The diesel-burning A3 2.0 TDI has been quietly dropped while the 1.6 TDI is demoted to being a fleet-only or special-order variant. For regular consumers that means the A3 family is essentially a petrol-centric offering, with three powertrains offered across both sedan and hatch bodystyles, while the S3 continues as the performance-oriented option – also as a four-door or a five-door.
The 110kW/250Nm 1.4 TFSI turbo petrol four remains unchanged as the volume-selling powertrain of the A3, but the engines that sit either side of it are new to the range.
The first is the 1.0 TFSI motor, which is derived from the 1.0-litre turbo three-cylinder of the Audi A1 compact hatch and makes 85kW and 200Nm. Driving the front wheels through a seven-speed automatic and consuming 4.8L/100km on the combined cycle, the 1.0 TFSI is the most affordable engine in the A3 – though it can only be specced in the A3 Sportback, not the sedan.
At the top of the regular A3 line-up is the 2.0 TFSI, making 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque and coupled to either front-wheel drive (A3 2.0 TFSI Sport) or all-wheel drive (A3 2.0 TFSI quattro S line) underpinnings. Its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is also new, and the A3 2.0 TFSI can sprint to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds as a front-driver, or a spritely 6.2 seconds with quattro AWD.
Fuel economy for the 2.0-litre models is a claimed 5.9L/100km for the FWD 2.0 TFSI Sportback or 6.2L/100km for the AWD 2.0 TFSI Sportback. Subtract 0.1L/100km for the sedan fuel consumption figures.
Meanwhile the carry-over 1.4 TFSI drinks 5.0L/100km as a hatch or 4.9L/100km as a sedan.
For the Audi S3, power output for its 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder increases by just 3kW to 213kW with torque remaining static at 380Nm.
Available either with a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the S3 Sportback and Sedan can leap to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds as an automatic or 5.4 seconds as a manual. Fuel consumption ranges from 6.5L/100km for the S3 sedan auto, to 7.1L/100km for the manual-equipped S3 Sportback and S3 Sedan.
The S3 Cabriolet is strictly auto-only, with average fuel consumption of 6.8L/100km and a slower 0-100km/h time of 5.3 seconds thanks to its extra heft.
The A3’s exterior is updated with new bumpers at front and rear, with 2.0 TFSI models getting a sportier front fascia with deeper air vents. Headlamps receive a saw-toothed outline and the grille is made more prominent, while new alloy wheel designs and two new exterior colours round out the rest of the external changes.
Inside, much of the A3’s cabin furniture is unchanged, there are some key additions to bring the A3 closer to Audi’s newer models like the A4, Q7 and TT. The rotary MMI dial that controls that A3’s infotainment system (which features built-in sat-nav on all models) has been updated with a simplified button layout, the steering wheel is a new three-spoke design with switchgear borrowed from the TT, and all models can be optioned with Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit reconfigurable electronic instrument panel.
A crucial safety equipment upgrade sees all models fitted with automatic emergency braking and driver fatigue monitoring as standard, along with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera
At the top end, the S3’s standard equipment list now features LED headlamps, a collision detection and warning system, digital radio, the Virtual Cockpit display, blind spot monitoring and reverse cross traffic alert.
A3 1.0 TFSI - $35,900
A3 1.4 TFSI COD - $39,900
A3 2.0 TFSI Sport - $45,900
A3 2.0 TFSI quattro S line - $49,500
S3 2.0 TFSI quattro - $62,900
A3 1.4 TFSI COD - $41,500
A3 2.0 TFSI Sport - $47,500
A3 2.0 TFSI quattro S line - $51,100
S3 2.0 TFSI quattro - $64,500
A3 1.4 TFSI COD - $49,000
A3 2.0 TFSI Sport - $55,000
A3 2.0 TFSI quattro S line - $58,600
S3 2.0 TFSI quattro - $72,000