Currently reading: New Audi A3 saloon gets mild hybrid and coupe looks
Echoing the latest A3 Sportback, the three-box A3 also receives an interior overhaul and is said to handle more precisely than its predecessor
Rachel Burgess
News
3 mins read
21 April 2020

The new Audi A3 saloon adopts the same technologies as the recently revealed A3 Sportback, with mild-hybrid powertrains, refined suspension and a heavily revised interior.

Stylistically, the second-generation A3 saloon is only subtly updated over its predecessor but it is intended to have a more coupé-like appearance.

Although the saloon accounts for only a fifth of overall A3 sales in the UK, the bodystyle is popular in other markets, such as China, as proven by the recent flurry of new introductions in the segment, including the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé and Mercedes-Benz A-Class saloon.

The booted A3 is longer, wider and taller than before, creating an extra 2cm of head room in the front and more elbow room, while boot space remains unchanged, at 425 litres. The car sits on the same updated MQB platform as the new Volkswagen Golf. The platform is claimed to be lighter yet also more rigid than the one it replaces.

It receives digital daytime running lights, made up of 15 LEDs, for the first time. Certain trim derivatives have an individual light signature to set them apart.

Aerodynamics are better than the outgoing model’s thanks to a higher rear end and large diffuser. The car achieves a Cd value of 0.25, 0.04 better than previously. A controllable cooling-air inlet with two electrically actuated louvre modules behind the grille regulates the flow of air according to the situation.

The standout engine is a 148bhp 1.5-litre TFSI petrol unit with 48V mild-hybrid technology, first announced in the A3 Sportback. Available only when paired with Audi’s S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, it can recover 16bhp during deceleration, supports the engine with up to 37lb ft of torque when driving off and can coast with its engine off for up to 40sec. It promises a 10% improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as low as 107g/km.

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There are two other engine choices at launch: the same 35 TFSI with 148bhp but with a six-speed manual transmission and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel delivering 148bhp and paired with a seven-speed S tronic.

Later, a 114bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel will arrive alongside a 108bhp 1.0-litre 30 TFSI three-cylinder petrol. The 30 TFSI engine will be available as a 48V mild hybrid in dual-clutch guise. Two plug-in hybrid variants will go on sale further down the line.

Audi claims the new saloon has been tuned to be sporty and “a touch more precise” than the first-generation saloon. This is largely attributed to a new, centralised dynamic handling system that ensures optimal interaction between all components. Alongside the standard set-up, there is a sport suspension option and a suspension with adaptive dampers, which promises a breadth between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling.

The most dramatic difference for Audi aficionados will be the A3 saloon’s interior. As first seen in the Sportback, Audi has decreased the number of physical controls and ditched its familiar rotary controller in the centre console. For those models with a dual-clutch ’box, there is a new shifter sitting in a black gloss surround. Also in the minimalist centre console is a round, sensory volume controller that reacts to circular finger movements.

There is a 10.25in digital instrument display and a 10.1in infotainment touchscreen is angled slightly towards the driver, while a new climate control unit below it replaces rotary dials with buttons.

The infotainment system, the third-generation MMI Navigation Plus, promises computer power 10 times better than that of its predecessor. Features include up to six user profiles, a wi-fi hotspot, online traffic information and improved natural voice control. For example, ask “Where’s the nearest Italian restaurant?” and the sat-nav system will show those nearby. As well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant will become available soon after launch.

First deliveries are expected in July, but pricing is yet to be announced. In Germany, the new model starts from €27,700 (approximately £24,100) for the three-cylinder 30 TFSI.

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Comments
25

21 April 2020
You do know what a coupe look like?
It's a saloon.

21 April 2020
Zeddy wrote:

You do know what a coupe look like? It's a saloon.

My thoughts exactly. Audi are good at styling 3 box saloons. They have been since the DKW days. This is just another one in that line. 

21 April 2020

Yet another utterly boring Audi. Am i right that Audi,s head of design said about 2 years ago that the company was going to change their design language . Well to my eyes this looks like Audi from 10 years ago and has not one stand alone design feature. Utterly devoid of any emotional looks. Its a design done in a lunch break, what the hell does their chief of design get paid for \I ask. yep their will be a point where knobs and buttons will return instead of oh we have the biggest most anoying touch screen in our cars syndrone, And has been said Coupe this certainly is not ! 3 box saloon Audi that what it is. Leave coupes to the French and Italians 

21 April 2020

Another thing I said it has no stand out features well it has those dredful front bumper silver air intake surrounds what are they all about? looks like an amature has got a spray can out they aint good looking thats for sure

21 April 2020

only in the sense my mountain bike looks like a hatchback

21 April 2020
Since when does this look like a coupe?
It's a three box saloon. End of.

And what's with this obsession of getting rid of physical buttons for functions by manufacturers?

One day they will say

'Hey you know instead of going through a menu on a touch screen to choose a function, let's design it so you just have to press a button instead!'

Pathetic and down right dangerous these new interiors.

21 April 2020
asif wrote:

Since when does this look like a coupe?
It's a three box saloon. End of.

And what's with this obsession of getting rid of physical buttons for functions by manufacturers?

One day they will say

'Hey you know instead of going through a menu on a touch screen to choose a function, let's design it so you just have to press a button instead!'

Pathetic and down right dangerous these new interiors.

21 April 2020
Not a bad looking saloon, can't see anything of the coupe look though.

21 April 2020

Always find the A3 hatchback pointless (the Golf in whichever generation almost always looks better) but it is the A3 saloon that deserves to succeed where the Jetta fails.

PS - My posts are frequently rejected by Autocar's Spam Control even though I never put in embedded links, anyone else has silimlar experience?

21 April 2020

Like every single person above me mentioned, this is as classic a sedan as can be. If this is a coupe, then the Sportback is a roadster.

Much like the previous gen, it looks much better than the hatch imo. Shame about that absolutely hideous dash.

 

abkq wrote:

PS - My posts are frequently rejected by Autocar's Spam Control even though I never put in embedded links, anyone else has silimlar experience?

I got locked out of my account for three days because of " too many log in attempts ". " Too many " being one. One attempt. So yeah, it's not doing great. Otoh, there's a lot less spam than there used to be, so... 

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