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      Audi A3 40TFSI Review

      Aditya Chatterjee

      Aditya Chatterjee

      Opening

      2014 Audi A3 40TFSI Review

      A common perception about entry level cars is that even though they are reasonable and practical, they aren’t any fun to drive. They just get you an entry ticket to the luxury club. We did agree to this and advocated the same till this compact sharp looking sedan appeared from nowhere.

      What you are looking at is much more than just a fast Audi. It is the youngest of the lot, seriously minds being compared to its siblings and demands all your attention. The A3, which is the only sedan in its class, has already got the ball rolling with a fantastic response post its launch. The company has also become the first luxury car manufacturer to cross the 10,000 sales mark for 2014 in India.

      Audi A3 Final Poster Lite

      Taking advantage of the modern MQB front-drive architecture, Audi’s sedan spun over the hatch seems to have worked all over. Should we be already calling the A3 the best compact sedan in the world? We reveal... 

      Appearance Exterior

      Don’t be judgemental about this young Mister. Yes, it is ‘similar’ with certain family cues but take a closer look and you would agree that the A3 is more attractive than its other siblings as the lines and features on this one are more prominent and definite.

      Audi A3 Photos 16

      Stream lined lights with a well defined multi slats radiator grille. The 40TFSI is offered in Premium Plus only and thus Bi-Xenon headlamps with day time running lights form a part of standard equipment. The longish hood gets creases on its sides to make sure every bit of air is cut properly lowering resistance against it. Front bumper gets wide air scoops with a splitter chiselled underneath.

      A wedged line makes the extreme ends of its length meet in unison. The B-pillar along with the quarter panel is neatly blackened, revealing only the upper outline with a more stretched than normal end pillar. The 40TFSI also gets 17-inch five spoke alloys as standard fitment being sportier than other trims.

      Audi A3 Photos 20

      The boot lid is short and crisp with dropping shoulder line. All LED tail-lamps with intricate detailing make them the best looking in the entire line-up. Similar to other versions, there are twin exhaust pipes done in chrome neatly tucked under the rear bumper. Audi’s efforts of making the young A3 look compact, stylish and modern at the same time uniquely familiar is commendable. There is a certain level of sophistication which the A3 endorses in style.

       

      Appearance Interior

      They made the interiors more engaging making it feel top notch. Build quality is tough and trims feel strong but when did Germans make anything otherwise. They feel the usual Audi with new introductions in shape and style which include the bond style retractable MMI Screen.

      Audi A3 Pictures 9

      The only bits which I need time to accept are the turbine styled air con vents. They somehow don’t match with the otherwise straights and squares. Leaving that to a subjective choice, one can’t deny its merits. The air diffuser can be pointed to a particular direction. The amount of air flow can also be controlled by twisting the chrome rings around it. Both of which are unique and useful.

      The 7” retractable slim infotainment MMI screen gets all my votes for being the coolest feature as it smoothly rises from the dashboard and descends gently inside in just one touch. If the screen is not enough, then 20GB worth of on-board storage space surely will keep you engaged. Pair your phone, listen to music via USB/Aux-in or even use Bluetooth telephony, the list of features in this baby Audi are as good as the ones seen on higher models. All part of Audi’s top down strategy to make the consumers feel uncompromised.

      Audi A3 Pictures 5

      The 40TFSI has an all black interiors with leather clad seats. Both front row seats can be power adjusted to desired position. There is enough area for front occupants and the seats offer generous level of comfort and support with sufficient bolstering. They will prove to be fatigue free be it on long trips or short city outings.

      The rear seats are still not a very dear place to be in as the space offered is tight. Taller passengers have to be on a constant look out to make sure their knees don’t run with front seats. Deal breaker? No...Not really. The have made this one for the young and self driven ones, while the rear seats need not have passengers at all. In case one still insists to sit behind, especially for them kinds, Audi has a business line battle ship called the A6...for a few dollars more.

      Audi A3 Pictures 11

       

      Performance Drive

      When it comes to entry level premium cars with great handling, BMW 1-series is the best followed by the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. With such strong benchmarks, the A3 had to prove a point rather a tough mark against them. It uses a modern front wheel drive system. They have got the infrastructure right and also paced up the heart at a mighty 180hp, which would keep the other two gasping for air.

      Audi A3 Photos 17

      Powering the 40TFSI is a familiar 1.8-liter petrol engine, which also hauls the new Skoda Octavia however, the one in A3 feels young and zesty compared to the family sedan puller. This unit makes a healthy 250Nm of torque from as little as 1250 rpm. Unlike the diesel, which feels a bit lazy before it builds those torque numbers, the TFSI often wants to be revved hard. They have made one zippy, fast performance sedan which otherwise would do its share of rubber burning on a track but prefers to stay planted and offer as much enthusiasm on normal streets.

