Audi’s formula of mild visual evolution cloaking total transformation under the skin is likely to prove a canny choice.

The fact is the old A3 was able to dominate the class without ever being close to its best car. Dramatically improving the product while providing the reassurance of a familiar face requiring existing customers to make no great leaps of faith should ensure their continued patronage.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Superb interior and low costs of ownership mean you can’t ignore the A3. Souless to drive

For ourselves, admire the new A3 as we do, we’d have preferred Audi to have been a little more audacious.

It could have kept the style but sexed up the substance a little to provide an appeal that might tempt not only existing customers back to the ranks but prospects who might now either return to their 1 Series, take a longer look at the Mercedes A-Class, or even consider choosing the Volkswagen Golf.

As it stands, the stronger impression left by the A3 even than how clearly good it is, is how much better even than that it could and perhaps should have been.

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