Audi A3 Sportback: fuel economy

Old technology still impresses

The A3 Sportback uses a 140bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine which has since been pensioned off.

Mid-2008 when the A3 range was revised significantly, Audi began replacing its old-style 'pumpe duse' diesel engines in favour of a fuel injection system called 'common rail' - more widely used by other manufacturers.

Although the old-style PD engine delivers punchy performance, it is rather noisy compared with many other modern diesel engines.

However, it certainly does its job very well. Although the car's trip computer might not be 100 per cent accurate - I plan to carry out my own fuel consumtpion calculations in due course - it regularly shows the Sportback to be achieving more than 50mpg.

This is quite satisfying given the performance of the car, and also offers a realistic travelling range of more than 600 miles on a tank of diesel.

My previous car, a Volvo V50, has an engine of similar size and power output, and although a little quieter than the one in the Audi, I was never able to achieve more than 50mpg in 9,000 miles of driving.

I often hear people who like talking about the greasy bits of engines mention that they 'loosen up' as the mileage increases, and if this is the case, it could be true that with nearly 40,000 miles under its belt, the Audi is performing better now than it would have done as a new car.

Current mileage: 38046

Average mpg: 51.4