The Audi A3 is undeniably a bestseller for the Ingolstadt brand. Will the 4th generation be as successful as its predecessor? It may well be so, especially with the Audi A3 Sedan.
Audi A3, 4th generation
In 2017 Mathias left to test drive the Audi A3 on Madeira Island. At the time the A3 celebrated its 20th anniversary with an avant-garde design since 2012. Eight years after the third generation and more than 5 million models sold worldwide, the A3 is back to us with a stroke of the pen very sharp. During my test, I was able to discover the new Audi A3 Sedan.
More sporty and aerodynamic! These are the first criteria of the new Audi A3. The sedan is clearly reminiscent of a small A5. The ribbed hood and pronounced sides directly allude to the slender lines of its big sister.
The sporty character is present on all floors. The Single Frame grille has widened further and the bumpers make it very sporty. As always, its fake large vents will be to everyone's taste, but now they blend in pretty well with everything. The S-Line finish, the best-selling in France, has been particularly worked on making the previous generation look like an altar boy.
A renewed interior
I write it every time I test an Audi, it is particularly difficult to lack such a quality of finish. No big change on this point, that's good at all. On the design side, we also find a lot of sportiness. The instrument panel puts the driver first, and new air vents further accentuate that feeling.
The infotainment instruments are as precise as ever. Some new features are emerging, such as the intelligent interlocutor as well as Amazon's Alexa function, available in 2021. On the other hand, I admit that I was not speechless by the present Bang & Olufsen system. It is certainly well made, but I expected more. No doubt the positioning of the speakers, who knows.
More space and new engine
On the storage side, the Audi A3 Sedan keeps the same boot volume, namely 425L. On the other hand, it gains 4cm in length compared to the previous generation. This gain is particularly reflected in the rear seats with more legroom.
The new Audi A3 has 5 engines. 2 2.0 TDI diesel engines with 116 and 150hp respectively and three petrol engines. At the entry level, the famous 3-cylinder 1L 30 TFSI develops 110 hp. The 35 TFSI meanwhile boasts 150 hp, but depending on whether you opt for the manual or automatic gearbox, it will be accompanied by a slight 48V hybridization.
On the road
During this test, I was therefore able to cover around 200km with the new A3 Sedan 35 TFSI MHEV. I would say it again since it has this famous 48V battery on board, which not only allows it to facilitate starting thanks to the electric starter-starter, but also to manage many other things.
Indeed, this MHEV engine, exclusively available with the excellent S tronic 7 gearbox, allows you to switch off the engine when, for example, you are going downhill and you release your foot. Just one of many ways to use less fuel and be kind to the planet. On a daily basis, the feeling is not unpleasant, we are more astonished to see the tachometer needle drop to 0 than the engine noise cut off for the already very discreet blow.
While the 150 horsepower engine is rather angry and dynamic, I was blown away by the handling. The A3 Sedan is riveted to the ground so it feels like a quattro! The new computer, coupled with the new adaptive suspension, perfectly manages the traction of the front wheels and cornering is done without any apprehension.
The Col de l'Espigoulier was our playground and a good number of bikers saw us winding the turns with insolent ease! A small downside, however, depending on the driving mode chosen – especially in "comfort" – the brake pedal seems soft and the braking not really biting. A shame at Audi. Don't worry, this is just a sensation due to a new electric master cylinder installed on the MHEV version. A bit confusing but completely absent once the driving mode "dynamic" engaged.
A real camel
You do not believe me ? Ask my friends Thomas from Crank.fr and Arnaud from StartandStop.fr. They managed to cover the 800km from Paris to Marseille while consuming ONLY 3.5L / 100 with the Audi A3 35 TDI 150!
For my part, our Audi A3 Sedan was more around 7-8L / 100 with frank climbs and various tests of all kinds. Suffice to say that the consos announced by Audi (5.5 – 6.1) are quite possible in the classic mixed cycle.
This new Audi A3 Sedan doesn’t come close. Sophisticated design, high-quality finish, efficient and economical engines, there is no doubt that Audi is once again showing its know-how. Its sedan version is a real success and remains my favorite of the weekend … Until next month to get behind the wheel of the S3 version! Stay connected !