Have you ever had a convertible? Have you often wanted one? Have you thought ?one day perhaps, I too will have a convertible and when the sun is shining, it shall be me in my shiny new convertible that you envy??

Well, I have never had a convertible, but I admit I have often envied convertible drivers when the sun shines, or perhaps even more so on those balmy evenings when everything is perfect and life is good and could perhaps only be improved by being that tiny bit closer to the stars, or perhaps, winning the lottery.

I know, it?s a bit poetic but I went to a poetry evening last week which was terrific, and it seems to have influenced me a little, and really, to be honest, a lot of it really is about moments like that isn?t it?

So, the new A3 Cabriolet.  I was very lucky to be able to test drive the new A3 on just such a day and yes I like to think that many people that saw me that day were indeed envious.

?Those first impressions?

The A3 Cabriolet looks good. It has had the facelift that all new A3s will benefit from which, with the convertible roof gives it an extremely refined look either with the top up or down. It doesn?t suffer from the problem of some smaller convertibles where the lines are lost because of the convertible roof. Not that the A3 Cabriolet is particularly small. With a decent wheelbase it is roomy in the front and still comfortable for two adults in the back, so practical too, and because the Z roof folds flat it doesn?t affect the boot space.

Inside, the A3 is typically Audi, stylish with a quality feel and all the comforts you would expect, combined with a very comfortable driving position. Instruments and controls are simple and clear and easy to operate. The model tested was fitted with the Sports pack which included, amongst other things, the fully automatic (and very quick at 10 seconds) roof – operated by a single switch without the need to lock or release the roof at the windscreen, and ? my favourite thing ? a single button to raise or lower all the windows together. I don?t know if all convertibles have those, but they should. My own car only has four individual buttons for the windows, and I feel I?m going to wear my fingers out.

There are four options, 1.8 and 2.0 petrol and 1.9 and 2.0 diesel. I asked my girlfriend what she looked for in a car and one apart from clear instruments and controls, which it has, the other thing was ?pushing you in the back when you accelerate?. The 2.0 petrol has the same award winning engine as the Golf GTI giving a very impressive 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds and only 8.3 seconds for the 1.8 petrol.  The diesels are a little slower whilst still performing well with their low end power but give incredible fuel economy with combined figures of 50+ mpg.

On the road, with superb suspension, brakes, and steering, the Cabriolet maintains the renowned agility and handling characteristics of the hardtop. The gearbox options are 5 or 6 speed manual or the 6 speed S Tronic ? Audi?s seamless automatic gearbox with optional manual change via paddles on the steering wheel.

Overall, the thing with the A3 Cabriolet is that as a convertible, it seems much more of a car. It is more than just getting around, removed from the outside world as you so often are with a hard top. The fun is that you are closer to nature, more in touch, you can commune. And given that it is an Audi, you know you have the quality, inherent safety, and style that Audi represents, Oh, and especially if you choose the 2.0 petrol, you can be fairly confident that if you want, it can push you in the back very impressively when you accelerate.

The Audi A3 Cabriolet
Prices from £18,916
Model tested 2.0 TFSI Petrol with Sport pack

For more information or a test drive, contact Jacksons Garage on 497777