Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S line S tronic 5dr Pre-Model Car Review - February 2012

REVIEW
List Price: £25,480
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 26
MPG: 56.5
CO2: 130
0-62 Mph: 7.7 secs
BHP: 168 BHP
Range: 684 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
If you are looking for a relaible family car with good acceleration and high top speeds then the Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S line S tronic 5dr could be the car for you. Mileage is better than on the petrol versions but lower than the manual 2.0 TDI and 1.6 models, making them wiser investments.

PROS:  The car benefits from a decent top speed and faster acceleration that the other 2.0 TDI models. Mileage is good, running costs are reasonable with the car falling into a fairly low tax bracket.

CONS:  More than £3,000 dearer than the standard 2.0 TDI the car offers limited benefits in terms of interior technology or comfort. Whilst the car falls into the same tax band as the other 2.0 diesel models the fuel efficiency is lower and carbon emissions are slightly higher.

Behind the Wheel

The 2.0 diesel engine gives the car a good power boost of 168 bhp at 4200 rpm with torque figures of 258 lb-ft at 1750-2500 rpm. It delivers better mileage than any of the A3 petrol engines at 60.1 mpg but less than the A3 1.6 diesel engines. The 2.0 engine delivers a strong performance with a top speed of 139 mph, going from 0-62 mph in 7.7 seconds, which is very good for a family car.

However, the car still suffers from light steering which makes control of the car uncomfortable. Gear changes can sometimes be very notchy, dtracting away from the good body control and strong grip of the Sportback models.

The car’s front seats are comfortable, fully adjustable and supportive and 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 2.0 TDI S line S tronic 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.

As an S line car, it has additional cosmetic features like larger alloy wheels, a muscular body-kit, part-leather upholstery and 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 seats making long drives comfortable for children as well as adults passengers. The models are also equipped with a large boot size making it ideal for long travel purposes - be it road trips or holidays.

Essential for family cars, the 2.0 TDI S line S tronic is 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 2.0 TDI S line S tronic has lower running costs as compared to the A3 petrol models but higher than the 1.6 TDI models, falling under road tax band D and insurance bracket 26.

With a EURO 5 emissions rating and carbon footprint of 130 g/km the car has fairly good green credentials but these are still beaten by both the 1.6 TDI range and the other 2.0 TDI models.

Value for Money

The Sportback 2.0 TDI is priced at £25,480, the highest price in the diesel fuel range. 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 and can be used comfortably for day to day tasks from school runs and grocery shopping to long road trips and holidays.

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

However, the car’s price is too high for the features which are offered and the S line’s attractive cosmetics are the only real addition. The 1.6 models offer better economy with only a marginal compromise on performance and make them a better investment for families by combining these features with lower running costs and a more affordable purchase price.

Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S line S tronic 5dr Pre-Model Car Review - by 
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