Convertible Comparisons

2019 Audi A3 Convertible
2019 Audi A3 Convertible

2019 Audi A3 Convertible vs BMW 2 Series Convertible

The Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series Convertible are both compact cars that offer four people a relatively affordable, yet luxurious open-air experience. The way they go about it, however, is rather different. The A3, available in front- or all-wheel drive, is a pleasant vehicle to drive with standard, well-balanced handling; but it isn't exactly thrilling to throw into a corner at speed. Instead, it offers a consistent ride and prefers low-speed cruising. The BMW, on the other hand, feels like any compact rear-wheel-drive BMW should; it's sharp and eager to throw out its tail. It has a little more sports-car in its DNA and is the better driver's car of the two. The A3 should suit the laid back driver better, who likes the idea of a smooth and suave drive in style. Both are feature-rich and have good safety records, and at a pretty even price too. The choice comes down to brand preference and desired levels of handling and excitement.

See BMW 2 Series Convertible Review

2019 Audi A3 Convertible vs Buick Cascada

For lack of any other real competition in this class, the Buick Cascada has to step up to the line. The Buick Cascada is a rebadged Opel and has been in production since 2012. In terms of power plants and performance, the Cascada makes use of a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 200hp. Power is sent to the front wheels only. The Cascada gets standard leather seats, lane departure warning, and frontal pre-collision warning - but it misses out on rear park assistance. The Cascada can't match the A3 for interior build quality or driving dynamics, but its low asking price of $33,070 makes it an attractive proposition for those less worried about sheer driving pleasure, who care more about the wind in their hair. We still prefer the overall package of the Audi A3, even at its slightly higher price.

See Buick Cascada Review

Audi A3 Convertible Popular Comparisons