Tony O'Kane | May 24, 2013

The third generation of Audi's A3 range has gone on sale in Australia, and with sharp new pricing, it's here to please.

Kicking off the range is the A3 Attraction 1.4 TFSI, wearing a dramatically reduced pricteag of $35,600 - a drop of $5600.

Other models in the range have fallen by up to $4000, and although the new A3 is substantially more affordable, Audi has lifted the amount of standard equipment in each model.

The 2.0 TFSI quattro and ultra-efficient 1.4 TFSI with cylinder deactivation won't arrive until the third quarter of this year, though, and those keen on the $65,000 S3 Sportback will have to wait until the fourth quarter.

However, the front-wheel drive variants are definitely compelling options in the small luxury hatch segment - a segment that Audi claims it invented with the first-gen A3 back in 1996.


Mechanical Package

Four engines are available: two petrol and two diesel.


The entrypoint is a 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol four with 90kW and 200Nm, which is fitted to the A3 Attraction 1.4 TFSI and shares its outputs with the outgoing model.

But while power and torque are unchanged, the engine is an entirely new design and is optimised for fuel efficiency.

Average fuel economy for the 1.4 drops to 5.0 litres per 100km, and acceleration from zero to 100km/h takes 9.4 seconds - a tenth of a second quicker than before.

Aluminium front guards and an aluminium bonnet help drop weight and shift the A3's centre of gravity further towards the centre, and in 1.4 TFSI trim the A3 weighs 85kg less than the outgoing model.

This weight reduction - as well as the refinements of the all-new 1.4 litre engine - help explain the 1.4 TFSI's efficiency gains.

The standard gearbox remains a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox. Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters as standard in all models.

In fact, all A3 engines bar the 2.0 TDI are now equipped with a seven-speed auto as standard, with the 1.8 TFSI manual having being dropped from the range. The 2.0 TDI makes do with a six-speed S tronic 'box.

The 1.8 litre TFSI engine is available in the high-grade Ambition trim, and is a thoroughly reworked development of the previous 1.8 litre engine.

Power for the 1.8 rises from 118kW to 132kW (making this the most poweful A3 on sale until the arrival of the 2.0 TFSI in a few months), while torque remains the same at 250Nm.

Fuel economy averages at 5.6 l/100km, and straight-line performance borders on hot-hatch territory with a 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds.


The entry engine in the diesel range is the 1.6 TDI, offering 77kW at 3000-4000rpm and 250Nm between 1500-2750rpm.

Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, the 1.6 diesel lists fuel use at 3.9 l/100km. Audi promises a 0-100km/h time of 10.9 seconds.

Topping the diesel duo is the 2.0 TDI, producing 110kW at 3500-4000rpm and 320Nm of torque from 1750 to 3000rpm.

Again available only with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, the 2.0 diesel's fuel use is rated at 4.5 l/100km. The 0-100km/h is a considerably quicker 8.4 seconds.


Features & Dimensions

Two trim grades are available with the new A3, depending on the engine. The entry 1.4 TFSI and 1.6 TDI engines are matched to the Attraction package, while the 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TDI engines get the Ambition trim.

Features standard with the Attraction package include 16-inch alloy wheels, leather-appointed upholstery, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers, and a multi-function leather steering wheel with paddle shifters.

There's also Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, and an electrically-retracted 5.8 inch colour display with eight speaker audio.

Upgrading to Ambition adds 17-inch wheels, leather-appointed sports seats up front, high-gloss accents with aluminium window surrounds, front fog lights, full-colour driver information system, Audi Drive Select and a three-spoke multi-function leather steering wheel with paddles.

Standard safety features on all models include driver and passenger airbags, side airbags up front, head-level curtain airbag, driver's knee airbag, and electronic stability control with ABS, ASR and EDL.

The new A3's wheelbase is 58mm longer than the current A3 Sportback - improving rear seat head and legroom - and contributes to a 78mm growth in overall length.

Rear storage capacity is listed at 380 litres with the second row seats upright, and 1220 when laid flat.


PRICING (excludes on-road costs)

  • A3 Sportback - 1.4 TFSI - $35,600
  • A3 Sportback - 1.6 TDI - $36,500
  • A3 Sportback - 1.8 TFSI - $42,500
  • A3 Sportback - 2.0 TDI - $42,500

NOTE: The top-shelf S3 Sportback will arrive in December, priced at around $65,000 (confirmed).



Style package (Attraction models only) - $2000

- Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
- 17-inch alloy wheels, 5-arm ‘kinetic’ design

Style package (Ambition models only) - $2000

- Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
- 18-inch alloy wheels, 5-arm ‘dynamic’ design
- Sports suspension with a lowered ride height of 15mm

Technik package (Attraction and Ambition models) - $2990

- MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, including 7.0-inch colour display monitor
- Audi parking assist with rear view camera

Comfort package (Attraction and Ambition models) - $2200

- Electrically adjustable front seats with electric lumbar support
- Heated front seats, convenience key
- Auto dimming interior mirror, Exterior mirrors electric fold, heated with kerb view

Assistance package (Attraction and Ambition models only) - $1800

- Adaptive cruise control including pre-sense basic
- Lane departure warning, High beam assist

S line sports package (Ambition models only) - $4200

- S line exterior package, S line sports package
- 18-inch aluminium wheels
- Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights


Drive a new Audi A3 from $36,500*

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