Audi launches facelifted A3

Published 08 April 2016

Audi is giving the A3 a mid-life refresh with subtle styling tweaks along with new engines and the option of the Audi virtual cockpit. It will be available to order from May with the first cars arriving in the summer. Prices are expected to start at £18,000.

Visually, the revised A3, A3 Sportback and A3 Cabriolet don't exactly look particularly different, aside from slightly different headlights that copy the new A4. There are also new colours - Ara blue, Cosmic blue, Nano grey, Tango red and Vegas yellow. 

Alongside the existing engines, Audi is launching a 1.0 TFSI three-cylinder unit, already used in the A1. It may seem too small for the A3 but having tried it in the A1, we think it will surprise quite a few people thanks to its get up and go.

Maximum power is 115PS and, thanks to the fact it is turbocharged, it has 200Nm of torque available from very low revs. Audi has yet to reveal economy information yet, but in the A1 it returns an official 67.3mpg so expect a figure in the early 60s.

Audi A3 Sportback (2)

The other new engine is a 2.0 TFSI with 190PS which is available with a newer seven speed S tronic automatic gearbox replacing the previous six-speed transmission. Our recommended engine remains the excellent 1.4 TFSI COD (cylinder on demand) with 150PS which suits the A3 perfectly.

The same diesels are carried over including the 2.0 TDI which is available in two versions - 150PS and 184PS - or there's the more economical 1.6 TDI with 110PS. It comes with a six-speed manual as standard or there's an optional seven speed S tronic.

Standard A3 models are in SE trim, which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, while Sport gets 17-inch and S line 18-inch. Even bigger 19-inch wheels - in new designs - are available as an option.

Standard equipment includes cruise control and a newly designed three-spoke steering wheel, both now available on all models. There is also the option of the Audi virtual cockpit, first seen on the latest TT. This replaces the standard analogue dials with 12.3-inch TFT screen which shows everything from speedto information on music tracks and navigation. 

Alongside the A3 and A3 Sportback, there are also changes for the S3 versions which get a hike in power - up by 10PS to 310PS. The A3 Sportback e-tron also gets the same revisions as the rest of the range.

Audi A3 Sportback (3)

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