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Audi A3 [2014-2017]

19 reviews | Write a review
Last recorded price : 27.1 - 35.65 Lakhs
Audi has discontinued the A3 [2014-2017] and the car is out of production.

Audi A3 [2014-2017] Review

With the facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLA out now (click here to read our review) and the 2017 Audi A3 just arriving, things are heating up in the entry-level premium sedan segment. Like the updated CLA, this new A3 is less about ground-breaking changes and more about subtle but noteworthy improvements. As a result, the 2017 A3 has received a few cosmetic changes, but the new look is just the beginning for this much-needed update.

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What is it?

With the facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLA out now (click here to read our review) and the 2017 Audi A3 just arriving, things are heating up in the entry-level premium sedan segment. Like the updated CLA, this new A3 is less about ground-breaking changes and more about subtle but noteworthy improvements. As a result, the 2017 A3 has received a few cosmetic changes, but the new look is just the beginning for this much-needed update.  

We were invited to the picturesque Bheemili beach at Vizag for our first drive of the 2017 A3. Long winding corners and narrow coastal tarmac mixed with some clearly marked diversions were the order of the day. Here’s how the updated A3 fared. 

The A3’s refresh for 2017 amounts to quite a few mild tweaks on the outside. Upfront, there’s the A4-like single frame grille and air dams that are a lot more aggressive looking than before. The LED headlamp cluster now gets the same kink as the A4’s. At the back, the most obvious change are the tail lamps with sharper detailing and dynamic turn indicators – the latter really lifts up the premium quotient, if you ask us. 

The 2017 A3 may still be little conventional looking but overall there is no denying that its handsome and really well proportioned. Perhaps this design would even age the least when compared to all its counterparts in this segment.

How is it on the inside?

Step inside and you will be greeted by an interior that remains thoroughly premium, with lovely black textures, lush leather and good quality materials. Audi has retained the all-black wraparound dash design with horizontal lines which heighten the sense of width. All in all, like the exterior, the cabin layout and design isn’t too vivid but a little unassuming. In comparison, the CLA scores high with its dual-tone trim and relatively youthful design. 

That said, Audi is offering some pretty nifty features on the 2017 model. You get wireless phone charging function, dual-zone climate control, a revised three-spoke steering wheel, leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors and a 7-inch retractable screen for the MMI infotainment system. Audi, however, has missed out on common features like start/stop button and keyless entry. The A3 is also devoid of the fancy virtual cockpit – a fully digital instrument cluster found in the A4 and the Q7.  

Audi has made no changes to the seat comfort or interior packaging, meaning the A3 continues to feel roomy and comfortable upfront with more than enough shoulder support and good cushioning. The under thigh support, too, is commendable for a car of this size. What’s not so commendable though is the rear seat space – while the rear bench itself is well layered with good contours for two adults, they wouldn’t enjoy the sort of stretch-out space found in similarly priced cars like the Skoda Superb or the cheaper Toyota Camry. The all-black upholstery and relatively small rear windows further distance the A3 from becoming a legitimate chauffeur driven premium car. That said the A3 does have a better backseat than the Mercedes CLA which is even more cramped in comparison. The boot at 425-litres is big enough and the fact that, the space saver spare tyre is neatly tucked away makes it more practical than the CLA which houses its wheel over the boot floor. 

How does it drive?

The biggest update on the 2017 A3 can be found as soon as you peek under the hood. In the petrol guise, the vehicle has ditched the old 1.8-litre TFSI unit for a smaller albeit gutsy 1.4-litre unit with 150bhp and 250Nm of torque between 1,500 and 3,000rpm.  

This 1.4 motor is particularly interesting because it has cylinder-on-demand tech, which shuts down two of the four cylinders when you’re just pottering around.  Then, as you floor it, all four cylinders fire up for maximum thrust. Around town, the motor is surprisingly brisk, doing justice to its 8.2 second 0-100kmph acceleration claim while also providing strong torque delivery from around 2,000rpm. It makes as much torque as the bigger 1.8-litre unit and is surprisingly lively too, towards the top-end.  Where it cannot match the latter though is during in-gear acceleration – it doesn’t pull as hard as the older car despite the engine’s strong mid-range and top-end. Where the 1.8-litre motor pushed you back in your seat, the 1.4-litre motor feels more linear and laidback in the way it goes about its business. The 1.4-litre motor is refined to with a near silent idle and staying composed till about 4000rpm. Beyond which the motor sounds a bit strained and becomes quite vocal too.    

