Still, our car rode a not-perfect German test route well, showing off taut but compliant damping. Over the very poorest of sections that we encountered (of which there were few) there was more of the tell-tale noise and fidget from the A3's MQB underpinnings, but certainly not enough to cause concern.
The A3's party piece, though, is its interior quality, and it's still class-leading in that respect. Dense, soft materials, beautifully damped switches and cold-to-the-touch metallic surfaces adorn the cabin, giving it real class-above appeal.
Our car's brilliant Virtual Cockpit can now be added as part of a pricey £1395 Advanced Technology Package (on Sport and S Line models only), but we'd say it's worth the extra cash if you can afford it. Vitally, it's clear and easy to use, but is also visually superb. Once you consider the pack also includes Audi's larger-screened Navigation Plus infotainment system, advanced online services and wireless smartphone charging (if your phone supports it, that is), it looks to be of fairly good value.
Two tall adults won't feel confined in the front seats, while the driver will find it easy to manually adjust his or her nicely-supportive seat and the steering wheel to their desired position. Like its closest rivals, the A3's rear seats are best at catering for two further adults rather than three. Those two passengers will find good shoulder and head room available, and also good knee room, so long as those in the front aren't unusually lanky. Boot space is unchanged at a competitive 365 litres, remaining easily accessible and practically shaped.
Should I buy one?
The new A3 is every bit as spacious, refined and luxurious as it was before, and despite a slight price increase, manages to make more financial sense thanks to some genuinely desirable bits of equipment being thrown in for 2016.
Gone are the days of S line Audis shaking your teeth out, but even so, we'd be tempted further down the range if shopping for a Sportback. We'd particularly recommend an SE Technick, which asks just £495 more than entry-level SE trim, but delivers sat-nav, rear parking sensors, different 16in alloys and three months of online services - all on top of the SE's now inflated base kit.
Company car drivers may be tempted elsewhere from this particular version too; there's a plethora of similarly powerful automatic premium hatches (not to mention A3s) that emit less CO2 and keep tax bills lower. However, few can claim the A3's quality inside while ticking as many further boxes as it does for the buyer.
Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S tronic
Location: Munich, Germany; On sale: Now; Price £28,835; Engine 4 cyls, 1968cc, turbocharged, diesel; Power 148bhp at 3500-4000rpm; Torque 251lb ft at 1750-3000rpm; Gearbox 6-spd automatic; Kerb weight 1320kg; Top speed 135mph; 0-62mph 8.3sec; Economy 61.4mpg; CO2 rating & BIK tax band 120g/km / 24%