Four doors to the fore
Audi’s latest A3 could be the pick of the new compact sedans
THE first price coupe of 2014 goes to, um ... Audi.
Perennially criticised for overpricing, the four ring brand’s A3 sedan — due in January — starts from an unexpected $39,800. Carsguide tips the sleek four-door sibling of the Volkswagen Golf-based A3 as one of the coming year’s success stories. For a certain buyer, downsizing into a hatch is just a bit declasse — legitimacy comes only in four door form.
While from 50 metres the A3 sedan is barely distinguishable from the bigger A4 (the new car’s interior is about the size of a 2005 A4), Audi’s familiar design gambits are more effective on the smaller, cheaper car.
The entry Attraction model kicks off with the full cream 103kW take on VW’s 1.4-litre turbo four with cylinder on demand technology, somewhat justifying its premium over the entry $34,600 hatch which gets “only” the 90 TSI.
Of the three variants in the Ambition model line-up, we wouldn’t bother with the diesel. That leaves the cracking 1.8 turbo petrol four (132kW/250Nm) in either frontor all-wheel-drive form. No nonsense about a token manual; all versions drive through an S tronic dual-clutch automatic.
Options packs should be as per the hatchback, the prices of these being merely indicative of what a dealer might be prepared to do for you.
Plus fours: The Audi A3 sedan, Mazda3 (below left), Skoda Octavia (centre) and MercedesBenz CLA 200