What Car? have described the A3 Sportback as having great refinement and probably the best quality cabin ever seen in a small family car. At Carlease Uk, we have for many years championed the A3 and its predecessors as an ideal lease car or in private terms, a suitable private contract hire car. Standard engine choice is wide enough to fit any bill. The one petrol is a 1.4 turbo, driven gently it drinks gently, spin the turbo and floor the accelerator and it goes very well. Diesels are a 103bhp 1.6, 148 bhp 2.0 and an 181 bhp version of the 2.0 that goes really well.
The latest version A3 is a real mile eater. Competent on any road surface, it instils confidence in the driver, backing that up with ABS, ESP, fantastic brakes and 5* ENCAP safety rating. Grip is always superb and is controlled via a sensitive, balanced steering. Stability control is of course standard, along with front and side airbags, the bonnet pops up to protect a pedestrian from injury, although Audi’s newly developed pre-sense system is an extra at this moment. An alarm and deadlocks are fitted to the car as standard.
Audi’s latest manual gearboxes have benefitted from VW r&d for the new Golf as well as the engineering prowess of recently aquired Porsche. The box is slick, positive and rarely makes any kind of complaining noise, something which most people will be familiar with in their own car. The clutch feels more Japanese than Germanic, and for us having grown up with this product, it’s a touch unusual. The brakes are fantastic and only add to the good feelling of driving this fantastically engineered machine.
Audi, along with VW, have introduced new lighter steels as well as aluminium in production of the new A3. Aerodynamically the car is better than its predecessor and with more efficient engines and added start/stop, we expect great fuel consumption figures and ECO style benefit in kind figures from the reduced emissions.
Everyone that has sat in, looked in or driven our A3 has commented on the quality of the dashboard. Materials and fit are not what you would expect in this car. It is as good as any Mercedes Benz we have seen and I cant think of a better example in this area. Inside, the new car is, in keeping with VW groups policy, slightly bigger. Wheelbase has increased by 40mm and has benefitted the rear legroom significantly. The boot is larger to and sports an adjustable floor level.
Spec wise, the SE is our choice, with Bluetooth, USB connectivity, voice control and air-conditioning. Choice of colours is good and interior colour is driven by the exterior colour. We cant disagree with What Car?, the new A3 is superb.