The Indian automobiles are popular for two different segments occupied by luxurious hatchbacks and compact sized sedans as these vehicles have received a ranging response. The reason behind it is the compact sedans are offered at cheap prices while luxury cars are available at affordable ranges. When Audi had a wish to launch a cheap car in India, it carved a new path by fusing the best elements from both the segments. Hence the brand new Audi A3 have paved way for a fresh car segment which is luxurious compact sedans. This car was first introduced at the 2014 at auto expo in Delhi and the car maker hopes to luck heeds with A class and B class of Mercedes Benz plus the BMW 1 series. As the cars of its rivals are hatchbacks, it looks like it would offer an edge to the new Audi A3 being the first sedan in the hatchback market in India, the reputed car would have quiet a gain with its new offering. So how successful would Audi be in the car market of India with its luxury compact sedans, A3, we find in this review.
Style And Design
The A3 arrives with the quintessential looks that scream “Audi”. Hence it requires an eagle eyed car buff to say differences between the looks of Audi A3 and its siblings A4 andA6. When you drive it on the road, this new Audi baby attracts the views attention like its expensive counter parts. The A3 is bestowed with a single frame front grille like its Audi siblings which is flanked by bi-xenon head lamps with a slim look. The car is able to maintain the regal image as the DRL go well with the xenon head lamps. The front of the car has striking contour in horizontal design and bumper with broad looks houses huge air inlets.
The stunning tornado lines slices the Audi A3’s length offering it a stretched look in spite of its short dimension. The Audi designer has skillfully sculpted a raised wedge line on the doors which when teamed with the 16 inch wheels of alloy offers a robust profile. The flat roof line runs until its C pillar and then takes a seamless from while sloping elegantly to its rear. The spoilers and rear includes a short boot and the LED tail lights with athletic design beautify the boot lid. The sunroof made of glass has made is foray into the A3 which makes it a class apart than the A6. Though this vehicle is published as a compact sedan its external dimension would make you raise your eyebrow. The Audi A3 has a length of 4456mm along with a width of 1966mm when calculated with its external wing mirrors. This sedan has a low height of 1416mm but ranks high with the whopping ground clearance plus a huge wheel base measuring 2637mm which indicates a spacious leg room for its occupants.
Cabin And Interiors
Just get inside the Audi A3 and close the door to hear a solid thud noise which assures us about the sturdy built of the car. It has an impressive and elegant looking cockpit. Its dashboard looks complete with less number of button and AC vents with jetliner turbine design. When you turn the key, a screen of 7 inch pops up from its dash. The multimedia screen is equipped with every possible settings display and has a touchpad and rotary wheel control. The multimedia is cleverly housed within the glove box that offers a lavish space for the center console. However, we feel it might not be driver friendly as the person has to stretch a bit to reach it and hence making use of the inbuilt memory of 20GB is advisable.
The front seats of Audi A3 are lavishly bolstered along with electrical adjustments hence this explains why its rear cabin has a cramped look. In addition, the car manufacturer is conveying to that this compact sedan is not to be driver by a chauffeur but by you, to enjoy the pleasure of driving.
The AC vents, steering wheel, gearshift knob and interior door handles have loads of chrome garnish and the car maker has bestowed the dashboard with a designer strip to add a touch of luxury. The steering wheel of 4 spokes is draped in high quality leather and has audio and call controls mounted on it. The cabin is also studded with an array of utility features such as room lamp, arm rest for front seats and rear seats, upholders and storage compartments to facilitate its occupants. We also were impressed by its internal rear view mirror which has been placed rightly and comes with an anti-dazzle feature.
