Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line 3dr Car Review - May 2013

REVIEW
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List Price: £25,725
Tax Band: B
Insurance Group: 21
MPG: 68.9
CO2: 106
0-62 Mph: 8.5 secs
BHP: N/A BHP
Range: 758 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
Audi has been producing the A3 for over fifteen years now, and it is definitely a case of 'if ain't broke, don't fix it', as it is a very good car that offers the flexibility and space of a hatchback with a good driving experience. The diesel engine offers a good balance between efficiency and performance, while the A3 handles well and remains refined even on uneven surfaces. The main drawback with this model is that it is one of the most expensive in the range, and it can be hard to justify the extra expense.

PROS:  Great fuel efficiency and a high standard of equipment make this version of the A3 well worth considering. It also comes with a beautifuly-made interior.

CONS:  It's not the cheapest model in the A3 range, and if you're looking for a car which will excite you on a day-to-day basis, look elsewhere.

Behind the Wheel

This 2.0 litre diesel engine is one of the best performing in the A3 range, offering swift acceleration from 0-62mph in just 8.6 seconds, and with a top speed of 134mph it has more than enough under the bonnet to meet the demands of most drivers. The S Line trim gives the car its sportiest settings, which does mean that for some the ride may be quite firm, but it delivers excellent handling with steering that has plenty of feel and responds to the wheel instantly. Despite the sporty nature of the car, the cabin is still classy and refined even on the motorway, with just a hint of wind noise at high speed.

Getting comfortable in the vehicle is easy enough, as the fully adjustable seat can match tall and short drivers alike, while the steering wheel can also be adjusted to give the driver the perfect driving position. Visibility is great to the front and rear, and for those who tend to play with the centre console while driving, everything is laid out with easy to use buttons and simple controls.

Looks & Equipment

The Audi A3 enjoys a contemporary look, having evolved gradually since it hit the market back in '96. The S Line level of trim does add a few sporty features to the vehicle, with an altered front bumper, Xenon headlights and stylish S Line detailing in the interior helps the car to stand out. The eighteen inch alloys combine well with the lowered suspension to give the car an aggressive stance which does hint at the sporty pedigree of the car.

The car comes with a good level of trim on the whole, with the special alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights improving the look of the car, while the hands free phone kit and Bluetooth connectivity will be welcomed by business users. The one disappointing aspect with the S Line level of trim is that the premium price doesn't include luxuries such as satellite navigation and leather seats, which would make this a much more attractive package.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

Although the S Line comes in a sporty package with lowered suspension, it is still a fairly practical car to drive, although space for passengers in the back seats isn't as generous as it is in some of its rivals. The boot is spacious enough, and one clever feature is that the seats fold entirely flat which makes it much better at carrying larger loads than those which have seats that fold, but leave an incline in the load space.

The A3 is a very safe car which achieved top marks in the Euro NCAP safety test, and comes with stability control and the usual electronic aids, as well as a pre sense system which is an optional extra that is well worth adding. Audi is one of several German manufacturers that enjoys a good reputation for reliability, and also comes with a good breakdown assistance package for added reassurance.

Value for Money

The biggest stumbling block for anyone considering purchasing this version of the A3 is that it has a significant list price of £24,880, but especially for those doing high mileage, the efficient engine may help to offset some of this cost. The 2.0 litre engine is not only a good power plant for sporty performance, but also offers an average 68.9mpg which is excellent.

Insurance costs are not the cheapest which could hit younger drivers, but the frugal engine and strong resale values will help. The car is delivered with a three year or sixty thousand mile warranty, and also benefits from three years roadside breakdown assistance, which is generous compared to some of its rivals.

Audi A3 2.0 TDI S line 3dr 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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