When you mention Audi to anybody, words like quality , well built, stylish and understated are frequently used and the all new A3 lives up to all of these. The first thing that confirms this when turning the ignition key is the motorized flatscreen which rises from the minimalist dashboard, its super smooth and super quiet - very impressive – there is even a button that manually controls it and I must confess I have spent longer than I should do making the screen go up and down into the dash like a child. My brother also confirmed it’s quality, super slick action after he also spent quite some time pressing the button on his first viewing of the interior. The screen controls various systems via the control knob located where you would normally find a manually operated handbrake (the A3’s is electric) including phone and media player which can both be connected wirelessly. Its these quality touches that are expected from audi which gives it its position as a premium brand, however I must point out that the rust covered wheel hub, visible through the rear wheel spokes was a surprise and I would have expected the factory coating here to have lasted longer than 9 months.
I was disappointed to read Gareth Roberts report of just 48.4mpg last month in (Audi claim 68.9mpg) I am managing to regularly achieve early 50’s on my journey to and from work but still some way off the manufacturers combined figure – it’s a decent figure but not if you are expecting high 60’s. I am however very impressed with the performance of the 150PS 2.0TDI engine which is very responsive and has strong acceleration throughout the manual 6 speed box.
Being a 3-door I expect the A3’s fleet appeal will be limited by its lack of rear doors and the more practical 5 door A3 sportback will be a more preferred choice for the majority of fleets.