Audi’s A3 has always been one of the sharpest looking medium hatchbacks.
It has always been refined and pleasing to drive. And it has always had a super smart interior that elevates it above its rivals.
After a week spent with the 2020 A3 Sportback I’m happy to confirm all of those attributes remain in place.
The A3 shares its underpinnings with the eighth generation Volkswagen Golf and (though Audi doesn’t like to talk about it) with the Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon.
They’re all fine cars though, so that’s no big deal, and Audi elevates its offering with extra style and technology.
The latest version comes with a 48V mild hybrid system. Most versions are front wheel drive but you can also get Quattro models if you live somewhere rural and need extra traction through the winter months.
Prices start at £24,550 and I drove a 35 TDI S Line with S Tronic automatic gearbox, which weighed in at £30,725 – though a heavy hand on the options list brought the cost of my test demonstrator up to £37,480.
My car came with a 2.0 litre, 150hp turbodiesel engine. It provides a good balance of pace and frugality, with 0-62mph taking just 8.4 seconds and an official economy rating of 57.4mpg.
It’s exceptionally smooth and refined for a diesel and even with quite spirited driving it wasn’t difficult to get close to the official economy figure.
Inside is where you really see where your money has gone if you’ve paid the extra for an A3 over a similarly sized Focus or Astra.
Sleek and minimalist, it has a 10.25in touchscreen that gives excellent haptic feedback (your fingertips feel a little buzz) when you use it.
I’m not generally a big fan of touchscreens, preferring old fashioned buttons, but this is one of the best I’ve encountered.
Whether you’re a keen driver or want a car with long distance comfort the Audi has you covered. It was very enjoyable on some of Fife’s back roads but settled down for a refined drive up the A90 towards Laurencekirk.
The rear will take two adults and the 380 litre boot can swallow a week’s worth of groceries.
The A3 is a thoroughly impressive car that satisfies the head and the heart.