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.

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