Fleet News

First drive: Audi A3 Sportback 1.6TDi SE

Audi
BIK List Price
£20,775
Audi A3 Sportback BIK list price
BIK Percentage
13%
Audi A3 Sportback BIK Percent
CO2
99g/km
Audi A3 Sportback CO2
Combined MPG
74.3
Audi A3 Sportback MPG

Review

Audi is looking to further boost sales of its A3 range and provide an extra dose of practicality with the new Sportback.

The third-generation model has a lot to live up to as the outgoing car has proved particularly popular with both retail and fleet customers. Sportbacks account for two-thirds of all Audi A3 sales.

After its launch in March 2013, the new A3 Sportback will square up against its traditional foe the BMW 1 Series as well as fresh-faced rivals in the shape of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Volvo V40.

Unlike the A-Class, there is no radical styling departure from the outgoing model, as the new A3 Sportback is instantly recognisable. The few obvious changes from its predecessor include a more distinctive C-pillar and a new headlight design. Shorter front and rear overhangs give the car a sportier appearance.

The interior has received a more noticeable overhaul, with a new minimalist and simplified dashboard design, as well as the addition of an electric handbrake.

A longer wheelbase than its predecessor means the A3 Sportback offers more rear passenger space, while the boot increases in size to a class-leading 380 litres. It’s nearest rival is the Lexus CT with 375 litres.

Fuel consumption, too, throughout the range has improved, offering an average 10% gain over comparable outgoing models. Part of this is due to Audi’s focus on weight reduction which means the new Sportback is up to 90kg lighter than its predecessor.

Available in three trim levels, SE, Sport and S line, the A3 Sportback launches with a 2.0 TDI diesel engine and a choice of two petrols (1.4 TFSI and 1.8 TFSI).

A new 1.6 TDI model will arrive in May priced from £20,775. It will offer CO2 emissions of 99g/km and an official combined economy figure of 74.3mpg.

It produces 104bhp, has a top speed of 121 mph and accelerates from 0-60mph in just under 11 seconds.

The 1.6 TDI engine will account for 30% of Sportback sales, with the 150bhp 2.0 TDI taking 40%. The manufacturer forecasts fleets will account for 65% of registrations.

Put through its paces during the test, the car handled impressively when cornering, and the engine is smooth and quiet.

The manufacturer’s Park Assist automatic parking system has been revised for the new model and some impressive technology, including Audi Connect, is given its debut.

Connect is Audi’s Bluetooth car phone which connects to the internet and is operated via the multi-media terminal, multi-function steering wheel or by voice control.

Among its functions are location search and text messaging by voice and Google Street View images of destinations.

Driver appeal
The A3 Sportback is a great looking car, new tweaks and subtle changes put even more ‘sport ‘ into Sportback. The 1.6 TDI tested offers ample performance and impressive handling.
Fuel costs
74.3mpg combined equals one of the Sportback’s main rivals, the BMW 1 series, so although not breaking new boundaries, it is still an impressive feat.
CO2 emissions
99g/km with no addition eco technology is a good result for Audi, however they have hinted a lower emitting version may be on the way.
FN Verdict
The Audi A3 Sportback, like its predecessor, is fully accomplished and an impressive all-rounder. It drives well, looks great with practicality and low running costs – a complete fleet package.
Top Speed
121mph
Audi A3 Sportback Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Audi A3 Sportback Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Audi A3 Sportback Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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