It’s impressive for any small family car to emit less than 100 g/km but Audi must get a special mention for getting a premium model below the threshold. They have however resorted to desperate measures as the qualifying A3 is only available as a 3 door and only in entry-level ‘Standard’ trim.
It shares the same 1.6 TDI engine as other A3 models but thanks to a reduced ride height and underbody revisions to reduce drag, 15 inch alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tyres and a higher final drive ratio, CO2 emissions dip under 100 g/km. Audi has kept a distinctly retro 5 speed manual gearbox, presumably to keep a lid on costs.
If you like craftsmanship and refinement you’ll love the A3. Wind and engine noise are kept to a minimum whilst the interior makes extensive use of high quality materials. The flip side of German engineering is that while everything is beautifully put together, it does miss the flair of some Italian and French design.
The 1.6 TDI engine offers adequate rather than sparkling performance but it’s on a par with other sub- 100 g/km models. The A3 isn’t the most entertaining car to drive in the class but it is composed and there is some fun to be had. As long as B road storming isn’t top of your list the A3 won’t disappoint.
The combination of a premium badge and sub 100 g/km CO2 emissions is compelling. In addition, the Audi A3 lives up to the premium tag with top-notch build quality and desirability. The fact that the sub-100 g/km model is only available in 3 door spec does limit the practicality and Standard trim does limit the toys but it’s impressive nonetheless.