Review - Audi A3 Sportback


IMG 3564I have always enjoyed driving Audi cars and my personal favorite is the A4. On a recent trip to Cairns I was given a rental upgrade thanks to the guys at Europcar.

There is a whole other story on hire car companies including their offers, rates and insurance but I’ll leave that for another day.

So back to the A3. I’m not a fan of the rear of this vehicle, the front and sides are what I personally think are some of the best looking panels on any car in the world today. The front grill is spectacular and the headlights give the car an exotic look.

The A3 comes with a number of wheel options and of course paint options. As with most cars the darker colors really show up the dirt and this one was no exception. 

The car had been sitting in the airport car park over night and was filthy when we picked it up. Black may look luxurious but you would have to have a personal detailer on hand to keep this dark color looking good.

I can’t blame Audi for this as it is an issue with all dark paint schemes.

IMG 3576From the outside the roof looks like any other roof, but once you get inside you realise that   it is a two part sunroof, or hatch as my daughter calls it.

The front section has a transparent sliding cloth cover that can slide away to reveal the glass roof that can also open to the skies. The rear glass doesn't open but still gives those in the back a more spacious feel.

The interior is what you'd expect from Audi, the build quality feels luxurious, the layout makes for a comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers. The only thing that annoyed me was the position of the handbrake and the centre armrest. The armrest interferes with application of the handbrake. 

IMG 3587As with all Audi’s you can pick and choose the interior options from things like steering wheel types, entertainment options and interior lighting options.

Safety features these days are taken for granted and many drivers on the road have never driven cars that don’t have things like ABS, Airbags and traction control. The A3 is no exception it has a plethora of safety features and options like adaptive cruise control, Audi pre-sense, lane departure warning, high bean assistant. It even has a drivers knee airbag.

IMG 3596Other options include the Technik package, which features MMi Navigation plus with MMi touch, driver information system, Audi parking system plus with rear view camera. There is also a comfort package, assistance package and the S line sport package.

You would think with all the options under the sun something a simple as a usb port would be feature.... nope. You can connect your phone via bluetooth for calls but there is no music streaming option. Drop the entertainment screen and it reveals two SD card slots and DVD drive but no usb.

So it looks good (apart from its tail) it is comfortable and luxurious, but how does it drive.

IMG 3561Well let me say it one of the reasons I love Audi so much. The TFSI 1.8 turbo charged petrol engine goes hard. The Captain Cook highway north of Cairns is littered with roundabouts that the A3 devours with ease.

The seven speed auto effortlessly transitions up and down the range. The power comes on from the moment you look at the accelerator and keeps pulling all the way till you reach the speed limit. In the case of 100km thats only 7.3 seconds.

Even with a car full of passengers and luggage the performance and handling is not compromised. Mind you this driver was having more fun than the passengers who were tossed around trough the turns. Speaking of luggage there is plenty of storage in the rear.

IMG 3566The one thing that detracts from the A3 is the price, here in Australia we continue to pay a premium for imported cars, blame the luxury car tax, blame import costs, the fact is a base model A3 is priced at the higher end compared to similar sized cars that have many options and inclusions as standard. 

So not only is the A3 more expensive than comparable cars, when you start adding options to the A3 its really makes it hard to justify shelling out for one. For us here in Australia at least. If you are living in another country where you are not stung by higher prices make sure you consider the A3 it is a great all round car.

If you are like me and can’t justify the added expense there is always the option of hiring one on your next business trip or getaway.

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