Audi A3 Sport­back 1,4T FSI S tronic

0 to 100 km/h: 10,11 sec Top speed: 203 km/h Power: 90 kw Torque: 200 N.m CO : 116 g/km CAR fuel in­dex: 6,0 L/100 km 2

Car (South Africa) - - BUY -

THE Sport­back is the most pop­u­lar de­riv­a­tive in the A3 range, and it’s easy to see why. Four doors plus a semis­ta­tion-wagon hatch­back rear makes for a good-look­ing and prac­ti­cal all-rounder. Higher-pow­ered cars with front-wheel drive tended to spin their front wheels and un­der­steer, but this 1,4-litre has an out­put of only 90 kw, so it’s a good match.

This new en­gine, coded EA211, switched from a tim­ing chain to tim­ing belt, and Audi has stated that this will last for the life of the en­gine (although some own­ers have said its pru­dent to re­place it at 160 000 km). This en­gine is both lighter and more eco­nom­i­cal than its pre­de­ces­sors and our fuel in­dex re­turned a very im­pres­sive fig­ure of 6,0 L/100 km. The ve­hi­cle was avail­able with either a six-speed man­ual or S tronic trans­mis­sions and, while 16inch wheels were stan­dard, many ex­am­ples will have larger, 17-inch rims.

The Audi’s ride qual­ity is more re­fined than the other two here and that’s partly be­cause the Benz and BMW are both fit­ted with run-flat tyres. Audi ex­cels in in­te­rior re­fine­ment and the seats are the most com­fort­able among its com­peti­tors. It has easy-to-un­der­stand con­trols, with no fancy gear­levers on the steer­ing col­umn, no odd wind­screen wiper stalk po­si­tions, and no Bmw-style one-click in­di­ca­tor ac­tion that can of­ten con­fuse.

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