Audi A3 Cabriolet Reportedly at Death's Door

audi a3 cabriolet reportedly at deaths door

We’ve got some shocking news for convertible fans. The Audi A3 Cabriolet is still on sale in North America.

Did you forget that it existed? We sure did. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem we’ll have going into 2020, as this is to be the model’s last year. Of course, this changes next to nothing as we haven’t seen one in the wild some time. In fact, it’s difficult to recall the last occasion any automotive outlet even bothered reviewing one.

As the spiritual successor to VW’s now-defunct cabriolets, the open-air A3 occupies an interesting place in the market. It’s a little pricey for most parents looking to treat their college-aged daughters, with a starting MSRP of $39,000, and lacks the oomph and prestige of Audi’s other drop-top offerings.

The manufacturer didn’t attribute any specific reasons for the Cabrio’s death when it spilled the beans on Car and Driver, but we know it’s due to slumping sales. American A3 volumes have been dwindling every year since 2015 and convertibles have not grown in popularity over the last decade.

With the A3 gone, Audi’s smallest and most affordable droptop will be the equally doomed TT (starting at $48,400). Meanwhile, the more-popular A5 is presumed to maintain its sales advantage — regardless of whether or not it comes equipped with a roof. The automaker said it will continue selling both models in the United States for the foreseeable future.

Rather than the 184 horsepower 2.0-liter (40 TFSI) turbo that comes standard on the A3 Cabriolet, the TT comes ready with pumped-up the 228-hp (45 TFSI) variant and quattro all-wheel-drive A3 owners would normally have to pay extra for. Unfortunately, the sprightly TT still ends up costing more in the long run. Those seeking more power will have to settle for the hardtop TTS or spurge on an A5 convertible.

[Image: Audi]

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  • Hpycamper Hpycamper on Aug 08, 2019

    I bought one last year, and other than some electrical gremlims, it's a very good car. Fast, solid, smooth. And I like the way it looks, although I would say the A5 convert is nicer looking. It's a shame that convertibles don't sell the way they used to. I'm glad I got mine before the end. Also, I don't know how the whole chick car thing started about convertibles. Must be some generational thing because when I started driving lots of guys were driving MGs, Triumphs, Healeys and any other convert they could get. Chicks drive SUVs and CUVs.

    • See 2 previous
    • FreedMike FreedMike on Aug 08, 2019

      @hpycamper Well, the convertible was a *little* duller, but not by much. I tried the convertible out on a lark, though - going in, I knew I needed something with four doors and a (mostly) usable trunk. As much as I'd like a convertible - and the A3's a very good one - I can't get away with it right now.

  • TheDumbGuy TheDumbGuy on Aug 08, 2019

    This is what Buick should be selling- a $39,900 convertible. Maybe they would not have to commit hari-kari if they did.

    • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Aug 08, 2019

      They had one (the Cascada) and just canceled it.

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?