Audi A3 1.4 TFSI SE S tronic 3dr Pre-Model Car Review - January 2012

REVIEW
List Price: £20,435
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 20
MPG: 53.3
CO2: 124
0-62 Mph: 9.3 secs
BHP: 123 BHP
Range: 645 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.25/5
Generally, the A3 has no major fault performance-wise and build-wise. However this does not propel the A3 into a stellar level as the Mini, BMW or Golf as these cars handle and ride better. If you are not too concerned about having the Audi badge on your bonnet, the comparable VW Golf is a better and cheaper choice.

PROS:  The Audi 1 1.4 TFSI is a slick hatchback that is a stunner inside and out. It is one of the most favoured hatchbacks as it performs smoothly and confidently on the tarmac. It is older than the BMW 1 series and the Volvo C30 but it still dominates due to its excellent build-quality, posh styling and a more than acceptable refinement.

CONS:  The engine of the 1.4 TFSI SE S Tronic could feel a bit unenthusiastic at low revs. The stiff ride and tedious steering are unacceptable. The backseats are cramped with not enough headroom and legroom. It is more expensive than VW Golf but its standard specs are not something to rave about.

Behind the Wheel

The A3 is a 4 cylinder, 16-valve medium-sized hatchback family car with a 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission. It is generally competent in long-distance driving with its mpg of 53.3. There’s little to nitpick about an Audi A3 what with its 1390cc engine capable of delivering the right punch to hit 62 mph in 9.3 seconds and keeps going until 126 mph max. Revving 127 bhp at 5,000 rpm and distributing a torque of 148 ft-lb at 1500-4000 rpm, this car is considerably fast.

The handling is predictable while the ride is noticeably firm. The front wheels have a decent grip more so at corners and turns but it lacks the verve of a MINI Cooper and a BMW 1. Rev the A3 for a sporty (almost!) roar but it tends to rumble when cruising. The power steering is a bit numb but overall, the performance is more than acceptable. No glaring visibility problem.

Looks & Equipment

The A3 is the hatchback (and cheaper) version of the A4 but the A3 nevertheless, exudes class and sophistication than most of its rivals. Audi has the skill to design their cars strikingly similar while still providing each line its own characteristic. The dash with its switches and dials are familiar with other Audi models but the A3 still exudes with individuality. The cabin is well-appointed, luxurious and comfortable. Rear seats are a tad uncomfortable for tall people.

Inclusive as standard are leather seats and metal trim in the cabin. Climate control, electric mirrors and sat nav, power steering, ABS brakes with EBD, are typical. Despite its high price, there is not much in the way of gizmos on-board. You have to pay for extras such as rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, electric sunroof, cruise control and then some. You have to shell out more than £3,000 for all the options.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The A3 is your average Audi in the safety department and that is not bad. There are 6 airbags, stability control, anti-whiplash head restraints and an alarm and immobilizer. The safety of passengers and driver has been out together satisfactorily. The front seats afford ample space but not so at the rear. Boot space is sufficient from a minimum of 350 to 1080 litres. CO2 emission is 124g/km.

The A3 1.4 TFSI SE S tronic has a Euro NCAP Occupant rating of 4, NCAP Child rating of 3 and NCAP Pedestrian rating of 1. This 5-door A3 is good enough for a family with small children. The A3 is not in the ranks of its rivals such as the Golf and Cooper as it lacks the “hotness” and verve of the two. However the Audi 3 is entertaining enough for town and out-of-town driving. With regards to its reliability, well it’s an Audi!

Value for Money

Priced at £20,430, the A3 1.4 is pricier than Golf or a Cooper. On the other hand depreciation is minimal and since it is a popular car there’s a great demand for it more so because it’s a diesel model. If you plan to sell in the future keep a full service history for a greater resale value.

Insurance group is 20. Road tax is D. Running cost is high though but if you choose a smaller or a diesel engine such as this model, you would save on fuel. The combined mpg is 53.3 and the CO2 emission is 124g/km. These numbers are indications that the A3 is indeed an eco-efficient and cost-effective family car. Resale value is definitely high. Take note that spares and servicing are expensive.

Audi A3 1.4 TFSI SE S tronic 3dr Pre-Model Car Review - by 
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Medium Family Alternatives

You might want to read reviews for other Medium Family cars that you can then compare to the Audi A3. Here are some popular Audi A3 alternatives:

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