Audi A3 Sportback: Test Drive Review

15 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi A3 Sportback: Test Drive Review
Audi A3 Sportback

Date: 02 January 2013   |   Author: Tristan Young

To say that fleet and the Audi A3 Sportback are interlinked would be an understatement.

Most Audi A3 sales, that’s 75%, will be of the five-door Sportback persuasion and two-thirds of these will find homes with company car drivers.

The reason for this association is three-fold. Firstly and most importantly, Audi is renowned for delivering good whole-life cost figures and the A3 Sportback should be no exception.

The list price is lower than the equivalent prestige brand rivals (although you do have to be careful on specification – for example, cruise control isn’t standard across the range), but early residual value forecasts put the A3 Sportback near to, or at the top of the sector. This is thanks to Audi’s brand reputation, which filters into areas such as the classic (if unadventurous) styling, solid build quality and first-rate materials. Alongside RVs, the running costs are also likely to be impressive.

All models benefit from a weight reduction over their predecessors, which means there have been healthy efficiency gains too.

The 150hp 2.0 TDI model is capable of 67.3mpg while also retaining an 8.4-second 0-62mph time, and CO2 comes in at 108g/km. And if that’s not efficient enough, then the 1.6 TDI, driven here and which now comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, will return figures of 74.3mpg and a still okay 0-62mph time of 10.7secs.

Audi A3 Sportback

What’s more, this 1.6 TDI has a CO2 stat of 99g/km, making it even more tax-attractive for company car drivers and fleet operators.

The second reason for the A3 Sportback’s appeal is its practicality. The new car is 18mm longer than the outgoing version and this has been put to good use:?the boot is 10 litres bigger at 380 litres – the best in the premium hatch class – while rear seat legroom is also improved and will accommodate taller adults with ease.

However, it’s the third point that may surprise. If you choose the A3 with the right engine and trim level it is now also an excellent driver’s car.

Sure, it won’t ultimately be as fun as the rear-wheel drive BMW 1-series. but if you pick the 105hp 1.6 diesel or 105hp 1.2 TFSI engines and the SE trim level with standard suspension and a manual gearbox then the combination of comfort and driver feedback is easily up with the class leaders.

Unfortunately, the exceedingly refined 1.6 TDI doesn’t arrive until May 2013, two months after the 2.0 TDI. And for those few fleets still offering petrol options the 1.2 TFSI doesn’t arrive until mid-2013. If drivers can wait this long then the costs and satisfaction are well worth the wait.

The new A3 Sportback range as a whole is a seriously attractive proposition for the fleet market, and Audi is unlikely to see it’s position as segment leader toppled any time soon.

Audi A3 Sportback
Audi A3 Sportback
Audi A3 Sportback
Audi A3 Sportback
Audi A3 Sportback
Audi A3 Sportback
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