Audi A3 Sportback

TDI S Line S Tronic

Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, front, action
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, rear, action
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, front
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, side
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, rear
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, interior
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, instrument panel
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, rear seats
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, boot

AUDI hasn't massively changed the latest A3 - at least from the outside.

Sure it has made subtle exterior revisions and slightly increased its size but these changes only serve to make the premium family hatchback an even more attractive package.

The biggest changes are on the inside which has been designed to tempt buyers away from its Mercedes, BMW and VW rivals.

There is now a new digital set-up on the superbly designed dash with more tech and as usual all the materials are of real quality throughout the cabin.

Now in its fourth generation the A3 first arrived in 1996 as a rival for its Golf stablemate and it used that cars running gear to establish itself as a premium hatch offering big car luxury in a neat good-looking package.

Its success forced BMW and Mercedes to up their game in the sector and so the competition is now fierce.

Priced from about £22,000 upwards the A3 is only offered this time as the five-door Sportback or a four-door saloon, so this time there is no Cabriolet or three-door hatch.

Buyers can select from four equipment levels across the range and there is a choice of two petrol engines - a 1.0-litre unit with 109bhp, badged 30 TFSI and a 1.5-litre engine with 148bhp, labelled 35 TFSI.

There is also a 2.0-litre diesel powerplant with two separate power outputs - the 30 TDI with 114bhp and the 35 TDI I drove which produces 148bhp. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard but the more powerful car I sampled came with a smooth seven-speed S tronic transmission.

Plug-inhybridpower will be available later and there will also be two sporty versions - an S3 and an RS 3 arriving next year.

The diesel combined with the automatic box is a treat. Silky smooth and quiet it is also very frugal and is capable of a combined 60.1mpg according to the WLTP figures. I had a couple of decent runs in the car so I beat that figure easily.

It can also shift, taking just 8.4 seconds to reach 62mph before going on to a top speed of 139mph if you can find anywhere to do that legally.

As you would expect the interior is superbly crafted and well put together with the new digital dash being the highlight. It is crammed with all the latest tech but even in this model you have to dip into the options basket to get all that you want.

The new A3 comes with all the latest safety features some of which you can switch off if you find them annoying on a long drive.

The Sportback handles really well and provides a comfortable and predictable ride with sharp steering and bags of grip.

In this S line trim it looks even more stylish and sharper than before and certainly catches the eye.

FAST FACTS

Audi A3 Sportback TDI S Line S Tronic

Price:£30,725

Mechanical:150ps, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:139mph

0-62mph:8.4seconds

Combined MPG:60.1

Insurance Group:25

C02 emissions:122g/km

Bik rating:32%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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