Audi’s fine foray into small saloon territory
Value delivered through standard features and polished finishes inside and out
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2013
The 1.6-litre TDI variant was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission that offers light and fluid gear changes. There’s a narrow power band from its 105hp diesel engine, you need to change gear prior to 4,000 rpm to extract the best from this engine. Although the 1.6-litre TDI is more fuel efficient than the 1.4-litre petrol model, interestingly they both produce 250Nm of torque. Traditionally you would gain with a large increase in torque when opting for a diesel alternative.
Involved driving experience
As a result we found the 1.4-litre petrol model to offer a more involved driving experience, its additional 35hp is evident, especially when overtaking. The diesel-equipped A3 does offer improved fuel consumption (3.9l/100km, 72.4mpg versus 4.7l/100km, 60.1mpg) it’s also seated in a lower tax band with 99g/km of CO2 (A2) against the petrol’s 109g/km (A3). It’s really a question of choice, but interesting to see the gap between diesel and petrol narrowing.
Since the Audi A3’s introduction in 1996 the German car maker has sold in excess of 3.5 million units. This all-new saloon variant will attract a high degree of conquest sales and possibly some existing A4 owners who may wish to downsize.
The A3 saloon will be the first model within the A3 family to have a cabriolet variant, it will also feature a powerful S3 variant which will be launched in the coming months. It’s a proficient all-rounder but it has a tough competitor in the form of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA.
See also: The full specification of the new Audi A3 saloon range
ENGINE: 1,598cc four-cylinder diesel putting out 105hp at 3,000 - 4,000rpm and 250Nm of torque with a six-speed manual transmission
PERFORMANCE: Figures not available from Audi at this time
ECONOMY: combined 3.9l/100km (72.4mpg)
EMISSIONS: (Motor Tax) 99g/km (€180)
SPECIFICATIONS: SE Model - Standard features on the SE model include 16” alloy wheels, cruise control, rear park assist, front fog lights, colour driver information system, cloth/mono pur upholstery, Bluetooth and MMI radio with 5.8” popup screen.
RIVALS: Mercedes-Benz CLA 180 cdi diesel 1.8l €32,250
PRICE: From €29,950 (€31,880 as tested)
Full specification of the new Audi A3 saloon range http://bit.ly/159Cf9m