Fleet World Fleet: Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI S Line
With me coming out of a Volvo, and fellow long-term tester Julian going into one, his A3 was going spare – so I nabbed it.
First thoughts, despite the winter muck, is that the latest A3 looks the part in Daytona Grey. With its chunky wheel arches, it is aggressive, squat and sporty. This is helped with the optional 18-inch wheels, which only just fill the arches.
The sporty design is carried on through to the interior, with the impressively comfortable, heated sports seats and flat-bottomed steering wheel. Completing the dynamic package is the drive. The 148hp, 35 TFSI engine, here with slick six-speed manual transmission, is gutsy. Being an S line and on bigger wheels, the ride is harder than standard, but in ‘Comfort’ mode it’s more agreeable than you might expect. The handling is tidy, and the optional progressive steering is impressively responsive.
Yet, with careful driving and cylinder deactivation, this A3 achieves economy figures to rival my previous hybrid long-termer.
Niggles? I like a good manual gearbox in a hot hatch, but in stop/start traffic I wish this car had the S tronic auto. Plus, the interior could be of better quality.
P11d (BiK): £27,275 (31%) MPG/CO2: 45.6mpg/140g/km Test MPG: 35mpg