This luxury sedan also arrives with advanced features like Audi presence basic feature, cruise control system, rear view camera, rear parking aid, auto release function in its to spend variant. The Audi A3 is blessed with amazing interior space that adds up to its luxurious feel. It cockpit has a head room that measures 1006m, shoulder space of 1392mm and enough amount of legroom. The rear cabin has a lavish leg room, shoulder space of 1345mm and a head room of 924mm. the boot compartment is highly spacious with 425liters and can be extended to 880 liters when you fold the rear bench seat. You can easily go on a long journey as this sedan has a fuel tank with 50 liters capacity. We feel that the person of average height would not have any issue while seated at the rear seats as the head room is a bit tight and tall occupants might have to crouch slightly. However thigh support or shoulder room is liberal enough.
Engine And Transmission
The Audi A3 arrives with TFSI petrol mill of 1.8 liters which is teamed up with the S - tonics transmission of 7 speeds and its TDI diesel mill is mated with the S - tonics transmission of 6 speeds. Audi calls it 35 TDI traumas a nomenclature of dynamic factors. This is a brand new system employed by the car maker to identify the cars performance and you just have to remember, the huge the number, the faster is the car. The 35pdi will churns out a power of 143bph and a torque of 320 Nm which proper’s the luxury sedan from 0kmph to 100kmph within 8.6secs. In addition it has a perfect acceleration rate with a bit of turbo lack and peak torque is very low at 1600rpm. We left the 7 speed S - tonics transmission meets up the expectations by managing two different modes – sporty when required and smoother drive otherwise. It deals the city roads like a wasp by darting in traffic gaps and it fly’s in three digits speed on the highways.
This brand new sedan from Audi can cruise at a rate of 200kmph with power on tap while returning a stunning mileage certified by ARAI of 20.38kmpl. we also try to push the car to its limit by driving it over 200kms and the A3 offered a comfortable mileage of 15.7kmpl the refined engine enables the Audi A3 to cruise the roads making way for over takes and short terms, we also tested its diesel siblings and was happy to note that its power mill, 2.0 liter TDI also has the ability to offer a fair share of thrill like its petrol variants. However the power delivery of the diesel variant is much different than its petrol variant. The petrol Audi A3 is a delight to spin faster and amazes you around the redline while the diesel sibling works well in mid range. Its power begins from 1600rpm and plays around 3500rpm where it displays a dash of jest. Even though we felt a slight turbo lack, it doesn’t bother us as the engine does not bog down. The diesels A3 can effortlessly drive3 it at 130kph and the engine ticks relaxingly at 2500rpm when you hit the 6th gear. We were very impressed with the way it overtook on single carriage vase as its punchy mid range helps you to stay ahead of other vehicle easily. However the A3 diesel variant stays behind torque surge which is employed by V40 of Volvo.
The Audi A3 stays pinned to the tarmac at various speeds the ride quality is on a firm side yet a bit absorbent and it has a well waited steering which is precise. We also absorbed some wind noise near the mirrors but the car keeps away the road noise. The disk brakes on all wheels make sure that Audi A3 stays in composed manner on straight line and makes a small dive while breaking hard. Its suspension tuning makes the car maintain its composure while driving on imperfect roads or broken roads. It also gets slightly upset when you run over huge pot holes or bumps. However when comparing its peers, we felt Audi A3 arrives with the best balanced package. When you hike its pace you can feel its agile classis. Even though you might not feel the steering wheel flows, it is precise following the Audi tradition. You can easily push the car hardly in the corners before experiencing the under steer.
The Audi A3 is a sensible luxury sedan which is entering the Indian car market that had seen 3 hatches already but hasn’t triggered a nouveau riche imagination. The Audi baby has a neat package of best ride quality and fun filled handling. With stylish appearance and high end technology, Audi A3 is sure to grab the buyer’s attention, especially the ones who love to take on the steering wheel. This luxury sedan is available at a killer price of Rs. 22.95 Lakh based on ex-showroom in New Delhi. At this launch price, we are sure that Audi A3 will create a ruffle in the market share enjoyed by its rivals, BMW and Mercedes Benz. We are quite sure that the Audi A3 would be crowned as the “top selling entry level luxury sedan” in the country.