When the A3 first made its debut in 1996 it opened up its own market segment of premium compact vehicles. And with the launch of a second generation A3 in 2003 and the five-door Sportback in 2004, it went on to enjoy huge success over its 14 year evolution.
In 2009, Audi sold a total of 29,459 A3s in the UK alone, and though no official figures are available it is thought that around 213,000 were sold worldwide.
Though Audi was not able to speculate on any future sales performance it would be interesting to see how the A3 performs in these tough times.
The A3 and A3 S models sport a streamlined profile and the modifications to the bumper and lamps give the new models more emphasis.
The new chassis has been refined and an adaptive shock-absorber control system, named ‘Audi magnetic ride’, allows the driver to switch between normal and ‘sport’ settings.
The three trims – Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente – offer a range of audio, sports and luxury optional extras. The clean minimalist interior stays true to the Audi brand styling.
The A3 offers a sturdy drive and good road handling and the much more understated profile has a more sophisticated silhouette than its BMW 1 Series competitor.
Audi claims a 15% reduction in fuel consumption across the range and has recently announced a new ultra-efficient version of the Audi A3.
This new offering produces just 99g/km CO2 down from 109g/km for this version of the ultra-green A3.
The fuel consumption offers an impressive combined mpg of 74.3mpg up from 68.9mpg – an almost 8% increase.
Prices start form £18,005 on the road.