The 7-speed S-tronic gearbox continues to impress us with its ferocity and responsiveness. It is undoubtedly quicker to respond than the CLA’s gearbox and teamed with this engine’s eager power delivery, the surge of acceleration is addictive. Like with most dual clutch transmission though, the gearbox tends to get confused and jerk especially at low speeds. We also felt a noticeable delay in the gearbox responding to throttle inputs at medium loads.

The Audi A3 always impressed us as far as dynamics are concerned and it still holds true to the updated A3. The steering is direct, there is loads of grip and the A3 always feels predictable. Although there is some body roll as you push the car in corners it stays composed and never feels unnerving. The ride quality of this Audi impresses even more. Riding on fairly high profile tyres, it’s suspension ably deals with rough roads, and the whole car remains well planted – something not all similarly priced sedans can claim. Driving over some pretty sharp-edged road joints, we noticed it failed to disrupt the car’s poise and sure-footed nature.  

Should I buy one?

The updated A3 has a lot going for it. For starters, it is brilliant to drive, the interiors are made of quality materials, build quality is unquestionable, the 1.4-litre motor has strong performance and with cosmetic updates it has become better than ever before. 

As for criticisms, there is one. For a highly anticipated facelift, Audi could have done better by packing in more creature comforts into the cabin. Features such as the virtual cockpit tech and different drive modes would go a long way in helping the A3 score some extra brownie points. Despite that the Audi A3 is a car which we can easily recommend and is still a commendable product. 

Where does it fit in?

The 2017 Audi A3 finds its arch nemesis in the form of the recently launched Mercedes-Benz CLA facelift. Both these compact sedans with posh badges are aimed towards the ever-growing number of younger buyers. Whereas the CLA is priced between Rs 31.71 lakh and Rs 35.02 lakh (ex-showroom), the 2017 A3 is expected to carry a premium of around Rs 1-1.2 lakh over the current car which retails between Rs 27.10 lakh and Rs 35.60 lakh (ex-showroom).

Pictures by: Ameya Dandekar

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Audi A3 [2014-2017] Colours

A3 [2014-2017] is available/sold in the following colours in India.

  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Beluga Brown Metallic
  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Brilliant Black
  • Misano Red Pearl
  • Scuba Blue Metallic
* Colours shown are indicative and may vary slightly from actual car colours.

Audi A3 [2014-2017] Expert Reviews

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2017 Audi A3 35 TFSI First Drive Review

With the facelifted Mercedes-Benz CLA out now (click here to read our review) and the 2017 Audi A3 just arriving, things are heating up in the entry-level premium sedan segment....

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The world of cars seems to have come full circle. Not in terms of sales or the options available, but every single car that has grown over the decades to a size above now needs...

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Audi A3 [2014-2017] User Reviews

Awesome drive(confort)

for Audi A3 [2014-2017] on 06-May-2019 by Prince

It is just awesome feeling to drive it and i never felt that good. It has a good ground clearance and its seats are good enough to feel relaxed, and also this car is my dream car.

Amazing Design

for Audi A3 [2014-2017] on 08-Apr-2019 by Prateek Pradhan

Audi is known for it speed .it's has a great engine with great torque and acceleration .it's interior and design are mind-blowing .it is 5 seater car our whole family can easily fit in...

Kaim audii

for Audi A3 [2014-2017] on 31-Mar-2019 by Namish agarwal

Buying experience: Its looks great at side and alloy too Riding experience: It feels really good while riding audi a3 Details about looks, performance etc: Its alloy looks attractive...

Audi a3

for Audi A3 [2014-2017] on 04-Mar-2019 by Punit Kawatra

This car is packed with power, performance, aesthetic appeal. The 2000cc engine delivers power packed performance with unmatched fuel efficiency in such segment. Effortlessly revs up...

Audi A3 ??

for Audi A3 [2014-2017] on 24-Feb-2019 by DamanRathore

So, If we talk about Audi? Audi is an amazing car! Because Audi comes with lots of feature! Whenever i drive my car i always smile! Because Audi was My Dream Car! And now my dream car...

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