The successful model of the Ingolstadt already goes with his 4. Generation into 20 anniversary service and sold to 2015 a whole million times. Not only the sales figures make him the bestseller of the brand. His portfolio of body, engine and powertrain offerings have made him so attractive to his customers so far. Now, like some other competitors, Audi wants to expand the bar in the C-segment with features from the luxury class. In addition to new driver assistance systems and engines, future Audi drivers can expect the virtual cockpit and headlights with Matrix LED technology that are already familiar from Audi. The A3 and S3 also have a new design and a cost price of € 23.300.
The new A3 and S3 in the first driving report
Upgrade to set new standards
Relying solely on its dimensions in the C-segment, the 4 does. Generation of A3 meanwhile big steps towards middle class in terms of features, comfort and driving pleasure. All the new features are available in the three-door, Sportback, sedan and convertible and pull both on all gasoline and diesel engines, as well as the electric A3 Sportback e-tron and the gas-powered A3 Sportback g-tron. The changes in the design should clearly distinguish the A3 from the uniformity of the C-segment. Air intakes and grille were larger and leave the car very wide and emphasized strong on the road. The narrower headlights end in a bead, which extends over the entire vehicle. The body carries more aluminum to make weight savings, which should clearly affect the consumption levels. The entire range of the A3 family was ready for the test in quick succession on the last Friday just outside Munich.
Virtual cockpit for everyone
Once inside, the large display (12,3 inches) of the virtual cockpit in the middle of the dashboard, available from the basic model, catches our eye. For a brief moment after switching over the on-board computer, a flood of information comes towards us, which can generally be individually divided. After the first modifications, which we adjusted according to our needs, the work area in the A3 never looks overloaded. Networking is also finding its way into the new A3. This is guaranteed by a permanently installed SIM card that can be activated for 3 months or 3 years. After the respective term, a further activation can be booked for 3 years for an option price of € 350. Passengers in the front seats as well as in the rear enjoy seating comfort with plenty of legroom. Even traveling with sufficient luggage is guaranteed in the A3. This underlines the trunk volume of the three-door model with 365 liters with full seats.
Strong engine selection
The A3 is presented with three petrol and three diesel engines. The Upper Bavarian carmaker continues to follow its rightsizing philosophy - supercharging replaces displacement. The TFSI 1.0 liter three-cylinder (85 kW / 115 PS) 1.4 TFSI (110 kW / 150 PS) and 2.0 TFSI (140 kW / 190 PS) are combined with both a 6-speed manual transmission (fully synchronized) and an "s tronic ”7-speed dual clutch transmission. With the 1.0 liter petrol engine, a three-cylinder engine is used in the A3 for the first time. For the diesel engines (1.6 TDI 81 kW / 110 PS - 2.0 TDI 110 kW / 150 PS - 2.0 TDI 135 kW / 184 PS), Audi prefer the combination of 6-speed manual and 6-speed dual clutch transmissions. For the two 2.0 liter TFSI and TDI engines, a variant with the well-known “quattro” all-wheel technology is also available. In particular, the drives with dual clutch transmission, which we were only allowed to test, have a positive effect on the first trips. Directly appealing and sporty and agile, they lead us across the Munich area. The 1.0 liter unit surprises with its very good suit with a gnarled sound. The engine of the S3 is unrivaled outside, because with the 228 kW (310 hp) horsepower and “s tronic” seven-speed dual clutch transmission, it drives us a constant smile on our faces and gives us that pure motorsport feeling. The sportily tuned chassis of the A3 combined with the electromechanical power steering gives us a permanently positive feeling, even when cornering faster. Unfortunately, the lowest consumption figures presented to us of 4,5 liters for the A3 and the 1.0 TFSI engine (85 kW / 115 PS) cannot be checked on the day of the event.
Driver assistance systems from upper class
When it comes to safety, the Ingolstadt carmakers are right on trend. The engineers from Bavaria would like to use customers who are helping to shape the down-size trend. The driver assistance systems known in the upper classes are now also offered in the new A3 / S3. As an absolute novelty in the segment, Audi claims its traffic jam assistant, which works together with the adaptive cruise control system with Start & Go function. Combined with the “s tronic” drive, the vehicle automatically starts up again after a short standstill in a traffic jam. In addition, it should even take over steering work in slow-moving traffic up to 65 km / h. The optionally available emergency assistant brakes the A3 to a standstill if there is no steering activity by the driver after the warning has been issued.
Equipment and prices
Three equipment lines for the A3 await its buyers from July this year. In addition to long equipment lists, Audi also offers space for additional packages. If the A3 sedan starts with the basic package, the petrol 1.4 TFSI (110 kW / 150 PS) at € 26.800 and ends with the top model Diesel A3 “design” (2.0 TDI quattro, 110 kW / 150 PS) at € 33.950, the same applies to that Cabriolet completely different dimensions. The Audi customer has to put € 1.4 on the table for the base of the vehicle with an electrically retractable and extendable fabric roof (110 TFSI, 150 kW / 32.700 PS). The top model 2.0 TDI "quattro design" (110 kW / 150 PS) is available for a final price of € 39.850. If you don't want to miss the motorsport feeling - 228 kW / 310 PS at all times, the basic prices of the S3 are € 41.000, S3 Sportback are € 41.900, S3 sedan are € 42.800 and the open variant S3 Cabriolet is € 50.700.
Conclusion: Also in 20. Year with new standards!
The A3 / S3 with all its body and drive variants also features in 20. Year of its life cycle 'a lot of driving comfort and driving pleasure. He raises the bar one more time with his driver assistance systems, which are usually offered in the upper class.
When it comes to the body and technology selection, everyone can find their A3 or S3 when buying a new car.
Text and image: Stefan Beckmann