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An extra boot and a 'tailored' sheet metal mark the Audi A3 sedan as a desirable and good-looking addition to the A3 lineup.

14 Apr 2014


Audi introduced the third generation A3 Sportback in May last year in Singapore, one of the most frugal luxury hatchbacks that sports the same MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform as the Volkswagen Golf. By end of last year, it launched the S3 Sportback, the 'spicier' variant of the A3 Sportback.

'Futuristic' taillights further differentiate the A3 Sedan from the A4


 
Now, Audi has pulled the sheets of the A3 Sedan, the 'extended' member of the A3 family that could well be one of the best compact luxury sedan choices in the COE Category A at the moment.

First unveiled in New York Auto Show last year, the A3 Sedan is also underpinned by Volkswagen's adaptable MQB platform. While that may seem like a rather predictable outcome from the German marque, it's no bad thing - considering how engaging similar cars fitted with the modular platform are.

Exterior

Seeing how Audi's handsome design language hasn't changed much over the years, the sedan here looks instantly recognisable. As such, casual observers will easily mistake this latest compact four-door for an A4 from the front.

Differentiation from the rest of the sedans in Audi's lineup will start to show once your eyes flow through the clean, crisp lines from the side to the back. Over here, the boot is seamlessly and stunningly integrated into the A3.

While most hatchbacks don't usually grow a boot gracefully, Audi has done well in attaching the bigger butt without coming across as just a 'joined' formula.

Dual exhaust pipes give the car a sportier appearance


 
At 4,456mm x 1,796mm x 1,416mm (L x W x H), the A3 Sedan is almost 150mm longer and 11mm wider than its hatchback brethren but remains to be some 245mm shorter than the A4. Comparing its size to the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, the A3 Sedan may be shorter, but it's wider and lower.

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Interior

Inside, it's all about the detailing. Like the A3 Sportback that we tested last year, the sedan variant that you see here sports excellent materials that give the cabin a luxury ambience, even though it lacks features like an auto hold function or a head-up display.

The cabin is a nice place to be, with terrific attention to detail



 
Still, 'faultless' remains to be an apt word to describe the interior, which is further enhanced by the multimedia screen that rises out of the centre console.
Space wise, the back benches will fit three with a squeeze but will otherwise offer sufficient head and legroom for two with ease.

Extra butt equals extra space - 45 litres more over the Sportback to be exact


 
Knock them down and the boot space will boast a generous 880 litres. In place, the A3 Sedan will offer a more practical boot space of 425 litres - 45 litres more than the Sportback.

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Drivetrain

While the A3 Sportback feels a little more sorted and tauter than the A3 Sedan, the latter is still very enjoyable to pilot.

It goes up to speed rapidly and linearly, thanks to the quick-changing seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch that marries well with the 1.4-litre powerplant.

17-inch wheels contribute to the car's supple ride


 
Stomp on the right pedal and 122 humble horses and 200Nm of torque will be sent to the front wheels instantaneously, allowing the car to clock a century sprint of 9.3 seconds - just a split second slower than the bigger capacity CLA-Class.

Put the car through a series of turns at speed, and, like its hatchback brethren, you can't help but appreciate and applaud the superb handling balance.

The steering is direct, precise and well-weighted, allowing the car to be capable of pulling hard out of corners with maximum grip and minimal roll, keeping even the most demanding driver entertained and excited. This, surely, is as good as a compact sedan can feel.

Over road elevation changes or broken surfaces, the ride is neither overly hard nor soft and is well-compromised between comfort and sportiness.

Conclusion

Unlike the Sportback, we only managed a fuel consumption figure of 13.7km/L, which is quite far from the claimed 20km/L. But it still deserves credit for that, really, considering how heavy our right foot was.

Somehow, we managed a better fuel economy of over 17km/L with the Sportback versus 13.7km/L with the Sedan


 
For a car that mixes practicality and good looks, you can be a little 'different' with the A3 Sedan without sacrificing on driveability.

Let's be honest. To stand up to a strong case like the CLA-Class requires a car that's not only stylish and sophisticated, it has to be good and economical to drive too. And the A3 Sedan ticks all these boxes.

It won't surprise us if this car undercuts its competition. What will surprise us is if the upcoming S3 Sedan can further outdo an already complete car like this one.

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Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line DOHC Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1395cc

Horsepower

:

92kW (123 bhp)

Torque

:

200 Nm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) S-tronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

9.3sec

Top Speed

:

211km/h

Fuel consumption

:

20 km/L

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