A discreet little slow burner
You might find it a bit hard to get excited about Audi's A3 2.0-litre TDI, but after you've had a good look at one, done the sums and hemmed and hawed for a bit you'll probably end up signing on the dotted line. It's that sort of car – deeply considered.
Go for this 2.0-litre TDI diesel and you have 150PS under your right boot which is more than enough to let the A3 lift her skirt a little when you plant the throttle pedal. In fact it's tempting to think that this kind of power output represents a sweet spot in terms of balancing performance against fuel efficiency. Front wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox is a fairly straightforward recipe and thanks to excellent traction control, this A3 will step off the line to 60mph in just 8.3 seconds before eventually running onto a top speed of 134mph.
Although the basic shape looks similar to its predecessor, get underneath and you'll realise there is no carryover from before. This is the latest MQB modular chassis from Audi and ride quality is good while refinement is even better.
There's an electromechanically assisted steering system and a next-gen stability control package which includes an electronic limited slip differential for composed deployment of power. The optional Audi drive select system lets the driver vary the throttle response, steering weighting and, where the S tronic transmission is present, the gearbox shift points. What's more, it can also be upgraded to manage the optional Audi magnetic ride set-up, with its clever magneto-rheological fluid-filled dampers. If you're downsizing from a bigger Audi model, you're not going to feel hard done by in this one.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
An MQB chassis? What's that? If I tell you that this acronym stands for 'Modularer Querbaukasten', or Modular Transverse Matrix, then that might not throw too much light on things either. In short, the Volkswagen Group realised that it had too many different chassis systems amongst its various cars and has instead introduced this chassis for transverse-engined cars, one that features an interchangeable kit of parts that cuts build time by 30 per cent. That means savings for the consumer and a better quality build process. There are also savings in weight, thanks to a hybrid combination of steel and aluminium panels.
I must confess that I wasn't immediately enthused by this Audi A3. I felt it was almost too polished, too low-key for its own good. But if you can get past its rather cool barrier of wilful understatement, you'll find a truly excellent car. It's undoubtedly a grower, a design that impresses you with small considered details as well the headline figures. The 2.0-litre TDI engine feels as if it's perfectly pitched to balance power and parsimony, making it the choice in the A3 range for higher mileage drivers. Don't overlook the smart 1.4TFSI petrol engine with cylinder on demand technology though.
Ultimately, the more I drove the A3 the more I admired it. I never felt that impulsive spark that would send me to an Audi dealer looking for a dotted line but then it's not really that kind of car. Hedonists will probably look elsewhere. Those looking for discreet refinement will find a lot to like here. Don't expect fireworks, it's a slow burner.