Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic 5dr Car Review - February 2012

List Price: £27,280
Tax Band: I
Insurance Group: 29
MPG: 37.2
CO2: 176
0-62 Mph: 6.7 secs
BHP: 197 BHP
Range: 491 miles
CarSite Verdict:  4/5
If you are looking for a family car that delivers strong levels of performance in luxurious comfort then the Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic 5dr could be the car for you. The car has a good reliability record but running costs are high and other models in the A3 Sportback range offer better value for money.

PROS:  With a part-leather interior, impressive top speeds and the best acceleration figures of the A3 Sportback range, the 2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic is a powerful, high performance vehicle perfect for families.

CONS:  Despite the high purchase price, in-car technology leaves consumers underwhelmed. Running costs are very high with fuel consumption and green credentials low and the enhanced interior design sacrifices boot space, making the car less roomy.

Behind the Wheel

The 2.0 petrol engine gives the car a good power boost of197 bhp at 5100-6000 rpm with torque figures of 206 lb-ft at 1700-5000 rpm. It delivers the lowest mileage of the A3 Sportback line at just 37.2 mpg but performance is high with a top speed of 147 mph, accelerating from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds.

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 associated with the Sportback range.

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 TFSI quattro S line looks very stylish for a medium family car with an attractive exterior and a well crafted and comfortable cabin. The car comes fitted with the same standard driving technology as the 1.2 TFSI 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. However, the 2.0 TFSI quattro S line has the smallest boot size of the series, at just 302 litres with the seats up and 1,032 litres with the seats down as opposed to the 370 litre and 1,100 litre respective capacities of the rest of the A3 Sportback models.

Essential for family cars, the TFSI quattro 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 TFSI quattro S line has the highest running costs of the A3 Sportsback line, falling under road tax band I and insurance bracket 29. The car’s poor mileage gives it the poorest green credentials in the A3 Sportsback line with a EURO 5 emissions rating and carbon footprint of 176 g/km.

Value for Money

The Sportsback 2.0 TFSI quattro S line is priced at a high price of £27,270, the costliest in the A3 Sportsback line. 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.

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 high price does not provide exclusive driving technology or good fuel economy, which are essential features of a family car. Regular refuelling, a high road tax band and costly insurance premiums make running costs high and maintaining the high quality body work will also incur a regular bill.

This makes the 2.0 TFSI quattro S line uneconomical for families and first time buyers, with the 1.2 TFSI and the 1.4 TFSI SE S tronic providing a better mix of low running costs and good performance at a more attractive purchase price.

Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TFSI quattro S line S tronic 5dr Car Review - by 
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