What should I be paying?
A3 prices kicks off at £23,475 for a Technik, and rise through Sport (leather seats, 17in rims, dual-zone climate control, folding mirrors), then S-line (body kit, 18-inch rims, scrolling indicators), to the Edition 1 trim, which is basically a lightly optioned up S-line with 19-inch rims and the larger digi-cockpit, for early adopters.
Sport trim looks like the best value – a 35 TFSI manual is yours for £26,440. Audi says its hardy residual values also mean the monthly payments will be more competitive, spec-for-spec, with rivals.
As standard across the range, there’s smartphone integration, 36 months of Audi connect membership which feeds the nav with data like nearby restaurants, parking availability and even the weather forecast, while most of the other options are grouped into packs.
For instance, the driver assistance pack (which means you have to have a round-steering wheel, not a flat-bottomed one) adds pedestrian and cyclist detection to the front-facing radar, so the car’s also alive to those sudden obstacles, even if they haven’t yet stepped into the road. The lane-keep assist is rather heavy-handed with its inputs, but can be easily deactivated with a long press on the indicator stalk button.
There’s also automatic parking as part of the driver assistance pack which heaps in adaptive cruise control, and the ever-popular Comfort & Sound pack relieves you of £1,200 in return for a B&O hi-fi, parking assist and heated seats. Apparently that one’s particularly sought-after on the second-hand scene.
Intrigued by the plug-in hybrid? It's badged ‘TFSI e’ this time as the e-tron name is now reserved for Audi’s purely electric cars. A 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor combine to developed 201bhp, giving the A3 range a semi-performance model with a green conscience to sit below the 306bhp S3, which now comes exclusively with the seven-speed S-tronic gearbox. Electric range sits at 37 miles, enough for cheap-as-chips commuting if you can get to work and back without awaking the engine.