Most economical premium small hatchback is now an Audi
29 December 2009

Audi has launched a new version of its A3 hatchback that averages 74.3mpg and emits 99g/km of CO2.

As a result it the cleanest and most economical premium small hatchback on sale.

A start-stop system, smaller 15-inch wheels, improved aerodynamics, reduced ride height and a revised final drive ratio all contribute to the low emissions.

It is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine, and achieves the same performance figures as the equivalent standard A3: 0-60mph in 11.4sec and a top speed of 121mph.

To keep weight down, the car is only available as a three-door hatchback, with one trim option and a five-speed manual gearbox.

It costs £18,005 - £500 more than the equivalent standard 1.6 TDI model without the economy tweaks. The standard car averages 68.9mpg and emits 109g/km CO2.

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Our Verdict

Audi A3

Third generation Audi A3 has been given a mild facelift, more equipment, some new engines, a new hot model, but is the three-door version the cream of the premium hatch crop?

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Comments
21

29 December 2009

This all sounds good to me its cheaper than some Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus equivalent models with a premium badge too although the A3 is getting a bit old and dull now!

29 December 2009

Does sound quite good, but £18k is a lot to buy a new hatcback that has been arround since 2003 with a 105bhp diesel engine and 15" wheels. Having said that, as pointed out Ford or Vauxhall would charge even more. Shame cars are so expensive these days...

29 December 2009

Im curious here. How do smaller diameter wheels improve fuel consumption ?

I acknowledge that narrower tyres at higher pressure create less rolling resistance. Easy to experience this by pumping narrow tyres up hard on a bike and finding I can race 10% faster but I am flummoxed by diameter affecting performance.

Come on all you armchair experts you must have the answer .

29 December 2009

They have a lower rolling resistance. Therefore they use less fuel and therefore chuck out less CO2

(They glide better over the rollers on the rolling road that the official tests are done on)

I suspect. as with most "green" versions of mpst models, you'll hvae to rev it to death to get it to go, thus causing MORE pollutants in to the atmosphere

29 December 2009

15” wheels with decent, narrower/higher profile tyres are the way to go in my opinion if you want a better ride combined with better feel from the steering and lower rolling resistance for improved economy.

Lunatic massive wheels with very low profile wide tyres are only good for showroom appeal for marketing departments and nerd head owners!

As for the engine, it is a diesel so you won’t have to rev it to bits to extract the performance. A brilliant achievement by Audi on what is a very good car.

Loving life in France with my Springers

29 December 2009

What annoys me is yet another car with a £500 premium for energy saving features that BMW adds as standard across a wide range of engines/models not just a 1.6TDi and 1.4 TSi.

These features should be standard and not just on Audi's but VW, Ford ect rather than a £500 premium. Afterall car markers are harping on about making cars more economical just charging the customer a premium for it!!

29 December 2009

Another 'green' car that's pointless for the UK company car drivers at the moment - it's still 13% BIK if it's 99g/km or 119g/km.. and that doesn't change until 2012 I believe.

29 December 2009

74.3mpg? Does that figure bare any relationship to what this car achieves in day-to-day driving under combined urban/extra urban/combined driving etc...Or is it a completely artificial set of figures that no driver could ever achieve? Am highly dubious about such claims, but willing to be proved wrong, for my doubting Thomas thoughts...

Its getting on a bit the A3 though, MkVI Golf is looking a better purchase than this car and its more or less exactly the same in terms of image and badge now.

29 December 2009

I have a 2007 A3 sportback with the 1.9tdi engine and can get 52mpg so I think 74 is possible with the newer engine, better aero and lower weight of the three door. Thing is this car is just to keep interest up (ie release the press pack to autocar and send out a few demo models to grab some headlines) before the new one arrives in 2011 or 2012. The 1 series is also due for a refresh then so should be some fierce competition in this segement and we have yet to see what Merc comes up with to replace the A, although rumour has it it will be far more conventional.

R32

29 December 2009

A good achievement by Audi, especially for getting the CO2 below the all-important 100g/km which makes the car exempt from road tax. How long now before the UK government moves the goalposts yet again with the car tax bandings and 80g/km becomes the new "target" for motor manufacturers to try to reach? That'll be when the new Audi A3 "Get Out And Push" Limited Edition will be launched...

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