Like all Audis, the A3’s design is understated, and matches nearly tit-for-tat the lines of the more prestigious sedans in the lineup. It’s not too surprising that Audi downsized its design language so completely to its smallest offering, as the little bugger wears it well. No detail looks foolish or out of place, and we may even be so bold to say that the A3 might wear the familial styling best. The cabriolet isn’t exempt from this praise, either. With just two doors and and a folding canvas roof, it comes off as a handsome little urban warrior to run some errands while soaking up some sun.
Inside, the conservative-classy trend continues. A pop-up infotainment screen hides inside the dash when not in use, and in that position the dash exudes a vibe of minimalistic tastefulness that is typical Audi. The aesthetic appeal isn’t hampered by quality, either - the buttons and knobs all have a substantial feel that belies the A3’s position as the entry-level Audi. Where its compact status makes itself apparent, though, is in roominess, or rather, the lack of it. The car has tiny dimensions, measuring just 175.5 inches from grill badge to exhaust outlet. Cramming a three-box sedan into that footprint means space is at a premium, as rear-seat adult passengers will painfully discover during their first time caged in the penalty-box back seat.
Up front, at least, there’s enough space that drivers shouldn’t have to worry about comfort or claustrophobia. The seats there are comfortable and supportive, as well as 12-way power adjustable (even on the base model). If a higher dose of sport is on the shopping list, the $900 Sport Package brings a flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters and sport seats, and can be complemented by the $250 sport suspension.