New Audi A3 Sportback Review

20 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on New Audi A3 Sportback Review
Audi A3

Peter McKay

Audi A3 Sportback Quattro

Audi A3 Sportback Quattro.

Adding to a coterie of#160; front-drive A3 Sportbacks #160;released in May this year #8211; 1.4 TFSI and 1.8 TFSI and 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI #8211; Audi has now introduced two higher-tech petrol variants to the compact premium segment.

For the unworldly, or uninitiated, Sportback is Audi-speak for a versatile five-seat, five-door body shape somewhere between a hatch and a wagon#8230;

There is now an all-wheel-drive or quattro version of the A3 Sportback 1.8 TFSI (the first quattro for the A3 Sportback) and, interestingly, an#160; A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI with COD . shorthand for Cylinder On Demand.

To quickly reiterate; this recent A3 is the third generation of what is now one of Audi#8217;s sales mainstays.#160;#160;With aluminium bonnet and front #8216;guards, it#8217;s up to 85 kilos lighter than the last A3, and a step up in refinement, fuel efficiency and dynamics.#160;#160;The nicely appointed cabin is all class if a little snug in the rear. The 380-litre boot area, with 60/40 split, is best in class. The A3 has scored an ANCAP five-star safety rating too.

The quattro version of the A3 1.8 TFSI (turbocharged and direct fuel injected) is a delight to drive, with poise and grip to burn.#160;#160;It turns in to corners brilliantly and hangs on almost beyond belief, helped by the S Line pack#8217;s larger 18-inch rubber.#160;The brakes offer plenty of pedal feel too.

This new 1.8 TFSI quattro is the fastest in the current A3 Sportback range, with 132kW and 280Nm available #8211; that#8217;s 30Nm more from the same engine in the front-drive model. Using the paddle-shifting six-speed S-tronic transmission, acceleration is brisk, with the 0-100km/h sprint coming up in just 6.8 seconds.#160;#160;While a little heavier than the FWD version, fuel economy is still a pocket-friendly 6.6L/100km.

We look forward to the#160; S3 2.0 Sportback quattro #160;when it arrives in December, priced at $59,990 plus on road.#160;#160;The#160; A3 and S3 sedan #160;follow early in 2014, with an#160; RSQ3 2.5 TFSI #160;also slated for the first quarter. This SUV rocket is powered by the belting 228kW 2.5 from the#160; Audi TT RS #160;and is said to be good for the zero-100km/h burst in 5.5 seconds.

Vital statistics

Audi A3 Sportback 1.8 TFSI S Tronic Quattro

How much? From $45,500 plus on road costs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbocharged petrol

Transmission: 6-spd dual clutch automatic

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