The Audi A3, unveiled at the Delhi Auto expo earlier this year, is expected to be a huge hit with the Indian consumers when it is launched later this month. This is because it’s expected to be priced only slightly above hatchbacks like the Mercedes A-class and the BMW 1-series, but will deliver the look and feel of a full sized luxury sedan. Here’s what you should know.
It’s got the look
The Audi A3 looks larger than it actually is, and that is a big plus point. It may be based on the Audi A3 hatch, but Audi designers have done such a good job, you just can’t differentiate this Audi sedan from several others. The look is typically Audi: ice cool. The clean cut details are easy to confuse with the larger A6, especially the grille and dagger like headlight combo and the rising beltline and dropping roof give it a dynamism not seen on others from the Audi stable. Particularly attractive are the tail lights and the treatment of the rear bumper.
Power and performance
The Audi A3 will be powered by the 1.8 TFSI, the latest iteration of the Volkswagen Group’s EA888 177bhp direct-injection turbo petrol engine. It’s the same engine that made its India debut on the Skoda Octavia last year, albeit with some changes. Mated to a seven-speed, S-tronic dual clutch transmission, this engine and gearbox combination promises to deliver scintillating performance and rapid gear changes. If you are looking at getting better fuel economy, the Audi A3 sedan will also get a 148 bhp 2.0-litre turbo-diesel motor. Renowned as a very capable all rounder, this engine has plenty of pulling power, and this new version is really responsive too. It’s not the smoothest of engines around, but then it isn’t particularly loud or unrefined either.
Luxury car features and feel
There are a lot of features packed on the inside. The Audi A3 gets a chunky steering, the Audi TT-like dashboard, dual-zone climate control, a seven-inch high-resolution screen with a MMI-like control interface. Shortcut buttons for navigation, music, telephone and radio functions make the multimedia interface easy to access. The A3 also gets a sunroof, and cruise control. There’s a good amount of storage space, with six bottle holders, a box between the front seats and a felt-lined glovebox. The best bit, however, is the fact that quality levels are almost as good as on any other Audi. Plastic quality and fit and finish are right up there.
Space and comfort
Up front there’s plenty of space. The seats are relatively large and hold big frames easy as well. Back and thigh support is good. The rear of the car is not as comfortable. Legroom and knee room in particular are tight, and cabin feels a bit narrow in the rear as well. Despite thigh support being marginal in the rear, the backseat is quite comfortable, especially once you make a bit of room for yourself. What’s clear, however, is that you’d rather be sat in the front of the car than in the back.
Price and position
Expected to go on sale at an estimated price of Rs 28 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Audi A3 is unlikely to have any immediate rivals. It may sound a bit expensive, at first, but once you’ve experienced the car and seen how much it offers, you’ll understand, there really is a lot of car here.
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