There’s very little that’s actually wrong here, but that’s a long way from saying the chassis is exactly as it should be.

It should first be said that Audi should be commended in making this A3 ride like no other A3 in history. All the old shimmer and shake over rough surfaces has gone, replaced by a silken fluency much closer to what you might hope from a limousine than what you might have expected from most Audis of the recent and not so recent past.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
There is not the deftness of damping to render it immune to mid-corner bumps

At low speed there’s still a little patter over rougher surfaces but nothing you’d not find in its leading competitors.

So Audi has fixed one of the A3’s traditional dynamic weaknesses. Sadly the other remains, at least in part. The new car is a more capable cross country runner offering both improved accuracy and body control, but it’s still not an actively fun car to drive.

While Audi may share its MQB underpinnings with VW, SEAT and Skoda, it is free to tune it any way it sees fit, so it perhaps no surprise seeing it prioritise stability over agility and ride over handling. Driving the A3 fast is at best a mildly pleasurable and only fleetingly diverting experience. You might enjoy a run up a decent road in the car but it’s hard to see it tempting you to seek one out or remembering it for long thereafter.

The steering lacks feel, the chassis the kind of throttle adjustability to encourage committing to a corner.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Premium hatches

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Audi range

Driven this week

  • Audi RS4 Avant
    First Drive
    22 January 2018
    We get our hands on the barnstorming Audi RS4 Avant in the UK to see if this fast family estate can take the fight to the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate
  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty