Audi A3 Sportback 1.8 TFSI S tronic (Ambiente) Review
Never too late

Story by Raymond Lai in Mallorca, Spain Photos by Audi
16 Jul 2012

With the new A3, Audi finally replaces the nine-year old second generation model. Raymond Lai had a taste of the new model in sunny Spanish island of Mallorca.

Introduction, styling

The premium compact hatchback market is about to become very exciting in the coming months. BMW fired the first salvo when it introduced the second generation five-door 1 Series late last year. Earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz debut the new generation A-Class, Volvo surprised everyone with the V40 while Audi finally showed off the highly anticipated new A3.

The three new models, together with the 1 Series are hugely important as they make up for a substantial percentage of their respective marque’s annual total sales worldwide. In the case of Audi, the new A3 is the first in nine years and only the third since 1996.  

Outwardly, the new A3 might look remarkably similar to the old model in pictures but in the flesh, the only similarities with the old model are its proportions and overall silhouette. Up front, the wedge shaped headlamps that feature a wave on their lower edges give the A3 distinctive ‘eyes’ while the Singleframe grille are chamfered on the top edges like on the A1 and A6.

Along the flanks, Audi’s signature ‘tornado’ line runs the entire length of the new model. The strong, trapezoidal C-pillar shape is especially graceful, giving the A3 an elegant profile. The new A3’s rear feature slim tail lamps that echo those at the front while the angle of the tailgate seems to mimic the Avant models’ like the A4 Avant and A6 Avant. The A3 will also be available in more practical five-door Sportback form and a four-door saloon model later on.

Compared to its nine year-old predecessor, the new A3 looks more progressive and athletic thanks to its tauter lines and slightly edgier look. When fitted with the optional S line aero kit and 18-inch wheels like the red car in the pictures here, it looks even more purposeful and sportier.

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Engine Capacity 1798cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 9.6:1
Bore x Stroke (82.5 x 84.1)mm
Power 180bhp @ 5100rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1250rpm
Power to Weight 140.6 bhp per ton


Acceleration 7.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 232 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 5.6 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed S-Tronic
Drive Type F4
Steering Hydraulic


Body Type 3 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(4310 x 1785 x 1425) mm
Wheelbase 2636 mm
Kerb Weight 1280 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 50 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs