The 1.4-litre TSI engine has replaced the 1.8-litre TSI

Performance – The pre-facelift Audi A3 was available with two engines – 1.8-litre TFSI petrol and 2.0-litre TDI diesel. Talking about the petrol engine first, the Volkswagen Group is doing away with the 1.8-litre unit globally and it is being replaced by the 1.4-litre TSI unit. Since the new A4 gets the smaller engine, the A3 was also bound to get it. The mill produces 150 HP of power between 5000-6000 RPM and 250 Nm of torque between 1500-3500 RPM. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 8.2 seconds and it is pretty frugal with a claimed mileage of 19.2 km/l while top speed is 224 km/hr.

The petrol engine is smooth & has good fuel efficiency

Whether you pick the petrol or diesel, you get very good performance

This is one of the most refined petrol engines we’ve seen and makes the car a hoot to drive. There is a mild turbo lag and post that the car accelerates quickly. While you do not really get a push-in-the-seat feeling, performance is quite sufficient. The engine also loves to be revved all the way to 6000 RPM where all the action is. In real world conditions, expect a fuel efficiency of 11-12 km/l which isn’t bad at all for a car of this segment.

The TDI diesel mill is a strong performer in the A3

Moving to the oil-burner, the 2.0-litre engine is something that we’ve seen in almost a dozen cars in India and each time we’ve come out impressed by it. Producing 143 HP between 3500-4000 RPM and 320 Nm between 1750-3000 RPM, it is quick enough to accelerate to 100 km/hr in 8.7 seconds. Turbo lag is negated cleverly, the mid-range is powerful and the power delivery feels addictive. This engine too is pretty efficient, churning out 13-14 km/l in the real world while the claimed figure is 20.38 km/l. While the petrol engine gets a 7-speed gearbox, the oil-burner gets a 6-speed box and both of them are super quick and smooth with shifts.

The Audi A3 feels nice to drive; suspension is tuned well

Driving Dynamics – The Audi A3 has brilliant dynamics. The chassis is very capable and feels composed during aggressive driving. The A3 is a fun handler and with the predictable handling, I really liked pushing it around the corners. The steering is light and I would have preferred a bit more feedback. However, we drove mostly on smooth tarmac. The suspension also has a fine set-up and it soaks up bad surfaces easily. The ride remains composed all the time. Braking is again quite good on the A3 with the pedal having good bite.