Please Tell Us Your City

Knowing your city will help us provide relevant content to you.

Sorry! No matching results found. Try again.Error Identifying Your Location.
Ad

Introduction

Audi A3 sedan

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 another model below it that is of the original size of that car. Premium manufacturers are also discovering a market in a size and price bracket below their traditional customers – this works out well for them, as these products are projected as an additional fuel-efficient model for the family in developed markets, and an easier step up to luxury in developing markets. Enter the Audi A3, which will be the easiest access to a premium luxury sedan when it launches.

Audi A3 sedan

Exterior

Audi A3 sedan

The A3 is available globally as a ‘sportback’ body style which is a mix of sedan and hatchback, but India isn’t a mature enough market to accept such a bodystyle. As such we get the sedan version. At the front, there are ‘arrow head’ DRLs, bi-xenon headlamps and the trapezoidal grille that we’re familiar with. Move over to the side and you’ll see one side of the ‘tornado line’ that continues through the rear and right to the opposite fender. This is also the shoulder line. The car you see in the images is an S-Line variant, so it is available with extra skirting, those five-spoke 17-inch wheel rims, S-Line badging on the fenders and scuff plates, and that excellent scarlet paint. An interesting design element is the wheel arches – they have an embossed effect near the edges that helps define them better. At the rear, the tail-lamps are quintessential Audi, continuing into the bootlid. The bootlid itself has an interesting kick upward on its lip, creating the effect of an integrated spoiler. At the bottom, a dual-tipped exhaust and reflectors interrupt the clean lines of the bumper. There is also a panoramic glass roof, which adds to the appeal. 

The A3 is certainly a very good looking car, with great proportions, but it doesn’t distinguish itself enough from the rest of the Audi sedan range. 

Audi A3 sedan

Interior

Audi A3 sedan

The A3’s interior isn’t very different from other Audis, but there are a few things that will make you sit up and take notice. The first thing is the MMI screen – it pops up out of a slot at the top of the centre console, which is very impressive. Paired to this is the rotary knob on the centre console which has a touchpad on the top. This is much like a laptop computer’s  mousepad, and you can write on it with a finger and it will recognise the letters, no matter how bad the handwriting. (We tried it, it works.) The second is the new design of the air vents. Audi says they’re modelled on a jet fighter’s turbines. Claims of turbofan resemblance aside, they are very pretty things, and the bezels have to be rotated to cut airflow. The crowning glory is the central circle – pull to focus airflow, and push for a diffused effect. This should help in cooling all of you equally rather than just one ear or your fingers. 

Audi A3 sedan

All the usual bells and whistles are present – leather upholstery with contrasting stitching, a very nice four-spoke steering wheel, a multi-function display, a CD player with different multimedia options and a 20 GB hard drive, and dual zone climate control. The AC is effective and has a rear blower as well. Sat nav is an optional extra for some variants but is standard for the top-spec variant. 

Audi A3 sedan

The seats are comfortable, of course, but tall people should stick to the front. The rear is surprisingly roomy for the car’s size (and roofline), with just enough headroom and knee room for a six-footer. Three abreast is going to be a big ask, though. Two at the rear will be comfortable, what with the armrest and dual cupholders and even a 12V socket exclusively for the rear seat. The A3 gets access via the central armrest recess at the rear to the 425 litre boot, which is a lot larger than that figure suggests. If it isn’t large enough for you, the rear seats split and fold flat for greater convenience.

Audi A3 sedan

Engine

Audi A3 sedan

The A3 will be available with two engines, a petrol and a diesel engine. This drive had only the diesel, which is a 2.0-litre TDI rated at 140bhp and 320Nm. This is mated to a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox, which makes for a convenient propulsion system, but what is really nice about it is the weight. Even with a heavy diesel motor, it weighs less than 1.4 tonnes, so it sprints to 100kmph in less than nine seconds. The engine is refined, there is hardly any turbo lag, and it spins readily to its redline. The gearbox is smooth, shifts seamlessly and helps keep the motor on the boil in S mode. I missed paddle shifters, though. 

Audi says that the petrol is far more enjoyable to drive compared to the diesel, that is something we shall verify very soon.

Ride and handling

   Audi A3 sedan

The A3 is tuned for comfort rather than handling. Yes, it has some nice features here as well – beyond the obvious ABS, EBD and ESP, it has an electronic limited-slip differential to help it corner better. The suspension is tuned for comfort rather than handling, but never did we get a ‘floating’ sensation at speed that is so common with cars that are softly sprung. The electrically assisted steering is accurate but lacks enough feel to make you push hard through a corner. However, in city conditions, it is quite perfect. The brakes are more than a match for the car’s performance, with great bite, feel and progression. 

Audi has clearly positioned the A3 as a comfortable car, and that’s no bad thing – it wouldn’t be able to match the dynamics of the bigger sedans because it based on the MQB platform, which places the engine transversely and hangs it out over the front axle to liberate cabin space. It wouldn’t be able to match the high standards set by the bigger sedans, so it takes a different route, and does so effectively.

   Audi A3 sedan

Verdict

Audi A3 sedan

The A3 has a lot going for it – it looks great, especially in scarlet with 17-inch rims, has a ton of features that aren’t present at the price, and has enough performance to keep customers happy. It is also a first mover in the segment. Surprisingly, at the price that we expect it to go on sale, Rs 26-28 lakh, it will be great value for money as well, so we have no doubt that should Audi stick to that price, it will have another great product flying off their shelves.

  • FaceBook Logo
  • Twitter Logo
  • Email Logo

Photos

Ad
  • Upcoming Cars

Renault Kwid FaceliftRenault Kwid Facelift

Sep 2019

3L - ₹ 5L
Audi New A6Audi New A6

Sep 2019

50L - ₹ 60L
Tata Tiago FaceliftTata Tiago Facelift

Oct 2019

4L - ₹ 7L
Nissan Leaf EVNissan Leaf EV

Oct 2019

30L - ₹ 35L
Maruti Suzuki S-PressoMaruti Suzuki S-Presso

Oct 2019

4L - ₹ 7L
All Upcoming Cars

Tips, Advice & Guides

Car tips, advice & guides from our experts

Tips & Advice 
Ask the experts1800 2090 230Mon-Fri (9 AM - 8 PM)
Sat (9 AM - 5:30 PM)
Sun (9 AM - 7 PM)
Toll free

Select your city to avail offers

Currently available only in