      While you make a list of cars that handle well, the A3 will surely find its way somewhere on the top as it feels too nimble and agile. Saying that, take it around corners at higher speeds and the body chooses to maintain its stance in sync with the turning lines. I wouldn’t think twice before calling it a better handler than the A4.

      Audi A3 Pictures 2

      Not just compact dimensions but also enough punch from the heart to back it up in confidence. The dual clutch seven-speed gearbox works at tandem and its precision is exemplary. The advantage of this gearbox is once you have engaged a particular gear; the other is waiting to be activated thus reducing the intermittent shift timings. We did miss the playful shifter pedals behind the steering wheel as the manual option is on the stick itself.

      In D-mode, the A3 is at its ideal best where it behaves like a scholar who knows it all. We drove in the D-mode in city traffic and the engine felt peppy enough to take it bravely. Shift it to S and this otherwise matured being changes into a rebellious character.

      It makes you wonder if this is just a premium sedan or a performance car and truly it manages to endorse the latter with great attitude. In the S-mode, the engine holds on to its free revving speeds making it redline till the last drop of power is squeezed out. All this without any stress as the next gear is up and ready to fire it up even further.

      Audi A3 Photos 10

      With more character in engine performance, the suspensions too don’t lose out on making the car feel a lot more agile. They are inclined towards being stiffer than normal as a result even a sudden manoeuvre doesn’t create an imbalance of any sort. Also, in addition to that, the suspensions manage to disconnect the body from irregular road surfaces unlike other cars with a stiffer setup. 

      Tech Specs

      Technical Specifications
       Make Audi
       Model A3
      Variant 40 TFSI
      Price Rs. 3,005,000
      Fuel Petrol
      Engine Capacity 1968
      Power in PS/RPM 180 /5100-6200
      Torque in Nm/RPM 250 / 1250-5000
      Gears 7-speed S tronic
      Length mm 4456
      Width mm 1796
      Height mm 1416
      Wheel base mm 2637
      Fuel tank capacity L 50
      Tyre Spec 205 / 55 R17

      Features

      Features 40 TFSI
      R17” alloy wheels Yes
      High gloss package Yes
      Exterior mirrors, electrically adjustable, heated and electrically folding Yes
      Xenon plus Yes
      Automatic Headlight Range Adjustment Yes
      S-Line Exterior Package  Yes
      Panoramic Roof Yes
      Inlays in 3D-look Aluminium  Yes
       Leather Milano Yes
      Door Sill Trims with S Line logo Yes
       Load-through facility Yes
       Folding rear seat back  Yes
       Smoking package front Yes
      Parking aid plus Yes
      Delux automatic air conditioning with sun sensor Yes
       Cruise control Yes
       Front center armrest Yes
       Storage Package Yes
      Driver information system  Yes
       Bluetooth interface Yes

      Competition All Specs

      Specifications
      Audi
      A3
      Mercedes Benz
      A Class
      BMW
      1-Series
      Variant 40 TFSI A180 Sport 116i Prestige
      Price (Ex Showroom Delhi) Rs. 3,005,000 Rs. 2,656,200 Rs. 2,265,000
      Fuel Petrol Petrol Petrol
      Engine Capacity 1798 1595 1598
      Power in hp/RPM 180 /5100-6200 122 / 3200 136 / 4400
      Torque in Nm/RPM 250 / 1250-5000 200 / 1250 220 / 1350
      Gears 7-DCT 7-G Speedshift 8-Speed Steptronic
      Length mm 4456 4292 4324
      Width mm 1796 1780 1765
      Height mm 1416 1433 1421
      Wheel base mm 2637 2699 2690
      Fuel tank capacity L 50 50 52
      Tyre Spec 205 / 55 R17 225 / 45 R17 205 / 55 R16
      Mileage (kmpl) 16.6 15.5 16.29

      Conclusion

      The A3 40TFSI is available at Rs.30 lakhs (ex-showroom) making it more dearly than the A-Class and the 1-Series but then don’t expect a Champaign for lemonade’s worth. Firstly, its sheer dimensions speak volumes. It sits at the beginning of the portfolio but the level of equipment and features offered make it a equally strong product at par with its siblings.

      Audi A3 Photos 19

      Interestingly, the A3 is targeted more towards first time young buyers, the self driven generation, who don’t spend much time eyeing the interiors and prefer to drive around with loads of zeal. A 1.8-litre engine backed by a stellar precise dual clutch box and zesty turbo spitting out 180hp makes it an enthusiast’s choice for sure. Also, if you like driving with the wind flowing through your air, the A3 Cabriolet will make sure it tantalizes all your spirited senses. Till then we search for a long piece of scenic tarmac road to test the roofless Cabrio. :) 

      Audi A3 ₹ N/A Onwards
      Audi | Audi A3 | A3