Top speed 0-100kph Price

Friday - - Motoring -

atop the cen­tre con­sole, mak­ing for a clear and tidy lay­out. It has a wide range of in­fo­tain­ment com­po­nents in­clud­ing MMI nav­i­ga­tion plus, a 7in mon­i­tor and a Bang & Olufsen sound sys­tem.

The 6 packs more horses than the Audi and thanks to its rel­a­tively light 1,400kg weight and stiffer front strut and rear multi-link sus­pen­sion, it feels ro­bust on the move. Its 2.5-litre Skyactiv four­cylin­der pro­duces 185bhp and 250Nm of torque but does that trans­late to a bet­ter driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence com­pared to a slightly weaker-by-5bhp A3? Not re­ally. They both get off the line ea­gerly with the A3 hit­ting 100kph in 7.3 seconds but its elec­tronic limited slip dif­fer­en­tial makes it more ag­ile and sta­ble.

The 1.8-litre four-pot TFSI has the same amount of torque as the 6 and chugs back just 5.6 litres per 100km, mak­ing it more eco­nom­i­cal too. The quat­tro will have 280Nm and a vice-like grip, but the front-wheel-drive A3 han­dles it­self very well. Di­men­sion­ally smaller than the 6, it tucks into cor­ners a tad bet­ter, but both suf­fer from ex­ces­sively light steer­ing. Things im­prove marginally when in Dy­namic mode and the slick seven-speed S-Tronic is worked harder. No pad­dle shifters though; the Mazda’s got them and they add a bit of fun to the drive.

But there’s re­ally no doubt that the A3 sa­loon is go­ing to be the first choice on the list of many first­time buy­ers – par­tic­u­larly those on a bud­get. You can now add Audi to the list of names when hunt­ing for a bar­gain and, though the Mazda 6 runs it close, with a start­ing price of Dh92,000, the A3 is a steal.

2.5-litre four-cyl Trans­mis­sion Six-speed auto, FWD Max power 185bhp @ 5,700rpm Max torque 250Nm @ 3,250rpm NA NA Dh115,000 (as tested) Highs Fab­u­lous de­sign, smooth ride, com­fort­able Lows Rear legroom Model A3 sa­loon En­gine 1.8-litre four-cyl Trans­mis­sion Seven-speed auto, FWD Max power 180bhp @ 5,100rpm Max torque 250Nm @ 1,250rpm 235kph 7.3 seconds Dh132,100 (as tested) Highs Neat in­te­rior, peppy ride, han­dling Lows Op­tional ex­tras are costly, and will be marginally pricier to main­tain

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.