2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet vs. 2019 Chevrolet Camaro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A3 Cabriolet’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Camaro doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A3 Cabriolet has standard Audi Pre Sense Front, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Camaro offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The A3 Cabriolet has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Camaro doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A3 Cabriolet 45 TSFI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Camaro doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A3 Cabriolet Prestige’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Camaro doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The A3 Cabriolet Premium Plus/Prestige has standard Parking System Plus to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Camaro doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the A3 Cabriolet and the Camaro have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The A3 Cabriolet comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Camaro’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A3 Cabriolet’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Camaro’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

The Audi A3 Cabriolet’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Camaro’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the A3 Cabriolet have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Camaro.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A3 Cabriolet’s reliability 20 points higher than the Camaro.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Cabriolet higher (7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Camaro (1 to 5). This means the A3 Cabriolet produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Camaro every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Audi A3 Cabriolet comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Camaro.

The A3 Cabriolet offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Camaro doesn’t offer an SMG.

All wheel drive, available in the A3 Cabriolet, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Chevrolet Camaro is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

The A3 Cabriolet stops shorter than the Camaro:

 

A3 Cabriolet

Camaro

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The A3 Cabriolet’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Camaro’s standard 50 series tires.

The A3 Cabriolet has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Camaro; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Camaro don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the A3 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Camaro’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The A3 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Camaro ZL1’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The A3 Cabriolet is 1 foot, 2.2 inches shorter than the Camaro, making the A3 Cabriolet easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the A3 Cabriolet has standard flush composite headlights. The Camaro has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

The A3 Cabriolet has a larger trunk with its top up than the Camaro Convertible (9.9 vs. 9.1 cubic feet).

The A3 Cabriolet’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Camaro Convertible doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

The A3 Cabriolet’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Camaro Coupe’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 22% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

The A3 Cabriolet’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Camaro’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the A3 Cabriolet the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Camaro can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A3 Cabriolet has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Camaro doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The A3 Cabriolet’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Camaro’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A3 Cabriolet to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Camaro doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the A3 Cabriolet Prestige detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Camaro doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The A3 Cabriolet’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet charges extra for heated mirrors on the Camaro.

The A3 Cabriolet has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Camaro.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the A3 Cabriolet has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Camaro doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the A3 Cabriolet Prestige has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Camaro doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The A3 Cabriolet Prestige’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Camaro doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A3 comes in convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Chevrolet Camaro isn’t available as a sedan or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Cabriolet is less expensive to operate than the Camaro because typical repairs cost much less on the A3 Cabriolet than the Camaro, including $271 less for a muffler, $109 less for front brake pads, $13 less for fuel injection, $254 less for a fuel pump and $194 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A3 Cabriolet, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Camaro isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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