Interior layout

Audi A3 Saloon review

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Audi A3 Saloon
Review continues below...
11 Jun 2015 22:00 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 16:17

In this review

Interior layout

The interior layout, fit and finish

Audi A3 saloon driving position

No one should have a problem getting comfortable behind the wheel of the A3 Saloon. The steering wheel can be moved in and out as well as up and down, and there’s a wide range of adjustment to the seat. The seatback angle is adjusted via a dial controller, too, so it’s possible to make small alterations easily. It’s disappointing that adjustable lumbar support – which is electrically operated – is an option on all models, but at least the seat’s chunky side bolsters give good support in corners. Should you want even more luxury, fully electric seats are optional.

The dashboard looks sparse, but in fact it’s brilliantly simple to use, with all of the major switches clearly marked and easy to reach from the driver’s seat.

Audi A3 saloon visibility

There’s little to worry about if you’re trying to look ahead or to the side from the driver’s seat; slim front pillars and large windows mean visibility is perfectly acceptable. The rear window is pretty shallow, but it’s still easier to see out of the back than it is in, say, a Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Audi offers a number of parking assistants, including a reversing camera and an assist system that will identify a suitable space alongside the vehicle and reverse the car into it. Most of these upgrades cost extra, although all models do at least get rear parking sensors.

Audi A3 Saloon

Audi A3 saloon infotainment

Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) lets you operate most of the A3 Saloon’s major functions via a control dial and a small collection of buttons by the gearlever. It’s a pretty simple system and some of the shortcut keys are raised, allowing you to find the one you want by touch.

The display is a 7.0in unit mounted high up in the centre of the dashboard, which slides down into the fascia out of sight when you want it to.

Key items, including a DAB radio, sat-nav, USB socket, Bluetooth and Audi Smartphone Interface – which lets you mirror and operate your phone’s apps via the screen – are standard across the range.

Audi offers a variety of upgrades, including a technology package that brings better satellite navigation, a higher-resolution screen and MMI Touch, which turns the top of the MMI dial into a touchpad that you can use to scrawl characters when entering destinations into the sat-nav.

Upgraded sound systems are available as extras, including a Bang & Olufsen surround-sound set-up. You can also opt for a 12.3in digital display to replace the analogue instruments in front of the driver. This is configurable and can show sat-nav, music and other data.

Audi A3 saloon build quality

The A3 Saloon’s interior is the benchmark for how a small saloon should look and feel; the whole interior is built from the sort of high-grade materials you’d expect to find in a far more expensive executive car. You’ll really struggle to find harsh plastics anywhere, including low down by knee level, and the materials in your direct line of sight are a tactile treat, with lots of plush plastics and aluminium flourishes.

Everything feels wonderfully screwed together, while the switches are beautifully weighted and the super-slim infotainment screen adds to the impression that no expense has been spared.

 

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There are 5 trims available for the A3 saloon. Click to see details.See all versions
OUR PICK
Sport
The A3 Saloon’s entry-level trim has more than enough kit, with dual-zone climate control, 17in alloys, DAB radio, a 5.8in colour screen, Bluetooth, a USB socket and a leather steering wheel comple...View trim
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S Line
S line trim is focused on sporty looks; you get 18in wheels, a bodykit, xenon headlights and part-leather upholstery. It’s worth noting that you can specify a more comfortable suspension set-up for...View trim
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£24,358
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Black Edition
Based on S line with all its features, this adds special 18in alloy wheels, a black styling pack, privacy glass, and the uprated Audi Sound system...View trim
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£25,196
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S3
The high-performance S3 is a model in its own right, with a powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and acceleration times that wouldn’t disgrace many a supercar. It gets 19in alloy wheels, l...View trim
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S3 Black Edition
As well as all the goodies the S3 gets, the S3 Black Edition adds different 19in alloy wheels, a black styling pack, privacy glass, and a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system...View trim
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