Making the premium compact space even more competitive, Audi India has finally launched the A3 sedan in the country, priced from Rs. 22.95 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Positioned as the entry-level Audi, the A3 offers potent petrol and diesel powerplants, top notch build quality and a sedan body style that is underpinned by an excellent chassis, altogether making a very compelling package against the premium compact hatchbacks available at the same price.
The Audi A3 measures 4456 mm in length, 1796 mm in width and 1416 mm in height and sports a wheelbase of 2637 mm. The A3 is based on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform that also underpins the Skoda Octavia in India and weighs a very light 1270 kgs, offering excellent balance. The sedan shares its design language with the new generation of Audis with the front fascia sporting the single-frame grille, while the rear gets classic notchback styling. Made to look like a smaller A4, the A3 gets sharp lines that compliment the young and appealing stance of the sedan. The headlights sport Xenon with LED daytime running lights that keep Audi’s trademark styling intact.
Step inside and the cabin boasts of superlative build quality and luxurious interiors that definitely offer a bigger car like feel. The interiors get aluminium finished 3D inlays across the cabin, while the air-con vents have been shaped like Jet turbines and get spot and diffuse functions. The sedan also turns out to be very practical with a luggage capacity of 425-litres which can be expanded by folding the rear seats. You get the option of 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Audi A3 comes with a host of features including the multi-function power steering, electrically adjustable front seats; MMI navigation plus with MMI Touch and a 7-inch retractable touchscreen display. You also get the S line interior package, Milano leather upholstery, LED interior lights, panoramic sunroof as well as Audi sound system and music interface with a 20 GB jukebox. The Ingolstadt automaker has also loaded the A3 with a host of safety equipment and the car gets 9 airbags, ABS, ESC and Electronic Limited Slip Differential.
Engine options on the Audi A3 sedan include the 1.8-litre TFSI petrol motor producing 180 HP and 250 Nm, paired to a 7-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox. While the 2.0-litre TDI unit produces 143 HP and 320 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed S-Tronic automatic and will be the volume puller for Audi in the country. The ARAI certified mileage is 20.38 km/l for the A3 diesel and 16.6 km/l for the A3 petrol. As per the automaker’s new nomenclature, the 2.0 TDI variant will now be known as the 35 TDI and the 1.8 TFSI will now be known as the 40 TFSI.
The Audi A3 also becomes very practical for day-to-day use and will certainly attract buyers in the D+ segment with the luxurious four ring badge at the front and a well laid out cabin. The rear seats may not be as spacious as other models in the segment, but the fun to drive quotient definitely more than makes up for the lack of space. The A3 competes against the Toyota Camry, Skoda Superb and the upcoming Mercedes CLA sedan that will be launched in the next six months. The automaker will also launch the cabriolet and hatchback versions of the A3 next year.
2014 Audi A3 Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) –
* Audi A3 35 TDI Diesel (Attraction) – Rs. 22.95 lakhs
* Audi A3 35 TDI Diesel (Premium) – Rs. 25.95 lakhs
* Audi A3 35 TDI Diesel (Premium Plus) – Rs. 29.95 lakhs
* Audi A3 35 TDI Diesel (Technology) – Rs. 32.66 lakhs
* Audi A3 40 TFSI Petrol (Premium Plus) – Rs. 28.95 lakhs
Read our review of the 2014 Audi A3 HERE.