Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line (140ps) S tronic 3dr Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £23,970
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 24
MPG: 57.6
CO2: 129
0-62 Mph: 8.7 secs
BHP: 138 BHP
Range: 697 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.5/5
The Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line is a fantastic drive with power, comfort and style. You get a real sense of quality which you would expect from an Audi. It’s a real gem of a car combining practicality, style and decent performance in a distinctive package. A prestige name and sturdy build quality make this one sports hatch you won’t want to miss.

PROS:  Build quality and reliability, the impressive 4 cylinder 16V 2.0 TDI, novelty factor of paddle shift gear change.

CONS:  Seems pricey, taller passengers in the rear may feel cramped on longer journeys, rides firmer than you might like on some surfaces.

Behind the Wheel

Inside the cabin the A3 scores high - everything has a quality feel and a somewhat minimalist appearance, with controls both easy to find and easy to use. The quality of materials used only adds to the sense of quality and prestige.

There is plenty of space inside the A3 particularly up front. The foot wells are deep and it offers ample headroom too. In the rear you get good leg room, considering it’s a 3-door hatchback, but taller passengers will find it lacks head-room for them which can make longer journeys uncomfortable.

The 4 cylinder, 16V 2.0 TDI power unit is very impressive providing a comfortable drive with a lot of power under your foot when needed. It can get you from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds and goes on to 130mph flat out. It also boasts an extremely useful 236Ib-ft of pull and produces 142bhp. It maintains a decent average fuel economy of 57.6 mpg, aided in part by a semi-automatic S-tronic transmission which is designed to merge the advantages of a traditional six-speed manual box and a modern automatic transmission; at the same time focussing on fuel economy. The S-tronic system anticipates gear changes and selects the right gear.

The A3 gives a smooth ride unless you come across a rough surface or maybe a speed bump, which then makes it feel very firm. As the 2.0 TDI S Line comes with 18-inch alloys, low profile tyres and lowered sports suspension; you have to expect a firm drive sometimes. The overall drive is excellent, especially over longer distances, and the car’s handling is extremely good all round.

Looks & Equipment

The A3 is longer, wider and lower giving it a really sporty stance. The entire car has a discreet elegance to it. The S Line model has black roof-lining, rear spoiler, exclusive front and rear styling and S-tronic gearshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. Standard equipment includes cloth/leather trimmed seats, alloy wheels, stability control, climate control, electric windows and mirrors and CD system with MP3 connectivity.

Also available at extra cost are, metallic paint (£510), cruise control (£220), rear-parking sensors (£305), Bluetooth (£250) and satellite navigation system (£665).

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The A3 is a practical hatchback and spacious enough for five adults on a normal length run. It also has an impressive 1,080 litres of space available in the boot with folding the rear seats down.

It’s fitted with an electronic stabilisation system including ABS and EBD. Driver and passenger are protected with airbags both front and side, which are also fitted as normal. The A3 received a rating of 4 for occupants, 3 for children, 1 for pedestrians and an overall rating of 4 for the Euro NCAP crash test.

Audi have the reputation for being among the safest car manufacturers around these days. They have solid build quality no matter which model you go for: the A3 does not disappoint. Build quality normal from the bigger and more expensive models has been handed down to the A3 as well. It has a real aura of quality and is very reliable.

Every A3 has deadlocks, central locking and an alarm fitted as standard.

Value for Money

Priced at £23,970, some say it’s difficult to explain the price difference over the equivalent Golf, but others counter with the fact that an Audi gives you a lot more. The Golf is a good car and VW have many similar characteristics to Audi, but the performance, build quality and reliability of the Golf are not at the same level as the Audi.

Good fuel economy of 57.6mpg, CO2 emissions of 129g/km (VED band D) and insurance in group 24, means that running costs shouldn’t break the bank.

Strong appeal for buyers in the used market due to Audi’s reputation mean good resell values; along with a prestige name, great handling and practicality, it make the A3 a must to consider.

Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line (140ps) S tronic 3dr Car Review - by 
All Audi A3 Reviews
Audi A3 1.6 TDI Sport S tronic 3dr Pre-Model - February 2012
If you are looking for an attractive family car with comfortable, responsive handling then the Audi A3 1.6 TDI Sport could be the car for you. Lacking the superior styling of the Audi A1 range this...
Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line (140ps) S tronic 3dr - February 2012
The Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line is a fantastic drive with power, comfort and style. You get a real sense of quality which you would expect from an Audi. It’s a real gem of a car combining practicality, ...
Audi A3 2.0 TDI 3dr - January 2012
The Audi A3 is a premium, high quality hatchback that gives worthy competition to the Volkswagen Golf, its closest competitor in the medium-car class. It has a luxurious look and feel that is uniqu...
Audi A3 2.0 TDI Sport 3dr Pre-Model - February 2012
If you are looking for a family car that delivers enduring performance and comfortable handling, then the Audi A3 2.0 TDI Sport (170) could be the car for you. The good fuel consumption and financi...
Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line S tronic 3dr Pre-Model - February 2012
The Audi A3 2.0-litre TDI S line S tronic provides relaxed crusing in a well-made, reliable, 3-door hatchback. The A3 has been a strong seller for Audi and there are good reasons why. Its perfo...
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:

Advanced Search
Record month of sales confirms UK’s position as Hyundai’s most important European market.
Honda uses 3D printing to produce a lightweight ‘Micro Commuter’ electric vehicle with Kabuku.
Suzuki picked up nominations for the Ignis and the Baleno at the 2017 World Car of the Year awards.
BMW announce special edition 500bhp version of M4 to celebrate winning DTM touring car crown.
Seat has unveiled the new look Leon, with sharper styling, which will be released early next year.
Skoda’s Kodiaq SUV officially enters production after first example rolls off the assembly line.