Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI SE 5dr Pre-Model Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £22,415
Tax Band: D
Insurance Group: 26
MPG: 60.1
CO2: 123
0-62 Mph: 8.1 secs
BHP: 168 BHP
Range: 727 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
If you are looking for a family car that delivers the perfect combination of comfort and performance then the Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI SE could be the car for you. Whilst this is a reliable and efficient car which offers a good boost of power and enjoys good resale values it fails to live up to the economical standards set by the smaller 1.6 TDI SE.

PROS:  The Sportback 2.0 TDI SE has an attractive look and the Audi brand allows it to enjoy good resale values. The front and rear seats provide ample space for both adults and small children, making long car journeys comfortable. The 2.0 diesel engine makes the car highly economical and running costs are reasonable.

CONS:  Light steering remains a problem and the high purchase price is not reflected in the in-car technology. Carbon emissions, fuel consumption and road tax banding are all lower in the 1.6 TDI SE.

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 much better mileage than any of the A3 petrol engines at 60.1 mpg, but less than the 1.6 A3 diesel engines. The 2.0 engine delivers a strong performance with a top speed of 139 mph, going from 0-62 mph in 8.1 seconds - which is very good for a family car.

However, the car still suffers from light steering which does not make control of the car comfortable. Gear changes can sometimes be very notchy which detracts from the good body control and strong road grip the Sportback range is known for.

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 SE 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.

The SE version provides an upgrade of a multifunction steering wheel.

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 SE 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 SE 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 123 g/km, the car has better green credentials than the A3 petrol models. However, the car's carbon footprint is larger than that of the 1.6 TDI models which emit just 121 g/km of carbon dioxide.

Value for Money

The Sportback 2.0 TDI is priced at £22,415 putting it at almost the same price as 2.0 TFSI petrol model and marginally dearer than the 1.6 TDI diesel. 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.

However, the car’s price fails to provide exclusive driving technology or many attractive cosmetic features over other models in the range. It delivers good fuel economy and performance as well as low running costs but the 1.6 TDI models still manage to be more economical with only a slight compromise on performance, making them a better investment for families and first time buyers.

Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI SE 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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