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First Drive

First Drive: Audi A3 Sportback 1.0 TFSI

Audi A3 Sportback 1.0 TFSI 116 Sport
The story: Amid the shift towards petrol power, Audi adds a new entry-level petrol engine to the A3 range, which is also the model’s first three-cylinder powertrain.
Category:C-segment
Key rival:BMW 1-series
Price:£22,340
Efficiency:60.1mpg
Emissions:107g/km
On sale:Now

Audi has added a new entry point to its A3 range, with the 116hp 1.0-litre model setting out to prove that the cheapest option needn’t be the budget choice. 

The new engine is the first three cylinder to grace the compact premium model, and it’s an impressive bit of kit that offers more than enough performance, given its humble on-paper status. It’s very quiet, and feels quicker than the 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds would suggest.

At 107g/km, emissions aren’t quite as good as rivals’; the 116hp BMW 116i and 122hp Volvo V40 are at 103g/km and 94g/km respectively. However, the Audi is cheaper than both yet offers a better residual value, which means the whole-life cost case is still weighted towards the A3.

Audi A3 Sportback 1.0 TFSI - Front viewThat’s the case for the driver too, with the £1,710 price advantage over a BMW 116i Sport meaning a £27 per month saving for a higher-rate taxpayer, despite the A3 being a BIK tax band higher.

The driving experience isn’t perfect, with a lumpy gearchange and fair amount of road noise, but the interior is typically high-quality, and the Sport trim of our car includes dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloys, Drive Select and satnav.

For lower mileage drivers, petrol cars are becoming the no-brainer choice, and it’s only those covering higher mileages that make for sensible diesel users.

 

Paul Barker

The verdict

Compact package at a good price. It should help make low-mileage company car users move back to petrol