At the front, there’s a new honeycomb grille and new LED headlights. In profile, the broad shoulder lines accentuate the dynamic look, while the roofline tapers, coupé-like, into the spoiler at the back. Sleek on the outside with advanced technology on the inside, the Audi A3 Saloon is a professional car that’s out to impress. As one of Audi’s most compact saloons, this is the ideal car for business drivers in the city and for families who need the convenience of a hatchback.
The Saloon body style has proved a popular addition to the A3 line-up . The model started life as a hatchback, but the Saloon expands the appeal by giving a more sophisticated shape that looks like a shrunken version of the hugely popular A4 . The latest version has just hit showrooms and looks likely to continue the model’s success.
The new A3 Saloon is instantly recognisable, but the latest version gets much more angular, aggressive styling, as we’ve become used to with recent Audis. Up front it has a large single-frame grille and narrow headlights, while the air intakes are prominent in lower trims and massive in higher trims.
The doors and arches have prominent creases too, which give the A3 Saloon a muscular appearance. This continues to the rear, where a small boot spoiler and redesigned taillights give the car a sportier look. It’s not all for looks either, as Audi says the new car has less drag now, making it more efficient.
One of the most appealing aspects of an Audi is the interior, and the A3 Saloon is no different. The German manufacturer has an understated style to its cabins that continues into the digital age. The A3 Saloon benefits from the same digitisation that is sweeping through the Audi range, with its 10.1-inch central touchscreen sitting above an array of buttons for climate control.
Although the wheelbase of this model is unchanged, it’s slightly bigger in all other dimensions, so there’s more head and elbow room for front passengers in particular. The boot space is the same as before, though, at 425 litres.
The latest-generation infotainment system is at the heart of the on-board technology of the A3 Saloon, boasting more processing power than before. It has satellite navigation, a WiFi hotspot, smartphone connectivity and plenty of connected services such as live traffic and user reviews for points of interest.
It also boasts Car-toX technology, which can interact with other vehicles and services around it to understand more about the local area, such as hazardous areas, speed limits or free parking spaces.
Driver assistance technology includes the pre sense front system, which uses a forward-facing camera to predict and prevent accidents, adaptive cruise control, and an efficiency assistant.
There are currently three engines available in the form of one petrol and one diesel. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is available with both a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed automatic. Badged 35 TFSI, it makes 148bhp and achieves up to 60mpg.
As an automatic, this engine comes with a 48v mild-hybrid system, which is designed to take the load off the engine, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.
The diesel is a 2.0-litre unit also making 148bhp, though this engine recorded up to 78mpg in official testing.
In addition to Sport:
In addition to S line:
The latest Audi A3 is here, bringing a far more tech-focused cabin than before as well as a variety of efficient yet punchy engines. And though, for many people, a hatchback layout springs to mind whenever that A3 name is mentioned, Audi has ensured that its saloon version has returned too.
Bringing a slightly sleeker appearance, the A3 saloon is a great choice for many drivers after a compact yet dynamic-looking model. What else has it got to offer? Let’s take a look.
This latest A3 sits on a new platform which has afforded it slightly more space than before as well as the ability to offer a wide variety of engines. There’s no hybrid option available with the saloon variant, mind you, so if you do want plug-in power, you’ll have to settle for the regular hatch at present.
However elsewhere we’ve got an extended and striking-looking body, while a range-topping S3 variant gives performance drivers something to opt for too.
As we’ve already mentioned, there are several options when it comes to powertrains for the A3. There’s a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine to kick things off, rising through a 1.5-litre to a range-topping 2.0-litre turbocharged variant. There’s the option of either six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, too.
Higher-mileage drivers will no doubt favour the diesel powertrains, mind you, with just a sole 2.0-litre unit available - though it can be specified in a variety of different power outputs.
The A3 saloon offers a similarly composed and premium-feeling driving experience as you get from the hatchback. It’s comfortable and travels big distances with ease, ensuring that each journey is whisked away with very little effort. The steering is accurate and relatively light, too.
Our only caveat would be to watch out for cars with larger wheels, as these can make the ride a touch brittle - particularly in S Line trim.
The latest A3 represents a great evolution on the looks of the older car. It’s not outlandish nor in-your-face, but feels high-end enough to feel like it lives up to the four rings on the bonnet. Clever touches like the slim headlights and equally sharp rear lights add a little bit of drama to the A3’s appearance, too.
Those who fancy a sleeker A3 will really appreciate the looks of the saloon version, too. As far as pint-sized saloon cars go, it’s easily one of the most attractive.
The cabin of the A3 saloon offers a variety of high-end materials and great level of fit-and-finish. The front seats offer plenty of support without being overly-bolstered, while those in the rear of the car can relax too - though taller passengers may find their headroom being eaten into slightly by that sloping roof. When it comes to boot space, the A3 saloon offers up a very decent 425 litres of space.
Standard equipment is plentiful regardless of which A3 saloon specification you opt for, with even base-spec cars receiving 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and Audi’s full MMI navigation system and 10.1-inch central touchscreen.
You also get the excellent Virtual Cockpit which replaces the conventional dials for a 10.25-inch customisable display.
The A3 saloon is a premium and practical alternative to the regular hatch. Business users will no doubt love the saloon’s cruising ability, while families will be able to take advantage of its well-sized boot and solid cabin.
A wide range of engines and specifications only helps to ensure that the A3 saloon will appeal to all manner of buyers.