Audi A3 2.0 TDI 3dr Car Review - January 2012

REVIEW
List Price: £21,190
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 27
MPG: 60.1
CO2: 123
0-62 Mph: 8.0 secs
BHP: 168 BHP
Range: 727 miles
CarSite Verdict:  3.75/5
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 uniquely Audi and is comfortable to ride in. Perfect if you are regularly on one long trip or another. The turbo engine is powerful and fast, adding the punch that separates real cars from the wannabes.

PROS:  Simple but stylish. Adequate grip. Good handling and comfortable ride. High resale value. Minimal running costs.

CONS:  Expensive compared to rivals in the same class. Cramped rear space.

Behind the Wheel

The A3 is supported by a powerful 2.0 litre, 16-valve 4-cylinder 1968cc diesel engine. It is a front-wheel driven power machine with the capacity to produce 168 bhp at 4200 rpm. It has a manual 6-spd gearbox and a high torque at 258 lb-ft between 1750-2500 rpm in all gears. The A3 is a fast car, with a top speed of 139 mph. Acceleration to 62 mph takes 8 seconds.

The A3 handles superbly well on the road. It responds well on the motorway, twisty roads as well as the not-so smooth roads and the suspension is just right. Its impressive grip will help you feel in control, even though the steering is a little stiff and takes the fun out of driving.

Looks & Equipment

The Audi A3 is stylish and quite upmarket. It has a simple yet attractive Hatchback shape and fantastic finishing both on the exterior and interior. This 3-door TDI trim has 5 seats, making it a good choice for medium sized families.

Standard equipment in the A3 TDI include alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric front windows, electric door mirrors, driver, passenger and front side airbags, CD player. Higher trims have considerably more standard equipment, if you do not mind the higher cost.

Still, you can upgrade your A3 with these cost options: leather seats £1225, climate control £385, cruise control £220, rear parking sensors £ 305, metallic paint £510, Sat Nav £890, Bluetooth £250 and MP3 ports at £225, Granted, it gets expensive but it is well worth the flair and comfort.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

Nothing feels wrong when you are behind the wheel. You will get used to the light steering eventually and give up hopes of enjoying the thrill of fun driving. The most important settings for absolute stability and safety are in place though, from standard stability control, adjustable seats and a standard power steering to alarms and immobilizers. Security is enhanced with central locking, traction and all the basic anti-theft features.

It has a Euro NCAP rating of 4 but is well-constructed, enough to make you feel safe behind the wheel.

Space abounds in the cabin, particularly in the front. The only challenge is with the headroom at the rear. Taller passengers will feel confined at the back. They will also struggle when getting out of the car.

The boot is large enough, providing 350 litres of space with the seats up and 1,080 litres with the seats down. Be warned that the seats do not fold flat, which may limit what you can carry in the boot.

You want a quiet ride; this is the car to go for: it lets in no wind and road noise except for a slight whisper, which is bearable. The engine is quiet too, producing a soft, companionable hum.

Value for Money

The A3 is pricey but that can be quickly justified by its high quality. It is arguably the best premium hatchback in the market so far. Its resale value outlook is great too, all thanks to high demand.

Running costs are minimal. The A3 returns a combined 60.1mpg and 123g/km CO2 emissions. The annual £95 road tax for band D is not the lowest but it isn’t high either. It falls under insurance group 27, so you can anticipate premiums to be average. Audi offers reasonable servicing packages, which include a 3 year service warranty up to 60000 miles and 9000-19000 miles service intervals.

Audi A3 2.0 TDI 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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