Audi A3 Sportback S Line’s advanced tech and design trump BMW and Mercedes – it’s a pleasure to drive


THERE are certain moments in life when you feel like you’re winning.

When you hit a drive like Rory McIlroy.

Audi A3's advanced tech and design trump BMW and Mercedes

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Audi A3’s advanced tech and design trump BMW and MercedesCredit: Dean Smith

When you make a 40 break.

When you spot your missus has had a haircut without being prompted.

When you find a bargain on the sale rail.

When you take the family out for dinner and realise the kids eat free.

The revamped A3 cabin is typically brilliant, striking the right balance between hi-tech and sensible switches

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The revamped A3 cabin is typically brilliant, striking the right balance between hi-tech and sensible switches

When you’re running late . . . but all the traffic lights turn green.

That’s enough. You know what I’m on about.

I’m on about that “Yessss!” moment that makes you feel positively happy inside.

Well, I get that exact same feeling in the new Audi A3.

It’s so buttery smooth and easy, it’s a pleasure to drive

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It’s so buttery smooth and easy, it’s a pleasure to driveCredit: Dean Smith

It’s so buttery smooth and easy, it’s a pleasure to drive fast or slow, short or long distances. I can’t fault it.

Everything just works in perfect harmony like, er, the well-oiled machine that it is.

I’ll admit that when my test car first showed up I thought, “Oh no, this doesn’t look much different, how am I going to write 400 words on this?”

But as soon as I hopped inside, I got it. I knew we’d be friends. Audi don’t make duff cars and the revamped A3 cabin is typically brilliant, striking the right balance between hi-tech and sensible switches, design and comfort.

It rides beautifully and feels safe and reassuring

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It rides beautifully and feels safe and reassuring

Those hexagonal air vents could have been nicked off a Lambo. But above all that, it rides beautifully and feels safe and reassuring.

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Wind and road noise? I have nothing to say. This thing is as quiet as a library.

Even the not-so-basic 1-litre A3 Technik at £23,875 has all-round LED lights, 10in touchscreen, 3D mapping and a digital driver’s binnacle as standard. Finance from £290 a month.

And here’s another thing that pleases. Unlike the new VW Golf and Seat Leon which have touch-sensitive controls, this car has actual physical buttons for the air con. Thank you, Audi.

Win 007 keyring

CONFESSION. This 007 key ring from Aston’s £3.3million DB5 gadget car somehow ended up in my pocket.

I have absolutely no idea how that happened. It’s made of sterling silver so it’s worth about £300. Only the 25 lucky sods who buy a DB5 Goldfinger will get one – and now possibly YOU.

For your chance to win it, colour in the DB5 and send a photo to motors@the-sun.co.uk by September 14, 2020. The winner will be chosen at random.

I’ve loved the DB5 since I was a toddler. It didn’t disappoint. To see all the gadgets in action, go to thesun.co.uk/motors.

But I’m not so fond of the touchwheel controller — like an old iPod — for the sound system.

Other observations. Five-door only. Decent boot at 380 litres. But beware the options list or it could soon get expensive.

As for engines, the 150hp 1.5-litre turbo petrol I tested is the sweet spot. Go for the seven-speed S tronic auto and that combines with a 48v mild hybrid system to save fuel and add an extra dollop of torque. Plug-in hybrid to follow.

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Want something faster? Sit tight because the S3 is just around the corner, as is a glorious five-cylinder RS3. That thing could embarrass a supercar in the right hands.

Do big miles? You’ll want the 2-litre diesel. That should be good for 62mpg.

Most buyers will be seduced by the badge and the advanced tech but underneath all that is a well-engineered, rock-solid family car.

My new top three posh cars of this size are as follows: 1. Audi A3; 2. BMW 1 Series; 3. Merc A-Class.

Key facts:

Audi A3 Sportback S Line

Price: £28,205

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol Power:150hp, 250Nm

0-62mph: 8.4 secs

Top speed: 139mph

Economy: 45mpg

Rivals: BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class

Trailer of the Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance quattro


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