Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
The current line-up features four engines (three petrols and a plug-in hybrid) two trim levels (Attraction and Ambition) and three body styles - Sportback, Sedan and Cabriolet. Prices started at $36,500 for the 1.4 TFSI Attraction and up to $62,490 for the e-tron plug-in hybrid.
The lower-end petrol engine, the 1.4 TFSI has been replaced with the 1.0 TFSI turbo three-cylinder while the 1.8 TFSIs are gone in favour of the 2.0-litre. Staying is the more powerful 1.4 TFSI cylinder-on-demand unit. The Ambition and Attraction nameplates have disappeared, as have manual transmissions (which almost nobody bought).
Prices are up slightly over the old model although the 1.0 is cheaper than the 1.4 it replaces, (by $600) and with a higher level of specification to offset the drop in engine capacity (a trick already perfected on the new A4).
Audi says the 1.0 has $5000 more gear than the old 1.4 even though it moves to a torsion beam rear suspension unlike the multilink of all other variants, the 2.0 TFSI $3000 and the Quattro $7300. Normally the entry level model is the bait and switch, but in this case, it’s almost like Audi doesn't want you to buy the front-wheel drive 2.0 TFSI…
It's also worth pointing out that with the demise of the Attraction/Ambition models, it's harder to compare like for like.
All cars feature a retracting seven-inch screen, sat nav, seven-speed twin clutch transmission, dual-zone climate control, remote central locking, USB and Bluetooth and an identical eight-speaker stereo across the range, with a couple of upgrades available.
Xenon headlights are now standard and show-stopping matrix LEDs are on the options list for the first time on the A3. Also making its debut on the options list is the brilliant Virtual Cockpit.
There's a lot going on in the pricing, so I'll break it down into bodystyles.
The Sportback starts at the 1.0-litre for $35,900, jumps to $39,900 for the 1.4 COD, on to $45,900 for the 2.0 TFSI FWD and then Quattro adds a further $4000 to land at $49,500.
The Sedan does without the 1.0 litre, instead starting at $41,500 for the 1.4 ($1600 more than the Sportback), $47,500 for the 2.0 TFSI FWD and $51,100 for the Quattro.
The Cabriolet, perhaps wisely, also goes without the 1.0-litre, with a stout $49,000 for the entry-level 1.4 COD, a further $6000 for the 2.0 TFSI and then another $3600 for the Quattro, ending at $58,600, a relative bargain next to the BMW 2 Series.
As ever, there’s a series of packages that roll up a number of options:
- Technik Package ($2900): Virtual Cockpit, MMI Navigation Plus, flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddles.
- Assistance Package: ($1500) Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, high beam assist and hill holder.
- S-Line Package (Quattro only): ($4200) Alcantara and leather upholstery, sports suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddles.
- Comfort Package: ($2300-$2500) Heated electric front seats with electric lumbar support, sport seats (1.4 COD, standard on 2.0 TFSI and above), keyless entry and start, auto dimming rear vision mirror and heated folding exterior rear vision mirrors.
Individual options include Audi’s smartphone integration (standard on 2.0 TFSI and up) which brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for $650, various interior and exterior styling tweaks and the excellent Matrix LED headlights for between $1300 and $2800 depending on the model.