What's the used Audi A3 saloon like?
For those who find that the excellent 2013 to 2020 Audi A3 three-door hatchback and five-door Sportback aren’t quite their style, take a look at the A3 Saloon, a conventional three-box-style, four-door executive car with a stubby boot at the back.
The good news is that it shares its underpinnings with the other A3s, meaning this smart and handsome car is great to drive and a pleasure to travel in.
At its original launch, the A3 saloon was available in a choice of three trims: SE, Sport and S line. An SE Technik trim was added to the range a short time afterwards, and in later versions this version actually replaced SE as the entry-level trim. Over the years, there have been a number of limited editions and special trims with various cosmetic and equipment upgrades, most notably the Black Edition.
Opt for an earlier SE A3 and you'll find 16in alloys, xenon headlights, cruise control, rear parking sensors and auto lights and wipers fitted as standard on the outside. Inside, there's air conditioning, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, and Audi's MMI infotainment system complete with a 7.0in display, a DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, as well as smartphone integration. Upgrading to the SE Technik trim added sat-nav and a three-month trial to Audi's online connected services.
If you seek out a Sport trim the A3 gains 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, front sports seats and touches of aluminium, while S line cars get LED headlights, a sporty bodykit, lowered, firmed-up suspension, ambient interior LED lighting, part-leather upholstery and 18in alloys. Topping the standard range is the Black Edition models which get fancy 18in alloys, an improved audio system and lots of gloss black exterior styling.
On the road, you'll find that every version, no matter of what age, is great to drive. The 1.4 TFSI was smooth and powerful and reasonably economical. The replacement 1.5 (badged in later cars as the 35 TFSI) balances strong, flexible performance across the rev range with decent economy, too. Of the diesels, the 114bhp 1.6-litre engine (later called the 30 TDI) provides solid pace and makes for relaxed progress. The 148bhp 2.0-litre engine (badged as the 35 TDI) pulls harder across the rev range and the more powerful 187bhp 2.0-litre (called 40 TDI) is useful if you need even more oomph. Both the six-speed manual or the automatic gearbox option shift cogs effortlessly and smoothly.
The interior is classy and well built, with a widely adjustable driving position, good visibility and an excellent infotainment system. The only drawback to the saloon model is that space is rather limited in the rear, especially behind a taller driver, and the boot isn’t one of the biggest.
The A3 is well equipped, though, and the solid build quality translates into a good record for reliability, so this should make this enticing premium product an even more appealing used proposition.
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