First drive: Audi A3 2.0 TDI

  • New diesel engine
  • Economy improved
  • Emissions lower
Do you suffer from performance anxiety? Of course, we refer to the inevitable disappointment of calculating your fuel economy. The updated A3 may have the answer.

The figures for the new 2.0-litre diesel engine will inflate your confidence as well as your bank balance. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have dropped, and it’s much quieter than the old engine.

Happily, efficiency doesn’t mean sacrificing power and the 138bhp version (it also comes in 168bhp form) has enough thrust to whisk you out of junctions and surge past slower traffic. Better still, it’s all done as smoothly as a freshly conditioned James Bond through butter.

The tank range of 670 miles means you’ll be able to drive from Aberdeen to Plymouth without filling up. Only the rather firm ride might wear your patience by the end of the trip.

The rest of the changes are subtle. Yes, the wheels, bumpers, lights, bonnet and door mirrors are new, but the A3’s understated image remains intact.

Inside, there are a few new switches and fresh fabrics. It all looks good and works well, with one exception: opt for an armrest and you’ll have to lift it to reach the tiny cup holders beneath. Reducing the car’s fluid consumption is one thing, but surely the driver’s allowed a drink?

Price £18,470
On sale now
Engine size 2.0 TD
Power 138bhp
0-62mph 9.4sec
Top speed 129mph
Economy 55.4mpg
CO2 g/km/tax 134/18%

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