Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Audi Puts the Boot In

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Audi Puts the Boot In

Article excerpt

Byline: Stewart Smith

WE in the UK prefer hatchbacks to the booted variety, but Audi is sure there will be a market for its all-new A3 compact executive saloon when it goes on sale in September.

The newcomer to the Audi stable, which is produced in Hungary, does offer something different in styling from the Sportback it's based on and is practical into the bargain. Surprisingly the A3 saloon is actually bigger all round and offers more interior space and luggage capacity, and at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking it was the larger Audi A4.

It also has a coupe styling look with sweeping side lines and short overhangs front and rear. The wheel arches are nicely flared and the boot lid has a sporty small spoiler. It's an attractive motor with none of the body panels being shared by the A3 Sportback.

The new A3 saloon is wider, higher and longer than the Sportback with the boot offering 425 litres with the rear seats up, 45 litres more than the Sportback, and the capacity can be increased by folding the split rear seat backs. Initially Audi is offering three engine choices at launch, with more to follow later in the year. They are a 1.4 TFSI 140bhp and 1.8 TFSI 180bhp and a 2.0 TDI which produces 150bhp which I think will be the biggest seller.

The TDI can power the saloon from standstill to 62mph in just 8.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 132mph. And a strong selling point is its fuel consumption which is claimed to be up to 67.3mpg while producing just 107g/km.

But if you prefer the petrol options, the 1.4 TFSI returns a creditable claimed 60.1mpg which is partly due to its cylinder on demand system, which at low engine load cuts out two cylinders thus saving on fuel. Top speed for the 1.4 is 132mph.

The bigger 1.8 comes in with fuel consumption of around 50mpg and it can hit 144mph. …

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