MPG

A3

FWD

Auto

2.0 Turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

Camaro

RWD

Manual

2.0 Turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/30 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/26 hwy

6.2 Supercharger V6

14 city/20 hwy

Auto

2.0 Turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

6.2 Supercharger V8

13 city/ 21 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A3 Cabriolet’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Camaro doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Camaro Convertible/ZL1 1LE 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 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 12% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

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.

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 $284 less for a muffler, $114 less for front brake pads, $14 less for fuel injection, $267 less for a fuel pump and $197 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.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A3 Cabriolet first among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Camaro was rated second in its category.

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

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