The Audi A3 is an important car for Audi, it draws in the younger public to try and keep them in their brand for the rest of their life. So with the competition being so fierce these days in the form of the A-Class and the 1-Series, can it still keep up?
The car we got for the occasion was the Audi A3 35TDI. It sits on the same platform as the VW Golf and Seat Leon we drove last week. But don’t be fooled though. This is not just a rebadged Golf. Oh no. It’s much more different than that.
Fuel sipping efficiency
The 2.0 TDI engine produces 150 hp and 360 Nm which is pretty nippy. But that’s not the biggest selling point on this engine. Thanks to the torque being available down low, the Audi A3 is extremely efficient. On the highways at 120 km/h, it manages to do an impressive 3.8 L/100 km and on average it averaged 4.7 L/100 km which involved a wide combination of city driving, highway but also German autobahn.
And talking about the autobahn, the A3 sure knows how to run with the bigger boys with its 224 km/h top speed and it does get there pretty swiftly.
Other than that, the engine is very quiet and doesn’t transfer any vibrations into the car.
And in terms of how it drives up there? Silky smooth. The car may look quite sporty but the ride is fully comfort based. The chassis is amazingly well balanced and bodyroll is very well controlled.
Putting the car in Sport mode stiffens the car a little bit but it’s very subtle.
Back up to date
The interior inside the A3 is in line with what we already saw in the A1 Citycarver. The overhaul is very similar and the A3 really needed that since the previous generation was starting to look very dated.
The virtual cockpit is as easy as ever to operate through the steering wheel. The choice of Audi to stick to knobs and dials on the steering wheel is a welcome one in times were everything transforms into a touch area. The volume button is now touch-based which made me skeptical at first. But I’m happy to say that it works very well. Push to change a song or just make circular movements on the button to change the volume.
The S line seats have great side support and are comfortable enough to sit in the car continuously until the fuel runs out after over 1.000 km.
The only thing that is a bit tricky from time to time is trying to find some features throughout the multiple menus and submenus.
Faster looking than ever
The new Audi A3 also looks a lot different than the previous one. There are still design queues that make it look distinctively like an A3. The main design element which I love is the wider looking arches. The sharp nose with big side intakes makes the car really stand out.
Selecting the optional LED lights is still a must in my opinion to make the whole car look right as well.
It’s a very good looking car indeed, even with smaller wheels or a grey paint job. The A3 does occasionally get some looks and compliments. There’s also an optional carbon-fiber rear wing and carbon fiber mirror covers which seems a bit over the top for an A3 in our view but that said. Secretly we do think it looks cool. Just don’t tell anyone.
If the car looks as good as it does now. We can’t wait to see what Audi’s got in store with the RS3.
The new king in the segment?
So with the new A3, is Audi once again the king of this segment? Well with chassis that is very well dampened, an interior that feels premium everywhere you touch it, and very economic engines. It’s hard to argue with. Sure the A-Class interior may look nicer but the Audi’s feels nicer and easier to use whilst driving.
The A3 might be the most expensive car in the segment but for that, you do get so much more for that than what the competition has to offer.
Step aside everyone, Audi is back on top of the game.