The Audi A3 has become one of the most popular cars on the road today, there aren’t many trips you will take without seeing a few along the journey. The next step up from the VW Golf in terms of prestige and looks, it is a cornerstone of motoring in a very competitive market. What is perhaps more surprising is that the Audi A3 Sportback is now over 10 years old and attributes to over 70% of all A3 sales, so the new incarnation has a hard act to follow.

New Audi A3 Sportback 2013 Review

We headed over to the South of France to see what it is all about. Read on for our New Audi A3 Sportback 2013 Review.

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A3 Sportback Exterior

Our slight gripe with the all new A3 non-Sportback was that it didn’t really push any boundaries in terms of its design. It is more refined, but still very much all A3. Although the 2013 Sportback sticks close to that trend, there is something about it that just makes it a little bit more wow. If you are a guy, it’s certainly more masculine, and I couldn’t imagine you choosing the standard 2 door over the 5 door bigger brother.

The proportions of the car just seem to work, the extra length make the most of its centre line stretching along it’s near mini estate like body. The back seems to look slightly squarer, which again adds to the aggressive body and more masculine stance, and make the car seem much bigger than it really is.

Audi A3 Sportback On the Road

The new A3 Sportback is bigger, and ultimately more stable on the road than its predecessor. The ride is smooth, and yet relatively nimble when cornering and driving along your favourite winding haunt. That extra size doesn’t mean higher emissions though. The 2013 model is up to 90KG lighter than a comparable outgoing model, which as you would expect reduces emissions, whilst increasing miles per gallon.

My one fault would have to be the transmission, I don’t know why but I came across little niggles with both the manual and automatic versions. In the manual, it seemed to be a little a clunky, and not as smooth as you would expect from such a well manufactured vehicle. Now I was in a left hand drive, but I would like to think by now I can change gear in either hand! The auto box with the S tronic would be my weapon of choice, but the power transfer to the wheels after putting your foot down just seemed to have a little bit of lag. It certainly improved if you were using the paddles, but in the perfect world, that auto box would react much quicker.

Overall the ride is tight and nimble, the slightly longer length allowing a more balanced drive, whilst exterior noise is reduced with improvements in sound proofing technology such as the all new windscreen design.

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New Sportback Interior and Technology

Just like on the outside, the interior of the 2013 A3 Sportback is pretty much spot-on. It may sound strange, but for me it’s actually the very small, yet perfectly formed climate control area that sets the tone. Its position, functionality and simplicity scream Audi, and thankfully that trend continues right the way through the interior.

Even the non S-Line models seem to have stepped up in class from economy plus to business. Featuring clean lines, the interior is uncluttered and simple, which works well. It soon feels like a second home.

The flip-up display is a nice touch, but I can’t help feel it is slightly redundant at the moment. It just doesn’t do anything special to match the rest of the interior. Housing a pretty average Sat Nav as well as your basic media / radio functions, it hardly set’s the pulse racing does it?

Now when the UK sees the introduction of Audi Connect on the Audi A3 during 2013 it will be a whole new ball game. The ability for news streaming, social integration and enhanced map features really brings out the best in the well positioned screen, but until then it’s a little dressed up with no-where to go.

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New A3 Sportback Options

OK, where do we start, you will find 4 engines at launch, 2 petrol: the 1.4 TFSI with 122 horses, 123 CO2 g/km, and the 1.8 TFSI (180 BHP, 130 CO2 g/km), plus 2 diesel options: the 1.6 (105 BHP, 99 CO2 g/km) and the 2.0 TDI with 150 BHP and 108 CO2 g/km. In terms of trim there will be 3 main options, starting at the SE, then the Sport and the current range topper the S-Line.

The new Audi A3 Sportback starts at a snip under £20k, and even if you head up to the 1.8 S-Line S Tronic with all the trimmings we maxed out the configurator at just over £35K. Not bad for a premium Audi.

New Audi A3 Sportback 2013 Review Verdict

Audi have tried to bring more class and features from larger models to an already rich bloodline in the A3. It has certainly worked in many cases, but we hope Audi don’t forget it’s still a small car and needs to keep an element of fun and reactiveness with it.

Overall the new Audi A3 Sportback 2013 is, without doubt, the best looking A3 on the road. And we for one just love it. The only question is, do you wait for Audi Connect?

We can’t wait to see the RS later in 2013, it is looking like it could be very special

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