2019 Volkswagen Beetle vs. 2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Beetle SE/SEL has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Beetle and the A3 Cabriolet have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.


The Beetle comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The A3 Cabriolet’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Beetle’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 24th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Beetle uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A3 Cabriolet 45 TSFI requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Beetle has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Cabriolet 40 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Beetle’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the A3 Cabriolet’s (35.4 feet vs. 36.1 feet).


The Volkswagen Beetle may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Audi A3 Cabriolet.

The Beetle is 5.3 inches shorter than the A3 Cabriolet, making the Beetle easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Beetle Convertible has 2.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Cabriolet (81.4 vs. 79).

Servicing Ease

The Beetle has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Beetle owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Beetle will cost $1215 to $5425 less than the A3 Cabriolet over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Beetle is less expensive to operate than the A3 Cabriolet because it costs $459 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Beetle than the A3 Cabriolet, including $68 less for a water pump, $6 less for front brake pads, $15 less for a starter, $30 less for fuel injection and $132 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen Beetle will be $14932 to $16774 less than for the Audi A3 Cabriolet.

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

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