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Review: Audi A3 40 TFSI

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The battle for luxury car supremacy in India is a keenly fought battle, dominated by the Germans. And the newest of them – by the company from Ingolstadt – has set the market abuzz with one of the best small sedans to be launched this year – the Audi A3 40 TFSI.

While the starting price point of the A3 is roughly around ?25 lakh, it’s a base diesel variant with fewer bells and whistles and an engine that’s tuned for efficiency and practicality. Okay, so it isn’t exactly a fun machine, but Audi has something else to offer, with performance in mind – an A3 with the 1.8 TFSI engine under the hood.

No, Audi doesn’t call it A3 1.8 TFSI anymore. It is called the 40 TFSI, a number that signifies its acceleration as per some internal coding. So the 40 TFSI is quicker off the blocks than the 35 TDI. The engine isn’t all-new. We see a similar one in the Skoda Octavia too, although the A3 might give you the impression of being lighter thanks to a high-tech hybrid aluminium chassis construction.

Not surprisingly, it is no slouch and can clock the 0-100kph drill in a mere 8.61s. The A3 is happiest when you push it. The 7-speed STronic gearbox hardly shows any lag and makes sure the 40 TFSI is happy trotting around in city traffic, or barrelling down an expressway. The steering is a bit on the lighter side, but the compact dimensions, able chassis and power-on-demand make the A3 a pleasure to drive.

The interiors use quality materials and are well appointed, be it the leather, chrome bits or even the soft-touch plastic. The seats are well bolstered and figure hugging. Room inside isn’t plenty, but it is a cosy fit for four, though three abreast at the rear can be a squeeze. Rear headroom isn’t great either, so if you buy an A3 make sure you are driving and not being driven most of the times.

And it's the driving that you'll thoroughly enjoy in this car. Despite the pricing, this is not a budget luxury sedan. It comes packed with cool features (like the pop-up MMI screen), and makes a statement on the road with its crisp lines, LED lamps and sporty design. If you enjoy a good drive, and at the same time would like to make a style statement, the A3 40 TFSI comes pretty close to being the perfect choice.

The numbers
4 cyl, 1798cc, turbo-petrol, 174bhp, 250Nm, 7A, 1295kg, FE: 10.9kpl (city)/12.0kpl (highway), 0-100kph: 8.61s, ?35 lakh (approx, on-road)

The verdict
The more outgoing of the A3 family. Comfortable, quick and smile inducing.


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