Audi A3 Sportback SE 2.0 TFSI DSG Review
Achtung! Dieses Auto ist die Bombe!

Andy Hum
22 Apr 2007
 

You see, it is very seldom that we get cars which we fall in love with instantly; cars which make us not want to return the keys when the time is up. And as I’m writing this, I have to say, I’m missing it already.

So you’d probably be thinking now, “What’s so good about it?” Well, let me first start with what isn’t instead. The volume control dial requires from you a little stretch, and it could do with a pair of HID headlamps. Oh, and the ride can get a little hard. And… Ok that’s about all I can honestly come up with.

So, first things first. Being in an Audi, you won’t be expecting to do any thing less than nod your head in silent approval about its build quality, even though in your heart you’re going, “Wow! I’ve been in cars which were more expensive than this, yet with lousier interior!”

And yes, it is just like that with this one, too.

Despite this being of the “base model” series, Audi has not relented on its uncompromising stance of coming up with war and child-proof interiors. There are no flimsy bits and you don’t get deluged with buttons.

Audi’s standard use of red console lighting, and also white on its instrument cluster, doesn’t mess with your head and make you think you’re in a discotheque, but it isn’t boring either.

Insano-Limo!

When my colleague, Amery, arrived in it to give me a lift the other day, I looked at it and thought, “Ah yes, that’s a gorgeous front.” Then, the first thing he said when I got in was “You’re going to love this car!” and I thought “Oh yeah, ok. Wait, why?” And then off went the tachometer needle, leaping about in delight, its engine sounding like no other four-cylinder I’ve heard before. And the gearshifts! They weren't even noticeable!

So here was a car with the same power plant as the Golf GTI, same DSG gearbox, but a world of difference in terms of cabin comfort. At each upshift, the tacho’s needle would dive and start climbing again almost instantly, while I was left staring at it amazedly.

Seven seconds is all you need to hit a hundred in this front-wheel driven car. To be exact about the sensation, it would be rather undeniable that the average bump on the road is easily more noticeable than the jerk from its gear change.

Having this sort of torque available from such low revs also means another thing – being able to use your right foot very, very lightly. Although having it isn’t something that would prove more of a hassle than help, one would need a little bit of getting used to before being able to sort your way around city traffic and jams skillfully.

All Aboard!

And while you’re at it, some proper stopping technique mixed with the A3’s superb suspension would also save you, your girlfriend and her parents in the back, from those unpleasant jerk backs every time the car comes to a complete stop. Get it right and you wouldn’t feel a thing, except maybe a pat on the shoulder from her father telling you what a really good driver you are.

Exploring around, one would find that despite its visibly smaller-sized doors, the space available in the back is adequately roomy for a car of its size - even enough to fit 3 adults snugly - and you wouldn’t need to worry about headroom unless you’re known to your friends as “Giraffe”.

That means, even if you’ve got your nuclear family to fit in for a short holiday, there’s little to worry about because you do get a decent amount of boot space. That’s 370 litres to be precise, and a hippopotamus-fitting 1120 litres if you have the rear passenger seats folded down.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1984cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 200bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 280Nm @ 1800rpm
Power to Weight 141.8 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 234 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF

Measurements

Body Type 5 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4286 x 1765 x 1423) mm
Wheelbase 2578 mm
Kerb Weight 1410 kg
Boot Capacity 370 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 55 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs