2014 Audi A3 Sedan | Road Test

Posted on Sep 14, 2014 by
2014 Audi A3
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 142,000
  • 3.67/5 Avg. User Rating

  • Rated 3.67 stars
  • 3 Reviews

  • 2014 Audi A3
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 11, 2014
  • Exterior
    Editor: 85%
    User: 62%
  • Interior
    Editor: 70%
    User: 59%
  • Quality
    Editor: 80%
    User: 64%
  • Features
    Editor: 75%
    User: 68%
  • Performance
    Editor: 85%
    User: 70%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 85%
    User: 65%

Review Summary:

Pegged at AED 142,000, our test car, the 1.8 litre 2014 with S Line package sits a notch above Japanese cars in terms of ticket prices but is way ahead in terms of overall offering and driving experience. If you have a little extra money to spend, the A3 makes a compelling car to look at, even though you might not have thought of it to begin with.

Pros

* Definitely something you're going to turn around and look at as you walk away after parking it
* Delivers a surprisingly peppy ride
* Priced exceptionally well for what it offers

Cons

* Notice the mechanical noise at low speeds. Feels like there's a lot of work happening under the skin to keep the car going
* Side mirrors are much too small and never allow you to feel fully comfortable with what you see in them. Blind Spot Indicator is something that should be fitted as standard
* Poor radio reception constantly adjusts the volume, either making it much too loud, or much too soft
* Location of the cup holders definitely needs to be revised as even a 500 ml bottle is unable to stand in them upright

Introduction & Summary

Emails were pouring in, instant messages were flying back and forth, and amid all the confusion of trying to schedule test drives prior to the Middle East Motor Awards (MEMA), the phone rang. It was the kind folks from , ringing up to ask us if we’d be interested in taking the 2014 A3 Sedan for a spin. But hold on a minute…? A3? Sedan? What!

2014 Audi A3 Sedan front

Creeping into the brand’s Middle Eastern line-up more stealthily than a Mexican crossing the border over into the Land of Opportunities, the 2014 Audi A3 Sedan is without a spec of doubt, is one of the very few cars that we have ever agreed to spend a weekend with, without actually having the slightest of clues as to what to expect from it.

Styling & Design

With slender LED’s working their way around the headlamp clusters, a chrome surround embellishing the radiator grille, and a prominent boot deck lid doubling up as a spoiler, we were pleasantly surprised when we laid eyes on the A3 for the very first time. Finished in Misano Red Pearl, our test car was no ordinary A3 as it wore the S-line exterior package and brought with it 19” cast aluminium wheels, beefier side sills, a platinum grey rear diffuser and chrome plated exhaust tips.

2014 Audi A3 Sedan side

Unlike the loud exterior, the interior is a lot quieter, playing with softer designs and focusing only on the essentials. But don’t be fooled into thinking the A3 is any less of an Audi, because while the dashboard may be extremely simplistic and retro to a certain extent, the cabin is home to black Milano leather, monometallic inlays and a sizeable panoramic glass roof. It’s simple, but in an Audi kind of way, you see!

Features

While a slide-up infotainment screen isn’t anything new from the German car maker, it is most definitely new in the A3’s respective market segment. With 8 speakers and AUX / USB ports for entertainment, cruise control and automatic air conditioning for convenience, and side and head airbags for safety, the A3 is what classifies as a very good all-rounder in the automotive world.

2014 Audi A3 Sedan interior

Performance, Ride & Handling

Tap the Drive Select button located below the central A/C vents to scroll through the available drive modes. While Dynamic and Efficiency modes fall at far ends of the pre-set spectrum, the Individual mode allows the driver to manually adjust engine response, gear shifts and steering feel. Nice play.

2014 Audi A3 Sedan interior

In Dynamic mode, the 2014 Audi A3 40 TFSI (a naming convention that highlights differences in horsepower, 0-100 km/h times, and g-forces, even though two vehicles may be fitted with an engine of the exact same size) makes the most of the 180 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque that the turbocharged 1.8 litre engine churns out. Equipped with a two stage traction control system, the car also allows for some loutish behaviour, but because power is sent to the front wheels only, it’s a very controlled form of hooning; none of that rowdy tail-out action.

Whizzing through its seven speed dual clutch transmission, the 2014 Audi A3 accelerates from nought to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and on to its top speed of 235 km/h. Playing a vital role in delivering a smile to your face when behind the wheel is the stiff sports suspension and ample amounts of torque that make the 1,845 kg German a lot more engaging and interesting to drive than some other vehicles which demand a significantly higher price tag.

2014 Audi A3 Sedan interior

In addition to the vivacious drive, the A3’s reluctance to take no more than a sip of gasoline from the tank makes it an ideal urban runner. With the 7 speed transmission and start / stop system working in harmony, the A3 imbibes no more than 5.6 litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres of distance covered. To make our point clearer, that’s less than what the Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio, Honda City or Hyundai Accent gulp out of your gas tank to cover the same distance.

However, the A3 does come with its flaws. Generating a series of mechanical sounds which seep into the cabin when travelling at speeds below 80 km/h. You begin to question the sound insulation as you’re forced to turn the radio up and speak to your passengers’ at a higher decibel. That’s not forgetting the road noise created by the larger wheels working its way into the cabin as well.

2014 Audi A3 Sedan rear

The manual shift option should simply be removed. While it gives you the impression that you’re temporarily in control of the shifts, you clearly aren’t.

Though in manual mode, I noticed cogs moving up and down. Presumably the virtual brains thought, decided and acted upon self drawn conclusion that I was in need of immediate acceleration. Why is there a manual mode, if I can’t control it?

Comfort & Practicality

2014 Audi A3 Sedan top

With a wheelbase of just 2,637mm, the designers have created a cabin that may not be the most spacious but it is undoubtedly comfortable. Well contoured seats come with leg extensions and lumbar support up in the front, while rear passengers’ get their own set of A/C vents and a decent amount of head and leg room. Proving its capability, the Audi A3’s cavernous trunk is able to swallow 425 litres with the second row seats in use, or a mighty impressive 880 litres when stowed away. That’s just a smidgen below the significantly larger Honda Accord’s 447 litre capacity.

Price & Verdict

2014 Audi A3 Sedan side

Pegged at AED 142,000, our test car, the 1.8 litre 2014 Audi A3 with S Line package allows for entry into the German automotive realm at a price where most settle for prosaic Japanese family sedans.

Sure, they may be arguably more spacious, but at the end of the day, the Japs don’t deliver the same sort of driving excitement and visual appeal. Neither do they possess the ability to propel you into that higher strata of society.

Brining with it a three year unlimited mileage warranty and a four year or 75,000 km service contract, the 2014 Audi A3 proves itself as the thinking man’s Audi – practical, powerful, and pleasant.

5 Responses to 2014 Audi A3 Sedan | Road Test

  1. Shafraz Reply

    September 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    • Exterior
      57%
    • Interior
      63%
    • Quality
      66%
    • Features
      70%
    • Performance
      69%
    • Value for money
      65%
    • Rated 4 stars

    Nice car

    • Shafraz Reply

      September 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

      • Exterior
        68%
      • Interior
        65%
      • Quality
        71%
      • Features
        71%
      • Performance
        71%
      • Value for money
        70%
      • Rated 4 stars

      One of the best

  2. Peter Reply

    September 14, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Driven it and loved it!

    • Zaran Tarapore

      Zaran Tarapore Reply

      September 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

      The A3 definitely caught us off-guard as well, Peter!

  3. Maria Reply

    September 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    • Exterior
      62%
    • Interior
      50%
    • Quality
      56%
    • Features
      63%
    • Performance
      70%
    • Value for money
      60%
    • Rated 3 stars

    Looks good

Post Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *