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Whatcar? review

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What Car?'s option recommendations

  • Adjustable lumbar support (on all models)
  • Deselect sports suspension (on S line trim)
  • Metallic paint

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Our pick
1.5 TFSI
We&#39;ve yet to try this 1.5-litre petrol engine, which can shut down half of its cylinders when cruising to save fuel. However, based on our experience of the engine in the rival VW Golf, it should be a cracker.
1.6 TDI 116
This is one of the best engines in the line-up for CO2 emissions, so it&#39;s an appealing choice for company car drivers. It’s also smooth and has enough low-down punch for comfortable motorway cruising. Comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but can also be had with a seven-speed auto &#39;box.
1.4 TFSI e-tron S Tronic
This hybrid powertrain is available only in the five-door Sportback. It combines an electric motor, a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and a six-speed automatic gearbox. You can travel around 18 miles on electric power alone (a full recharge takes four hours via a domestic plug socket), and super-low official CO2 emissions make it an enticing company car choice.
2.0 TDI 184
This more potent version of the 2.0-litre diesel is offered only in Sport and S line trim levels, so you have to pay a fair amount for it. It brings a bit more mid-range shove, but it’s not worth the extra cash over the 2.0 TDI 150. Comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but can also be had with a seven-speed auto &#39;box.
2.0 TDI
We think the 2.0-litre diesel engine (in this 148bhp tune) is worth the premium over the 1.6 because it’s a little smoother and offers punchier performance. It should still return more than 50mpg, too, keeping running costs down.
TFSI Quattro
Unique to the high-performance, four-wheel-drive S3 and S3 Sportback, this 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor produces more than 300bhp – enough to take the S3 from 0-62mph in around 5.0sec. It has only a little turbo lag and a terrific exhaust note.
2.0 TFSI
The 2.0-litre petrol engine has lots of power and low-rev shove – more than enough, in fact, to make the A3 a fairly swift hatchback. It’s not much faster in the real world than the 1.4, though, and it’s more expensive to buy and run. It is, however, available with four-wheel drive, whereas most A3s are front-wheel drive.
1.0 TFSI
This three-cylinder entry-level A3 engine has enough punch for use around town, but you’ll find yourself working it harder to keep up with motorway traffic and thrashing it to make quick progress on A-roads. Like all A3s except the auto-only e-tron, it can be combined with a manual or an automatic gearbox.

Miles per gallon

Official fuel economy figure

166.2-72.4 mpg

CO2 Emissions

Official emissions rating

103-38 g/km

VED Tax band

How much will it cost you?


Boot capacity

How much space is there?

1220 litres

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