2021 Audi A3 1.5 Sportback Review: Triple Threat

Ben Chia

Go back to Page 2: Design and Interior

Driving Experience

While the A3 shares pretty much the same operating innards as its Golf and Octavia siblings, with all of them utilising the latest MQB EVO platform and 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 150hp and 250Nm, paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, their general driving characters are notably different.

The Octavia has a more relaxed driving demeanour, while the A3 is noticeably more sporty, with the Golf occupying the middle ground. There’s seems to be a fairly urgent surge of energy with the A3 when you put your foot down, with the car feeling somewhat more eager than its siblings in its performance. 0-100km/h comes up in 8.4 seconds but the A3 feels quicker than its figures suggest.

The same mild hybrid tricks on the Golf and Octavia are also present on the A3, with the ability to shut the engine off while coasting, as well as cylinder deactivation technology. They are ostensibly meant to help with the car’s efficiency, but with the A3’s lively driving manners, achieving the A3’s quoted fuel consumption figure of 4.8L/100km might require a whole lot of discipline with your right foot.

The A3 is similarly energetic when you toss it into the corners. It handles very gamely, although you do have to watch out for understeer if you enter a bend with a tightening radius. Aside from that, the A3 strikes a great balance between driving verve and composure, and feels tremendously sporty and fun to drive for a base, non-performance variant.

Ride quality is relatively well-controlled, if slightly on the firm side, but on smooth highway roads the A3 is mostly comfortable enough to cope. The car’s Pirelli Cinturato P7 18-inch tyres are a tad noisy at speed though, but customer cars will have 17-inchers as standard which should help things out a little.

Page 4: Conclusion and Competition

1. Introduction
2. Design and Interior
3. Driving Experience
4. Conclusion and Competition

Pages: 1 2 3 4


5 seat 5-door a3 sportback Audi hatchback petrol RS Q3 Sportback

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's print editor went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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