The Audi A3 review
For Performance I would give this lovely car 5*
It boasts a 121bhp 1.4 engine which is quick enough to keep your average driver entertained, while the 178bhp 1.8 is pretty quick, while the 148bhp diesel is superb due to being able to pull from below 1500rpm.
i have also driven two engines that’ll join the range later. The 138bhp 1.4 petrol is sharp, flexible, and offers exceptional running costs thanks to its cylinder shut-off technology. The 104bhp 1.6 diesel isn’t as quick as the 248bhp 2.0 TDI, but is still a fine engine.
Ride & Handling is also 5*
There are three suspension settings: SE, lower Sport and lower-still S line. For me the standard suspension on the SE provides the best balance, which you can specify at no extra cost with every trim level. It’s still slightly firm, but it’s not uncomfortable and the car changes direction eagerly. There’s plenty of grip, too, and the steering is sharp and precise.
Every version I tried was impressively refined at a steady cruising speed, but a bit of wind noise from around the door mirrors the only thing disturbing the peace. The dual-clutch S tronic gearbox I found a shade disappointing, delivering jerky shifts when in automatic mode. It’s much smoother when using the gear lever or the flappy paddles on the steering wheel.
Buying & Owning i give it 4 out of 5*
Audi has used aluminium and high-strength steel in an attempt to keep the A3’s weight down, with engine stop-start technology throughout the range. This helps help to ensure that fuel economy and CO2 emissions are compare favourably with the Audi’s rivals. Prices though are far from cheap, although it doesn’t cost much more than a Volkswagen Golf, the A3 should hold its value better.
Quality & Reliability definitely 5 out of 5*
The cabin is built from the sort of materials normally found in an executive saloon, while beautifully weighted switchgear and a super-slim infotainment screen add to the impression that no expense has been spared. Audi’s reliability record is less impressive, but it’s far from being poor.
Safety & Security gets 4 out of 5*
The A3 comes with stability control boasts front, side and curtain airbags. However, it’s a little disappointing that you have to pay extra for the Pre Sense system, which automatically primes the safety kit if a collision looks inevitable. That said, the car achieved a five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP. Deadlocks and an alarm are fitted as standard to help guard against theft.
Behind The Wheel I’d give it 5 out of 5*
Audi’s Multi Media Interface lets you control most of the major functions via a central control dial and a small selection of buttons. It’s a fairly simple system, and some of the shortcut keys are raised, which allows you to find the one you want by touch. Drivers regardless of size should be able to find a comfortable driving position in the A3 thanks to a wide range of adjustment.
Space & Practicality 3 out of 5*
It also has plenty of room upfront, but isn’t as spacious in the back as the VW Golf or BMW 1 Series. The boot is spacious and a good shape. It comes with an adjustable floor that reduces the load lip and ensures there’s no step up to the rear seats when they’re folded forward.
Equipment again 3 out of 5*
I would stick with the entry-level SE spec as it comes with Bluetooth, a USB socket, voice control and manual air-con. Sport models add dual-zone climate control, sports seats and sports suspension (the standard SE suspension is still available as a no-cost option), while sports suspension is also standard on bodykitted S line models, with the SE and S line set-ups available as no-cost options.
So what does it cost?
Prices range from
£19,205 to £26,560
99 – 130 g/km
A – B