Published on February 1st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi A3 1.8 TFSI Sedan Test Drive Review
First thing you will notice is the sharper edgy design that follows its siblings. Having won the global car of the year we were looking for all the points that gave this sedan a clear win against its many rivals. After just a few minutes we were already feeling the interior quality which was definitely ahead of many of the current rivals. The cabin has been styled to offer more design flair to the mid segment buyer and Audi realising that high quality alone isn’t enough to lure buyers into showrooms.
There has to be some style on display too. The dashboard borrows the design of the TT, as do the round air vents and chrome-rimmed dials. It’s still not what you’d call revolutionary, but it’s beautifully executed. The MMI operating system has an electronically extending screen, its terminal housed in the console of the center dashboard. It features a 5.8 inch high resolution display screen and to further enhance the driving experience, the new MMI controls are conveniently positioned behind the gear shift. On top of that, the vehicle is also equipped with Audi Music Interface iPod connection, a Driver Information System and the Bluetooth mobile phone interface.
Like all modern Audis, this is a sedan that will capture the attention of designer clothing buyers. It is a designer car. The lines are taut and with attitude. There is a sense of occasion as you walk around the car. Yes, it is smaller in person that you might imagine. Its footprint is probably smaller than its cousin, the VW Jetta and they share the same powertrain.
The A3 sedan certainly offers a few mouth-watering attentions when on the road. Driving manners are impressive from ‘go’ with a cabin that feels vault like in build. The engine note is hardly heard inside. The steering immediately returns a firm responsive feedback and as you speed up, this Audi really pulls clear of the opposition as its revolutionary S Tronic Dynamic Shift Gearbox shifts quick and precisely to obtain the best compromise of power and fuel efficiency.
The S Tronic gearbox is based around a sequential manual gearbox but utilizes an ingenious twin clutch system to ensure creamy smoothness. Engage first gear and the gearbox will pre-engage second gear in advance, the second clutch engaging as soon as you flick up to slot instantly into second gear.
This means a seamless flow of power. The electronics predict what gear you’re about to engage, depending on whether you’re accelerating or braking and the result is astonishing, making many other gearboxes feel distinctly clunky. The other option is to slip it into ‘D’ and drive it like a normal automatic. Even in this mode it’s smooth.
Although BMW’s 1 Series and Mercedes’ CLA Class have arrived to challenge Audi’s A3 sedan as the premium compact executive sedan, neither can match the A3 in terms of packaging and build. Plus Audi’s engineering genius, for there is no other word to describe it, the gearbox, the build, the use of materials and the drive dynamics make for one very desirable car and a winner with us also.
Audi A3 Sedan 1.8TFSI Specifications:
Engine: 4-cylinder Direct Injection Turbo
Transmission: 7-Speed S-Tronic
Max power: 180bhp @ 5000-6000rpm
Max torque: 250Nm @ 1400-4000rpm
Top Speed: 235km/h