Underneath, it may share components with the Golf, but that’s no bad thing. It’s well engineered and the interior is more attractive. Although it’s more expensive than Golf and not quite as well equipped, buyers are still willing to pay the premium for the image that comes with a prestige brand.
Driving and performance
Base petrol is the 102bhp 1.6 with a 0-60mph time of 11.5 seconds and a top speed of 116mph – it’s not really up to the job of hauling A3’s substantial body around.
The 1.6 and 2.0 FSi units do better, while the 3.2 V6 has the same engine as the TT, with four-wheel-drive and DSG sequential ’box.
For performance and economy, the 2.0 TDI is the best with lots of pulling power; 1.9 TDI is less refined, but punchy and economical.
On the road, it doesn’t feel as robotic as the previous car. It’s confident and inspiring – just like a sports hatch should be. But it’s easy to drive, too, simple to park and happy in town. The ride is much improved over the old model. It’s supple over all surfaces and cruises without complaint.
The driver should find it easy to find a good driving position, as driving seat and steering wheel are multi-adjustable. The interior is comfy for passengers too: the ride is better than previous Audis, there’s ample head and legroom and the switchgear oozes quality.
Four-star Euro NCAP rating is good, but not class-leading. All cars get plenty of safety kit, an alarm/immobilizer and remote central locking with deadlocks.