If there is one thing that I love it is seeing new parts of the UK. Our island is so diverse and beautiful with many corners and landscapes to explore. I was therefore delighted to receive an invite last week to spend the day exploring the New Forrest, an area completely new to me. As if that was not good enough, the invite was from Audi and I was also being tasked with trialing their brand new A3 Cabriolet model. I can certainly think of far worse ways to spend a Wednesday morning, so I hastily agreed to head south!
I arrived into Southampton airport and was pleased to see the sun was shining. Weather wise we completely lucked out in fact with Spring arriving right on cue. I don’t think that test driving a convertible in pissing rain would have been just as much fun. The ideal occasion to try out my new London Retro sunglasses too.
The first thing I noticed about the updated A3 Cabriolet was its size. Unlike the similar BMW model and the previous A3 there is actually quite a bit of room both in the back and in the boot. The chasis is actually based on the saloon model instead of the hatchback which gives it that bit more presence.
I am also pleased to say that Audi are sticking to their guns and stuck with a fabric roof on this model unlike many of the competitors who now opt for the far chunkier steel options. As I breezed round the New Forrest I thought I would put the roof to the test can comfortably confirm that it folds away/opens in under 20 seconds. Even in the event of some unexpected rainfall you shouldn’t get too damp at those speeds.
I liked the display ‘hub’ which housed the sat nav, radio, etc. Once you get the hand of the twist and click operating system it becomes easy to use and maneuver your way around. The multi use buttons keep the centre console clean and less cluttered too, another plus point for me. I did think that the trim on the dash could have done with a more premium material considering the 2.0l model that I was driving came in at a tad over £34k! A little extra leather or similar would have been the perfect finishing touch.
Now I am certainly not a petrol head but I do love my music, especially when driving and I could not fault the Bang & Olufsen sound system that was an option in this model. Crystal clear sound and power even at high-speed and with the roof down. Bravo!
The Audi engineers seem to have played a blinder when developing the engines for the new cabriolet as they have somehow managed to improve performance and power but also reduced emissions. Without boring you to tears with the science of it all, they have basically manipulated the make up of the engine which closes off certain cylinders when not required.
It really was a pleasure to take the car for a spin around some beautiful English countryside. New Forrest I shall be back soon (I hope) and as for the new Audi, well it takes a new spot on my wish list!
The brand new Audi A3 cabriolet is priced from £25,790 OTR and available in the UK to pre-order now.