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Awards 2011 - Lower Medium: Audi A3

Date: 25 January 2011

This year, the Audi A3 has stolen the lower medium baton from last year's winner the BMW 1-series.

Audi has raised its game in the environmental stakes, introducing an entry-level 1.6-litre 105hp diesel that falls below the golden 100g/km CO2 emissions mark, making it an attractive choice for business car buyers. Owners of the three-door iteration will pay benefit-in-kind tax at the 13% rate and get a satisfying 74.3mpg according to official figures.

The carmaker has made sure to cater for every eventuality with the A3 range - while motorists can opt for the ultra-green model as mentioned, at the other end of the spectrum is the 265hp 2.0-litre S3 capable of 0-62mph in 5.7secs with emissions of 198g/km.

The Sportback brings greater practicality thanks to its five doors and extra boot space, while the A3 Cabriolet upped the car's kerbside appeal when it was added to the range in 2008.