Mark Slack – Audi A3 Black

Sporting credentials and classic saloon style in compact form

There are few companies that build saloon cars in the traditional sense, such is the dominance of the SUV that even estate cars are few and far between nowadays. One company that still builds fine examples of both is Audi. Their A3 model is a perfect example of a compact saloon that looks both classy and stylish along with a suitably sporting drive.

However, that classy and stylish look might not be upheld to some people if you had an A3 in Python Yellow, to say it’s bright is somewhat of an understatement. That said the bright colour with black badging does make a statement compared to the myriad of muted tones that seem to adorn most cars there days.

The A3 saloon range starts from €35,366/£30,080 and encompasses a wide range of trim levels, body styles and equipment. Engine options of 1.5-litre in two power outputs along with a 2.0-litre diesel are offered with both manual and automatic transmission. High performance S3 and RS3 models offer larger, twin-turbo engines.

Standard equipment across the range includes sports front seats, powered, heated and folding door mirrors, auto dimming door and rear view mirrors, tri-zone climate control, navigation, wireless phone charging, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Various packs provide additional choice from powered front seats and panoramic sunroof to adaptive cruise control and matrix LED headlights.

Mention must be made of Audi’s confusing naming of engines, you don’t get the engine size but power, and then it doesn’t seem to correspond to the actual power. For example my Black Edition 35 TFSI S tronic has an engine that develops 150PS, so where’s the 35 come in? Thankfully this apparent illogicality doesn’t translate to the car.

Priced at €44,942/£38,260 the 35 TFSI Black Edition model I was driving is adorned with more sporting looks, yet with a 0 to 100kph/62mph time of 8.4 seconds the performance isn’t exactly lacking either. On the road the Audi’s typically firm ride still manages to soak up the bumps and potholes and handling wise it’s a delight. The S tronic gearbox provides smooth and responsive changes making for an all-together enjoyable drive.

If you think being a saloon hampers the practicality, well not as much as you might imagine. A trip to the garden centre saw two largish bags of compost and a couple of planters fit in the boot.

All told the A3 offers a terrific choice of sporting credentials and classic saloon style in compact form.

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.