Audi A3 Sportback – Taking up the fight in the premium hatchback segment
Mercedes took the world by storm with the new A-Class, and as a result, the old A3 looked hopelessly outdated, even though it have sold in millions. I was not the only one that thought this, since Audi just released the new A3. The focus is on sportiness, digitalization and full connectivity, where a lot of tech and looks have trickled down from the A3s bigger brother models.
The exterior was a natural step forward for Audi. The evolution from smooth and round to edgy and dynamic from 2010 to 2020 is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed watching. I personally think it looks good, but the wow factor goes to the A-Class. However, Audi has a peculiar trait where their cars really grow on you when you look at them in real life.
Interior wise, a 10.1 inch infotainment screen, now integrated into the center console, comes as standard. Further, a fully digital gauge cluster is also standard, called Audi Virtual cockpit. The infotainment have been updated to not only be faster, but to also focus on all things connectivity, which if I am honest, don´t really understand what the fuzz is about. However, I have to say that the interior has taken a massive step up in design. All the right elements from the higher up models have been implemented into the A3. One thing that you may notice is the bounteous use of very straight and sharp edges. Something that is very prevalent in Volkswagen´s Polo for example. Just look at the console that houses the gear shifter, and the door handle that you use to close the door.
The suspension apparently use a four link rear axle for engines from 150 hp, which can be upgraded with adaptive damper control, which also lowers the car by 10 millimeters. If you want the get the maximum sporty feeling with the new A3, there is also a sport suspension that lowers the car by 15 millimeters and increases in stiffness.
The engines available at launch are on petrol and two diesels. Wow. No hybrid yet though. The petrol has 150 hp and claims around 5 l/100 km. The two diesels are 2.0 litre, where the less powerful version produces 116 hp and claims 3.6 l/100 km. The more powerful version gets 150 hp and claims 3.8 l/100 km.
I do like the exterior and I do like the interior. The fuel consumption numbers are also very impressive. However, in this day and age, to have two diesels at launch and the rest is one petrol. That does not sound good in my ears, but as Mercedes, which is the direct competitor does not have any electrified alternative, Audi have the possibility to attain a massive edge. Hopefully, Audi will release an Audi E3 or something similar.
Price starts at 28,900 euros and presales will start in March 2020. Customers will get the first cars in May. How that will turn out in the midst of the outbreak is uncertain.