Before I even drove a representative of the A3 family, I had reservations, I was skeptical. This skepticism particularly affected the three-door Audi A3 8V. I had a week to dispel my concerns. The first evaporated within seconds.
As the third generation Audi A3 I had puzzled over them on the market. During our meeting in nature I had to take back a lot. Because, as much as the current of the previous generation might resemble the image material - in reality, the new A3 looks more mature, sharper, more attractive. So I was allowed to relativize my judgment just in view of the rear end at first glance.
Equipped in the S line, the body with its deliberately sprinkled edges and beads is more masculine and dynamic. The modified front and rear bumpers give the A3 a more independent face. The side skirts, on the other hand, look tapped. In the direct frontal view, it is also difficult to distinguish the A3 from a current Audi A4, for example.
The momentum of the headlights, the surround of the fog lights, the dominant single-frame grill - here I personally lack differentiation. In contrast, the rear with its taillights is much more independent. The thick double tailpipe suggests more than the actual fitting 122 PS.
The interior of the test car pampers the driver and front passenger with the high-quality equipment line, which has been spiced up with all sorts of optional extras. Workmanship and feel leave no room for criticism - as is usual with Audi. Be it the climate control knob, which regulates the temperature click-for-click up or down, pleasantly heavy and saturated, the fine Alcantara leather seats or the extensive MMI Navigation plus infotainment system. Blessed with appropriate change, the A3 can be designed almost freely inside and out, driving the price into unimagined spheres for a vehicle of the compact class.
Who for about 38.000 € for the tested Audi A3 In the hand, a nearly perfect car is obtained, which can move surprisingly fast and agile with his modest-seeming 122 PS. The smoothly increasing power output up to the middle rpm range brings a lot of joy on curvy country roads in combination with the sensitively responsive steering and the 6-gear-shift transmission, which is blessed with short gearshifts.
The standard sports seats reveal a little too little lateral support for slim figures like me, and the small turbo unit lacks a little background noise. And anyway, in compact Ingolstadt, I feel far too often disconnected from the action. Occasionally it is downright eerily quiet in the interior. On the other hand, the really good Bang & Olufsen sound system helps with its pressure and clarity - even if the last bit of a very good system is still missing.
Let me alone speak the moment, neglect the price for a short time and hope my compact would remain forever new and loyal: What could I really and objectively accuse the Audi A3? What is there to criticize seriously?
There are often trifles, banalities, which I do not think is very successful. Mostly it is personal feelings that whisper to me, the electronic parking brake is stupid, the Alus in 17 inch format should be at least one size bigger or the MMI control units around the shift gate are unergonomic. These are ultimately points that everyone should deal with individually.
What remains is - considered soberly - a very successful, scratching on the perfection compact car. Hopefully, the A3 will confirm this snapshot when it's five years old. There are small details, such as the reflecting chrome edges of the ventilation nozzles in the dark or the missing indicator light for the low beam in the instrument cluster, which still leave room for improvement.
Otherwise the offers Audi A3 third-generation with its small 1.4-liter four-cylinder almost sportive performance when it accelerates in 9,3 seconds at highway speed and easily reaches its terminal speed of 203 km / h. In addition to this, the finely controllable and, if necessary, tight-fitting brake - the Audi A3 Ambition 1.4 TFSI S line convinced me completely within the bounds of its possibilities. Just the price of about 38.000 € makes me flinch.