Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S line (140ps) S tronic 5dr Car Review - February 2012

REVIEW
List Price: £24,530
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 24
MPG: 57.6
CO2: 129
0-62 Mph: 8.9 secs
BHP: 138 BHP
Range: 697 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.5/5
The A3 2.0 TDI S line is masculine in every way. If you are addicted to the sporty image in a car, this is the ride for you. The S-trim is the highest in the A3 range. Give yourself a pat for cruising with only the best. The engineering and finish quality is top rate and you feel good just by sitting in the car. Like most premium Audis, this car will get you noticed. Of course you will pay an arm and leg for it, but if there are higher expenses than buying a ridiculously expensive Audi for you, don’t make excuses; get one.

PROS:  Unique, stunning, sporty image. Competent engine. Sporty seats. Great finish.

CONS:  Quite costly for its size. Uncomfortable ride.

Behind the Wheel

The S Tronic is powered by an excellent 4-cylinder, 16-valve 2.0litre diesel engine. It is a front-wheel drive, high performing car, producing a maximum 138 bhp at 4200 rpm. It reaches 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph.

The main difference between this car and similar models in the lower trims is the engine and suspension. Its superior engine is the most powerful in the range and runs quietly. While other trims have supple suspension, the suspension is set much lower in the S line, which unfortunately gives a firm ride.

In spite of this, it has strong grip and handles well on the road. Whether driving at high speed, going downhill or cutting sharp corners, the response is great. Like all A3 models, its instrument console is rather clumsy. Only after you have had the car for a while will you be able to make out one instrument from another.

Looks & Equipment

The S line Tronic is stunning. Every curve and line in the hatchback screams quality and explains why the car is so popular with many motorists. As a family car, nothing could feel more up-class. It gives the desired space and comfort without sacrificing the high-end Audi look and feel. 5 doors make getting in and out of the car a breeze for all passengers. Five seats allow you to carry 4 adults comfortably or squeeze in five.

It comes with a higher number of desirable, standard equipment. This includes cloth/leather sports seats, electric door mirrors, electric front windows; driver, passenger and front side airbags, climate control, alloy wheels, power steering, alarm, immobilizer, CD player, and MP3 connectivity.

With most of the basics covered, you may not be inclined to buy any cost options, save for a few. Here is what each of the available cost options goes for: cruise control £220, rear parking sensors £305, metallic paint £510, Sat Nav £665, Bluetooth £250 and an electric roof for £1160.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The S line is spacious and comfortable, both in the cabin and boot. The boot is 370 litres large with the seats up and 1100 litres with the seats down. This can accommodate a fair amount of shopping or outdoor gear.

There is adequate storage space inside the car. The glove compartment is large and there are a number of cup and bottle holders. The seats are fully adjustable. In addition to adjusting your driving height and position, you can also adjust the position of the steering wheel to your comfort.

The turning circle is great, making it easy to park and drive off, even in tricky corners and spaces. The car runs quietly and lets in no noise from the outside or the engine.

It is pumped with new tech safety features. They include standard electronic stability control, central locking, seat belt pre-tensioners and airbags.

Its performance at the Euro NCAP safety test was average, as it registered a 4-star rating for occupant safety, 3-star for child safety and 1-star for pedestrian safety. The brand has improved its mechanics in recent years and managed to increase brand reliability, which was a problem in the past. Reliability will therefore not be a problem.

Value for Money

At £24,530, you will be spending a lot on a hatchback, given that near-equivalent hatchbacks from other brands go for much less. Perhaps Audi considered the high number of features in the car, high quality design and finish and the subsequent low running costs when setting the price. Resale values are great though.

Fair running costs backed by the option of a 3 year warranty or 60,000 miles warranty and a service interval of 9000-19000 miles ensure that you do not spend a lot on the car eventually. The car is under insurance group 24 and being under road tax band D, attracts £95 annually.

Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S line (140ps) S tronic 5dr Car Review - by 
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