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Audi A3 Sportback 1.0 TFSI Sport review

Date: 09 January 2017   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £21,940
Key rival: BMW 1-series
On sale: May 2016

Updated for 2016, the revised Audi A3 Sportback brought a tweaked design, enhanced standard kit and a couple of new engines to the range, most importantly this one: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, which became the new entry point to the line-up.

Although on paper you wouldn't expect this little three-cylinder engine to deliver much, out on the road it's a surprise package, performing admirably on the motorway and nippy around the town. Combined fuel economy of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 104g/km is also impressive for a petrol car.

Our test car is on larger 17-inch alloys, which drops fuel economy to 60.1mpg and raises emissions to 107g/km - still very good figures ­- and we achieved close to 50mpg while on test on a variety of trips.

Mated to a six-speed manual, the engine is smooth and refined. There's plenty of grip in the corners, and the different driving modes available make tangible differences to the throttle response.

As well as offering a comfortable ride, the 116hp and 200Nm of torque proved more than enough power to help the car gather speeds quickly, officially completing the 0-62mph benchmark sprint in a fraction under 10 seconds.

Elegant interior

The A3 Sportback offers one of the best interiors in the segment and these latest revisions bring technology like the excellent Virtual Cockpit and Audi Phonebox, seen elsewhere in the Audi line-up, to the range.

Standard kit now includes cruise control, xenon or LED headlamps, and automatic lights and wipers, and there's also a range of new driver-assist systems on offer including traffic jam assist and rear cross-traffic assist.

Inside

Available in four trims - SE, SE Technik, Sport and S-line - our test car is in Sport spec and comes equipped with Audi Drive Select, which offers differing driving modes, including Sport and Comfort, satnav, sports seats, dual-zone climate control and cruise control. There is no rear parking sensors, though - they cost an extra £425, which is disappointing.

Space for four

It may not be the most spacious of its rivals, but there should be enough leg and headroom on offer to satisfy four adults over long journeys and the boot is a decent size at 380 litres.

Inside the cabin there's plenty of cubbies to store your items on the move too, and it's easy to find a comfortable driving position. There are no lights to illuminate the visor mirrors, though, a pet hate of ours.

Side

Fit and finish is excellent throughout. We're particular fans of the air vent design and rotary dial, which makes life easy navigating around the various infotainment functions on offer.

Whole-life costs

As we've already alluded to, fuel economy and CO2 figures are excellent for this 1.0-litre engine, far superior to comparable rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Residual values stack up well too at 38.7% based on three years and 60,000 miles. A whole-life cost figure of 47.3p beats the 1-series but cannot quite compete with the A-class's 46.9p figure, largely because it's the cheapest of the three cars.

Audi A3 Sportback 1.0 TFSI Sport

Model price range: £19,985-£36,010
Residual value: 38.7%
Depreciation: £13,440
Fuel: £5,180
Service, maintenance and repair: £1,891
Vehicle Excise Duty: £40
National insurance: £1,817
Cost per mile: 47.3p
Fuel consumption: 60.1mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 107g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £66/£132
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 380 litres
Engine size/power: 999cc/115hp

Verdict


Mild update brings versatile 1.0-litre petrol engine to the range plus more kit as standard
8/10
  • Strong whole-life costs
  • Impressive performance
  • Elegant interior
  • Missing key standard kit, expensive options

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