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Price, fuel economy, range and depreciation

To expect either a petrol or diesel Sportback to get anywhere near Audi’s consumption claims is to court potentially quite severe disappointment, but only because those figures are simply not credible.

So, no, the 2.0 TDI - for example - won’t do the 67.3mpg suggested for it in normal driving, but it might quite easily manage 55mpg, which, for a car that can reach 62mph from rest in 8.7sec and carry four adults and their luggage in comfort, is still a fine achievement.

The lighter MQB platform permits efficiency gains

The same can be said for all the other units: the official claims (set under strict test conditions set for the car companies, not by them, lest we forget) are generally unachievable, but that shouldn't distract from the fact the real-world figures are good.

Any Sportback should also prove a fine long-term bet relative to most other cars in the class. A3s are not exactly rare on our roads; indeed, they have dominated the class since launch, but not even ubiquity has done much damage to residuals. We expect resale values of this third generation of A3 to stay strong for years to come.

The Sportback comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, extendable to five years only at considerable expense.