Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI S line 5dr Pre-Model Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £21,700
Tax Band: B
Insurance Group: 19
MPG: 68.9
CO2: 109
0-62 Mph: 11.7 secs
BHP: 104 BHP
Range: 834 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
If you are looking for a high performance vehicle which is reliable and efficient, then the Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI S line could be the car for you. The car benefits from strong resale values and financial savings are available through low carbon emissions and good fuel consumption. However, as the only real differences between the 1.6 TDI S line and the standard 1.6 TDI are small improvements in interior design and increased prices, one of the other models could prove a more shrewd investment.

PROS:  Low carbon emissions push this vehicle into one of the lowest tax brackets, with efficient fuel consumption helping to make running costs low. Performance levels are high and the model benefits from a vast selection of standard driving equipment with interior design enhanced when compared to the standard 1.6 TDI and the 1.6 TDI Sport models.

CONS:  Steering remains light and uncomfortable and driving technology remains limited despite a slight improvement from other 1.6 models. Performance levels are identical to the standard 1.6 TDI and 1.6 TDI Sport making the higher purchase cost unjustified.

Behind the Wheel

The 1.6 diesel engine gives the car a good power boost of 104 bhp at 4400 rpm with torque figures of 184 lb-ft at 1500-2500 rpm. It delivers much better mileage than any of the A3 petrol engines at 68.9 mpg and performance remains high with a top speed of 121 mph, accelerating from 0-62 mph in 11.7 seconds.

However, light steering remains a problem and does not allow for comfortable control of the car with gear changes often resistant as well. The Sportback has good body control and a strong grip and the front seats are comfortable, fully adjustable and supportive.

Noise from the wind and the road while driving are audible but not excessive. The dashboard is not systematically arranged making it a little difficult for some drivers to clearly understand the function of instruments and tell some of the buttons apart at a glance.

Looks & Equipment

The Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI S line looks very stylish for a medium family car with an attractive exterior and a comfortable cabin. The car comes fitted with standard A3 Sportsback driving technology including stability control, alloy wheels, electric door mirrors, electric front windows, an advanced stereo system, and an alarm and immobiliser to deter theft.

In addition to the standard features, the 1.6 TDI S line comes with larger alloy wheels, a muscular body-kit, part-leather upholstery and a sporty interior trim.

Practicality, Safety & Reliability

The Sportsback model comes fitted with five seats. As compared to the regular A1 and A3 models, Sportsback models have ample room in both the front and back for average sized adults, making it comfortable for children as well as adults passengers during long drivers. The models are also equipped with a large boot size with the seats in place making it ideal for long travel purposes be it road trips or holidays.

Essential for family cars, the 1.6 TDI S line comes equipped with a top of the range safety kit with a five out of five NCAP rating. It consists of standard twin front, side and curtain airbags along with electronic stability control and electronic brake force distribution.

The car also comes with a three year warranty with 60,000 miles. The 1.6 TDI S line has low running costs falling under road tax band B. The model falls under the same mid-range insurance bracket as the 1.4 TFSI models (bracket 19) making these costs reasonable but higher than the 1.2 TFSI models.

Similar to other diesel models, the car has better green credentials as compared to the petrol cars with a EURO 5 emissions rating and carbon footprint of just 109 g/km.

Value for Money

The Sportback 1.6 TDI Sport is priced at £22,925. The car gives good performance in an attractive body and has a well-crafted, reliable engine which gives years of trouble-free service. It is a safe and proficient car for first time buyers and families looking for long term ownership and can be used comfortably for day to day tasks from school runs and grocery shopping to long road trips and holidays.

It continues to pay for itself as it enjoys good dealer services so customers as well as Audi’s excellent quality and reliability record. The combination of the car’s popularity, performance and the Audi brand also give it excellent resale values.

The car’s price does not provide exclusive driving technology but merely enhances attractive cosmetic features. The price is reasonable when considered in conjunction with the excellent fuel economy and performance levels but some may find the lack of in-car technology a drawback.

Overall, the 1.6 TDI S line is an economical family car and a worthy investment for families and first time buyers looking for a comfortable, high performance car with low running costs.

Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI S line 5dr 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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