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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
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PROS

  • Distinctive Audi styling
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good range of engines

CONS

  • Not as engaging as rivals
  • Not as practical as hatchback

Verdict

The Audi A3 saloon is the firm’s response to the Mercedes-Benz CLA - a car based on a hatchback, styled like a coupe but having four doors and a boot.

It’s aimed primarily at Chinese and American markets where hatchbacks aren’t very popular.

At 150mm longer than the five-door A3 Sportback it's based on, the cabin is larger and the boot has an extra 45 litres of boot space.

On the road it actually performs very well indeed. It’s quiet and refined on the move and feels pretty comfortable too.

In terms of looks, the A3 saloon is likely to appeal to those who traditionally would have been stuck with a hatchback. If you want a ‘big Audi’ then this is the cheapest way to get into one.

One diesel and two petrol engines

There are three engines available upon the launch of the A3 Sportback – two petrol offerings coupled with Audi’s excellent seven-speed S Tronic semi-automatic gearbox and one diesel option available with a six-speed manual ‘box.

In terms of running costs, the cheapest will be the 2.0-litre diesel engine. It offers 148bhp and 320Nm, which means a sprint to 62mph in 8.4 seconds with a top speed of 132mph. Fuel economy is this car’s main advantage, with a claimed 68.9mpg possible while CO2 emissions are 107g/km. That means road tax will be cheap and it’ll also be favourable as a company car.

Next up is a 1.4-litre petrol engine which thanks to clever cylinder-on-demand technology (which shuts down two of the four cylinders when not in use, saving significant amounts of fuel) boasts similar statistics. It’ll hit 62mph in 8.4 seconds with a top speed of 135mph. CO2 emissions are 109g/km while claimed fuel economy is slightly less than the diesel at 60.1mpg.

Best performance comes from a 1.8-litre petrol engine which produces 178bhp and 250Nm for a sprint to 62mph in 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 144mph. Claimed fuel economy for this one is 50.4mpg and CO2 emissions are 129g/km, meaning it’ll be a bit more expensive to tax.

Long list of equipment

As standard on all A3 saloons are alloy wheels, air conditioning, digital radio with a seven-inch folding display screen, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free preparation with voice control and a multi-function steering wheel to control multimedia functions.

Being a premium German car, there is also a huge range of optional extras available for the A3 Saloon. Audio system upgrades, LED front lighting systems and a host of additional safety features are likely to prove popular with buyers.

To find out more, read on for our full and comprehensive Audi A3 saloon review.

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