Audi A3 Sportback (2020 on)

4

35 TFSI S-line, Petrol S-Tronic

reviewed by Anonymous on 13 December 2020
4
Overall rating
4
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
4
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
3
Cost of maintenance and repairs
4
Experience at the dealership
4
How practical it is
4
How you rate the manufacturer
4
Overall reliability

Compact comfort

I’d previously owned a similar spec 2016 A3 before taking delivery of this latest version. The most obvious changes are inside, the virtual cockpit (10.5”) is standard, plus a completely revamped MMI system with 10.5" screen. Operation of the MMI is intuitive despite the fact (with the exception of the aircon) all control is via touchscreen or the steering wheel controls. Although some tests criticise the new touch volume control I think it's very good and responsive.

There are some economies over the old car – there’s only one boot light unless you specify the Comfort Pack, the door pockets don't have rubber mats in their bottoms, no indicator LEDs on the wing mirrors, the glove box has a plastic catch, the flat-bottom steering wheel is extra on the S-line etc. Although, in compensation, the satnav is much better than the old car and you get over-the-air updates with the car. Lane assist is standard and includes a warning system that measures the distance between you and the car in front.

The S line features black headlining and that makes the car quite dark but visibility to the outside is good and the standard LED headlights are excellent – they include an all-weather setting. The seats are comfy although the "leather" can appear a little creased in a short time. There is plenty of seating and steering adjustment, check with your dealer if you specific electric seats with the TFSI auto – there seems to be an issue about this at the moment, I think it’s about compatibility between the mild-hybrid system and the seat memory. Boot space is unchanged and is average for the class although the material used to line the boot seems thinner than before, helpfully, the floor has three positions.

After using a plethora of rental cars whilst waiting for the new A3, I really appreciate its taut drive, and it’s very composed through corners, the default sports suspension irons out all but the worst of UK roads. I’d stick with the default S-line suspension despite what reviews say. The steering offers me enough feedback and the brakes are gradual but responsive despite some comments to the contrary. You can alter the feel of the car using Drive Select. The 18” standard S-line wheels are a bit plain but you can upgrade those, when I say “plain” I mean plainer than the Technic and Sport although those models have 16” and 17” rather than 18” rims.

If you are buying this car on PCP it might interest you to know the GFV went up quite considerably when I specified the Comfort Pack. The Pack includes a B&O sound system, reversing camera, heated seats, and Park Assist and Parking Assistant which steers the car into a parallel parking space. The pack also includes Rear Traffic Assist which is handy when reversing out of parking spaces. I felt a bit short-changed to have to pay extra for the Lane Change Assistant which on most makes mid/upper range models is standard. Also, unlike the Golf 8, the A3 does not come as standard with Adaptive Cruise Control where the car automatically keeps the distance from the car in front.

The overall finish and fit are good and I am pleased with the car and already fuel economy is good – I’m getting around 48.2mpg on longer runs.

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