Audi A3 S-Line saloon – a very tempting package

German cars have been loved by us Brits for many years and we are one of the best markets for all German car makers. What is it we like about German cars? Well in many respects their character plays a part.

They are seen as efficient, the interior lay out is always sensible and ordered, they tend to look discreet and are very well bolted together in most respects.

They’re a clever lot the Germans in that they have halo cars such as VW’s R models and Audi’s S models. However, look at most of the lower ranks of their ranges and they still manage to make them look rather more than they actually are in terms of upmarket looks and style.

Audi has many good examples of this and one is their A3 saloon. Saloons always seem classier despite the fact that hatchbacks are more practical, and my test example was no exception. The range starts at €28,064 (£25,255) and there are four trim levels, two petrol and two diesel engines, plus a choice of manual or automatic gears.

My S-Line with 150PS petrol power and automatic gears looked suitably expensive, which at €34,467 (£31,010) with some options isn’t actually the case by today’s standards. The €2,489 (£2240) worth of options included metallic paintwork, only solid black or white are offered at no cost, superb Matrix LED lights and a flat bottom steering wheel.

On the road its 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre engine is delightfully smooth and the automatic gears are an object lesson in how to do dual-clutch gearboxes.

Passing the benchmark 62mph in a whisker under 8.5 seconds proves even the more mundane Audis are capable of rapid movement. S-Line models were once possessed of suspension that was on the firm side of firm, but my test model offered a nice line between comfort and handling.

The usual smart interior offers an essentially digital dash instead of buttons, sadly, but it works better than in some VAG models. Being a conventional three-box-saloon, rather than a lowered rear roofline, means headroom isn’t sacrificed at the expense of neck contortions to enter and exit the rear seats.

It’s a very tempting package that offers the looks of a more sporting, more expensive A3, very decent levels of equipment and a level of build quality and finish that is hard to beat. Choose one in red and it looks a million dollars!

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Audi A3 Saloon 35 TFSi S-Line
  • Engine: 1.5-Litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol
  • Gears: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 8.4 seconds/Maximum Speed 231 kmh (144mph)
  • Economy: 5.9 l/100km (47.9 mpg) WLTP
  • Emissions: 134 g/km

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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