Audi A3

New Audi A3

Good things come in threes. New Audi A3 is the best yet

The new Audi A3 has been brought right up to date with new engines, major technology updates and what Audi is calling ‘styling refinements’. It may look similar to the previous model, but the A3 is now Audi’s biggest selling model of the entire range and, with these latest updates, the A3 will continue to be a very tempting alternative to the BMW 1 Series and VW Golf. It should be easier to justify the cost as well, considering just how much technology now comes as standard. For example, you’ll find automatic xenon headlights, automatic wipers and cruise control, even on the most basic models.

A new three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine is now available, as well as a newly developed 2.0-litre petrol, while the hot new Audi S3 gets a boost in power to a ludicrous 305.8bhp. The S3 range gets the same cosmetic updates as the standard A3 family to help further increase its sharp and sporty exterior. The real highlights are the addition of the optional Audi virtual cockpit, which has also found its way onto recent models like the new Audi A4 and the new Audi TT. A 12.3-inch screen replaces traditional moving dials and displays everything, including the speedometer, satellite navigation maps and the radio station you’re currently listening to.

The 2016 new Audi A3 may look like a modest update, but why change something that’s already doing very well? If you want a premium car that feels years ahead of the competition in terms of technology, the Audi A3 is now even better than before.

New Audi A3 Saloon
  • New Audi A3 Specifications

The Audi A3 range comes in a range of body styles making it one of the most diverse model ranges out there. The choice includes the standard three-door hatch, a five-door A3 Sportback, four-door A3 Saloon and a four-seat A3 Cabriolet. All models receive the same sleeker styling, comprised of a sharpened single-frame grille and distinctive new headlights. Which one you choose really depends on what you’re looking for in a car, but all benefit from the same high-quality interior and generous levels of standard equipment.

Out of the four models in the range, the A3 Saloon may be slightly out of place. It’s aimed primarily at those who want a compact executive car and so is positioned more at business users. However, if you’re looking for a saloon, you may as well go straight towards the excellent A4 Saloon. The A3 Sportback is likely to be at the top of most people’s lists with the addition of two rear doors to help passenger access, while the A3 Cabriolet remains a huge improvement over the last generation.

Once you’ve chosen your model, you then have a choice of four trim levels – the standard SE, the new SE Technik, Sport or S line. Even the entry-level model is generously equipped and outshines most rivals, but the further up the trim-level ladder you go, the more exterior upgrades you’ll receive. The S line remains the most desirable of the range with the largest alloy wheels, lowest sports suspension and an S line body kit, so it closely resembles the S3 range.

New Audi A3 Interior
  • New Audi A3 Technology

Halogen headlights are becoming a thing of the past with xenons being the new standard option. LED headlights are also standard on high-spec models. Audi matrix LED headlights are now an option, a first for a car of this size. Made up of ‘clusters’ of LEDs, matrix LED headlights are permanently on full-beam and dim each cluster as an on-coming car approaches.

Just as bright is the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be added as an option. First seen on the Audi TT, the no-dial alternative has started to make its way down throughout the range and is made up of an ultra-high resolution 12.3-inch TFT screen that displays everything in one place. The screen can be customised to show what you use the most, whether it be the satellite navigation maps or the speedometer. It’s great to see technology that was once only available on larger, much more expensive models becoming available on models further down the range.

As standard, the A3 gets a seven-inch MMI display with satellite navigation, now standard on SE Technik models and above, plus infotainment and more. When combined with Audi Connect, the screen can be used to display Google Maps, Google Street View, weather, parking information and more.

  • New Audi A3 Engines

A generous range of Audi A3 engines accompany the generous range of models and specifications. Three petrol engines accompany two diesel engines, the larger of which are available with Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system. The smallest in the range is the new three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol that promises a balance between efficiency and power for an engine this small. The 1.4-litre cylinder on demand uses clever technology to shut off cylinders when not in use to save fuel while the 2.0-litre petrol remains the thirstiest but also the most powerful with 190PS on offer.

The diesels mean while consist of the same familiar 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre TDI engines, the latter being available with or without quattro in two states of tune; 150PS or 184PS.
Capable of up to 176mpg combined, the new hybrid Audi A3 e-tron has also received a refresh. It emits just 37g/km of CO2 making it tax exempt and a great alternative to most hybrids that look a little off. The e-tron is almost identical to the regular A3 Sportback apart from an e-tron specific grille.

At the other end of the scale are the S3 range that still use a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that have been tweaked to now produce 310PS and 400Nm of torque. This represents a modest increase of 10PS and 20Nm that can only further enhance the S3’s already blistering performance. More expensive than a VW Golf R, but arguably better equipped and with a more premium image.

New Audi A3 Cabriolet
  • New Audi A3 Prices

Prices for the new Audi A3 range start from £21,515, around £500 more than the previous model. The rest of the new A3 range also received small price increases, but considering the extra equipment, the increase may be easy to justify.

New Audi A3 price from £31,515
New Audi A3 Sportback price from £22,135
New Audi A3 Saloon price from £24,235
New Audi A3 Cabriolet price from £26,875
The new Audi S3 range starts from £32,330.

  • New Audi A3 Launch Date

The new Audi A3 is available to order with the first deliveries arriving summer 2016.

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