There are a number of automotive options available to make you feel like you're getting your money's worth. Many take to the skies and lean for an SUV. Nobody is perfect… Others remain more receptive to the traditional “daddy” sedan, with its 4 doors and its notchback silhouette. This is particularly the case in North America where the Audi A3 Sedan benefits more particularly from its resemblance to the larger A4, while remaining cheaper and more compact (4.50 m against 4.73 m).
This version also has the merit of offering a larger trunk than its 5-door counterpart when it is impossible to fold down the rear seat backrests. This is often the case when going on family vacations. Granted, the trunk lid doesn't make loading as easy as a tailgate. But the volume immediately rises to 425 liters. That's 45 more than in the Sportback, shorter by almost 16 cm.
On the other hand, without changing the wheelbase from one A3 to another, the reception in the rear seats is not of better quality. It would even be quite the opposite. While the habitability ratings remain logically comparable and therefore sufficient, the more pronounced drop of the roof and a different cutout of the opening leaves a less sense of space. Adults or older teenagers will grumble about having to travel with their gaze blocked by the door pillar. This also makes a difference with an A4 with a slightly larger cabin and more generous glass surfaces.
In the front seats, this sedan version also remains an A3 above all. And there are some really good sides to it. The chiseled, seriously constructed environment makes room for screens on this high S line finish. Except unlike its recently renewed cousins Seat Leon and Volkswagen Golf, which give in to all touch without savvy, the compact with rings retains a minimum of buttons. Like those who allow the air conditioning to be adjusted without necessarily taking their eyes off the road.
The choice of this bodywork does not have any further influence on the sensations experienced behind the wheel. The softness always predominates thanks to a light direction, but precise, while the behavior reassures if not frankly give a smile. In order to preserve comfort, it is nevertheless better to remember to check the controlled damping among the options, especially in this S line finish including 18-inch rims and an uninteresting sports chassis.
This 35 TFSI petrol engine, associated here with the S tronic robotic box, then based on a 48 V micro-hybridization, blends in perfectly with this picture without much surprise. Capable of discreetly switching off and restarting during freewheeling phases using its powerful starter-alternator, the 1.5 turbo 150 hp is generally responsive while controlling its appetite.
A few snags emerge, however. Over time and generations, the smoothness of the supercharged 4-cylinder in VW group compacts seems to wane at low revs. Unless this sensation arises from repeated and sometimes tiresome downshifts of the transmission 7 gears at the slightest boost. More surely, electrification, however small it may be, makes the brake pedal feel quite unpleasant. Under the effect of regeneration of the small lithium-ion battery, the consistency seems to fluctuate during the same slowing down and makes its dosage difficult.
In the end, therefore, from a driving point of view, thanks to its more marked handling and mechanical qualities, an A4 will make the most difference. That said, this A3 can afford an Audi sedan for € 5,000 less on average than its big sister and for only 550 € more than a Sportback more ordinary.
Not much more expensive than an A3 Sportback, this sedan body can feel like a different car from a compact one. It changes SUVs …
- Balanced line
- Trunk volume to 5
- Negligible additional cost
We like less
- Impression of less space in the back
- Gentle braking dosage
- Very wise behavior
Audi A3 Berline 35 TFSI S tronic S line tech.
- Tested version: € 39,700
- From 31,900 €
- Average manufacturer consumption / during the test (l / 100 km): 5.5-6.1 / 7.3
- CO2/ penalty: 125-138 / 0-50 €
- Fiscal power: 8 CV
- Gasoline from 150 to 310 hp, from € 29,200 to € 56,450
- Diesel from 116 to 150 hp, from € 29,200 to € 43,300
- Engine: front, transverse, 4-cylinder turbo, direct injection, 16 valves, variable valve timing, stop & start, 1498 cc3.
- Transmission: traction, robotized 7 gears
- Power (hp @ rpm): 150 to 5,000
- Torque (Nm at rpm): 250 to 1,500
- Empty weight (kg): 1395
- Length x width x height. (m): 4.50 × 1.82 × 1.43
- Wheelbase (m): 2.64
- Tank (l): 50
- Max speed (km / h): 232
- 0 to 100 km / h: 8 ”4
- Standard tires: 225/40 R18
- Test tires: Bridgestone Turanza T005
- Front / rear elbow width (cm): 147/143
- Rear leg length (cm): 69
- Chest at 5 (l): 425
- Controlled suspension: € 1,120
- Head-up display: € 980
- Temporary spare wheel: 150 €
- BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé, from € 31,150
- Mercedes Classe A Sedan, from € 30,150
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