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Audi A3 Sportback 1.8 2013 review

EXPERT RATING
9
How much Audi do you really need? Think about it.

How much Audi do you really need? Think about it. In the latest Audi A3 Sportback 1.8, a five door hatchback for want of a better description, you get pretty much the same look, drive experience and "feel" as you would in a bigger, more expensive model.

In essence, the car we tested gives you that desirable Audi feel by the bucketful. Similar interior style, similar exterior look, same smell...in a distilled form.

PRICE AND FEATURES

It's really all you need in an Audi and comes at a relatively affordable start price of $42,500. That's easily inflatable once you start ticking the options boxes, but it gets a decent amount of kit for the money including cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio, Audi park assist, multi-media infotainment system and music register, the Audi drive select system, big colour info screen, aluminium look dash, multi function wheel, 17-inch alloys and auto headlights and wipers.

There's also dual zone climate control, leather, dynamic suspension and sport seats. Satnav is optional. So, you don't miss out on much. But if it was our car, we'd stump up the extra couple of grand for the driver assist package that includes radar cruise, lane assist and other handy stuff.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

And this one had plenty of kick thanks to its 1.8-litre, direct injection, turbo, four cylinder petrol engine that achieves some 132kW/250Nm output from a low 1250rpm.

There's a quattro version as well but you don't need it. This one's front drive, seven-speed dual clutch manumatic and potent donk has enough oomph to click over a 0-100kmh sprint in 7.3 seconds and renders a diesel redundant thanks to its 5.6-litres/100km fuel economy.

DRIVING

The real story is how well the 1355kg Sportback responds on the move - aided by Audi drive select that allows the driver to choose how the car responds.

Cornering is rock solid and the overall dynamic feel is sporty but comfortable. It even sounds pretty good popping through the exhaust when you flick through the gears by paddle shift or stick shift in manual mode. One annoyance is the tendency for the car to roll or creep on a slope once the hill hold had let go. Dual clutch "autos" don't "hold' the car at idle like conventional torque converter autos.

It has a solid feel to it thanks to the new lightweight platform Audi A3 shares with VW Golf and other models in the family. It also has that distinctive Audi high quality interior design and function and is an excellent long distance car thanks to the seats and driving position.

We love the look of the A3 from all angles and it's a bigger car than you think offering ample seating for four adults inside and their luggage in the "boot."

VERDICT

Classy compact, practical, plenty of go, adequate features, price can escalate rapidly with option packs.
 

The complete Audi A3 Sportback range is:
A3 Attraction 1.4 TFSI S tronic: from $35,600
A3 Attraction 1.6 TDI S tronic: from $36,500
A3 Attraction 1.4 TFSI COD S tronic: from $37,900
A3 Ambition 1.8 TFSI S tronic: from $42,500
A3 Ambition 2.0 TDI S tronic: from $42,500
A3 Ambition 1.8 TFSI quattro S tronic: from $45,500

Audi A3 Sportback 1.8 TFSI S tronic 
Price: from $42,500
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Capped servicing: No
Service interval: 12 months/15,000km
Safety: 5 stars
Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo, 132kW/280Nm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto; FWD
Thirst: 5.6L/100km, 95 RON PULP
Dimensions: 4.3m (L), 1.8m (W), 1.4m (H)
Weight: 1280kg
Spare: Space-saver

Pricing Guides

$19,919
Based on 62 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$13,999
Highest Price
$24,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.8 TFSI Attraction 1.8L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $19,030 – 24,090 2013 Audi A3 2013 1.8 TFSI Attraction Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI Ambition 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $24,200 – 29,810 2013 Audi A3 2013 2.0 TFSI Ambition Pricing and Specs
S/BACK 1.4 TFSI ATTRACTION COD 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $18,888 – 23,000 2013 Audi A3 2013 S/BACK 1.4 TFSI ATTRACTION COD Pricing and Specs
Sb 1.8 TFSI Quattro Ambition 1.8L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $19,250 – 24,310 2013 Audi A3 2013 Sb 1.8 TFSI Quattro Ambition Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
9