We’ve been impressed with the new A3 in a couple of different diesel guises, but this is our first time behind the wheel of the 1.4-litre TFSI petrol model.

Putting out 122hp, the three-door A3 won’t have you pining for more potent versions, especially when you factor in a 15% BIK banding thanks to emissions of 120g/km. And being petrol, that undercuts all but the 105hp 1.6 TDI diesel because of diesel’s current 3% BIK penalty.

The Audi also beats its BMW 1-series rival for whole life cost, thanks to a better RV and emitting 12g/km less CO2, which along with being a couple of hundred pounds cheaper, spins out to a 3.5p per mile victory for this Sport spec against a BMW 116i 3dr Sport model.

The new A3 is a big step forward in driving terms over its predecessor, but the balance sheet case is just as strong, and in the case of this TFSI petrol model, it makes a lot of sense for those drivers not covering big miles.

Audi A3 1.4 TFSi 122 Sport 3dr
P11D price £20,375
Model price range £-£
Fuel consumption 54.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 120g/km (15%)
BIK 20/40% per month £51/£102
Service interval variable miles
Insurance (1-50) group 18
Warranty 3yrs/60,000 mls
Boot space min/max 365/1100 litres
Engine size/power 1395cc/122hp
Top speed/0-62mph 126mph/9.3secs
On sale September 2012
Score 8/10
Verdict Another example of
the growing appeal
of petrol engines