Audi, BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes have been battling it out to be the best German automaker for years and this year Audi has released their 2013 A3 setting the bar rather high for the other manufacturers to follow. The car is noticeably bigger than the previous model but you only feel it when you walk around it.
As soon as you sit in the semi bucket seats, not factory standard you automatically feel like you belong in the driver’s seat. It is a place, which will be comfortable for driving for hours on end. Arranging the driving position is a breeze, as steering column can be moved up and down as well as closer or further away from the driver.
Gadgets are abundant on this car from the screen that neatly pops in to the dash when not in use all the way to Audi MMI system that lets you to play with pretty much every setting on the car.
S-Tronic Gearbox needed a little getting used to at first, smooth up and down changes in D and if there is need to overtake downshift with the flappy paddle. When I first drove it, the auto box didn’t hang on to gears and will up change at around 2000 revs to save fuel that annoyed me when I wanted to push the car. Drop the gearbox in to Sport mode and this quiet car completely changes. It feels like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde made a car. The gear changes are more savage holding onto gears as long as possible pushing you to blip just below the red line. In Sport the engine noise can be heard in the cabin however is not intrusive to the driver.
After sitting idle in the car did I realize that the Audi MMI let me personalize my driving experience, determining how long I wanted the lights to stay on after I locked the car, volume of the radio at start-up and so on. As being a bit of a tech freak, I went through all the options available.
Driving a car like this puts you in a false sense of security that the roads are actually smooth and supple even though they are ridden with potholes, right up to the point you hit one and damage your new alloy wheels. I’m normally for the larger option wheels on most cars but I feel with this car, the ride will change for the worse if you opt for the larger option wheels. One thing I missed were the Xenon headlights which do not come as standard, and was overlooked on the options list.
A word of warning, if you intend on purchasing such a car, go with a budget set and with options marked out as the amount of options on the list can be time-consuming and you will soon see the price rising extensively. Other than that, it’s a great car and will surely stand the test of time.
Power output: 105 bhp
CO2 emissions: 102 g/km
Fuel efficiency: Combined 72.4 mpg