New 2020 Audi A3 Saloon breaks cover

Latest Audi A3 Saloon gets an array of technology upgrades and mild-hybrid assistance for 2020

  • New A3 Saloon arrives this summer
  • Mild-hybrid assistance and single diesel engine available at launch
  • Features an array of new interior technology and safety features

The new 2020 Audi A3 Saloon has been revealed. It follows the introduction of the A3 Sportback hatchback, with the new car getting the same tech upgrades, design refresh and mild-hybrid assistance options. It’ll arrive in showrooms later this summer, with prices to start at £26,870.

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The new car shares its underpinnings with the new A3 hatchback and the current Volkswagen Golf, and will directly compete for sales against the Mercedes A-Class saloon and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.

2020 Audi A3 Saloon styling and design

The latest Audi A3 Saloon follows the design of the hatchback, getting a redesign that takes inspiration from the Audi Q3 SUV. The front features Audi’s signature ‘Singleframe’ grille, with restyled headlights and daytime running lights, a longer bonnet and larger air intakes. Similarly, the sides of the car features wider wheel arches, giving it a sportier look. At the back there is a restyled rear bumper, new rear lights and a lip-spoiler on the rear boot lid.

The A3 Saloon measures in at 15cm longer than the hatchback, and despite retaining the same wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) as the old car, its dimensions have all increased slightly. Headroom for the driver has improved thanks to the seat being mounted slightly lower than before. Boot space remains unchanged over the outgoing car, with 425 litres on offer.

Audi says the new model is the most aerodynamic version of the A3 Saloon ever produced. It features two electronically controlled louvres in the front grille that open and close when required. The underside of the car features panelling to help improve airflow, along with a new streamlined wing mirror design.

Interior

The interior is the same as the hatchback model, with a new angular looking dashboard giving it a thoroughly modern look compared with the outgoing model. There’s a new integrated 10.1-inch infotainment screen that’s angled towards the driver, along with a digital instrument cluster. Silver detailing across the width of the dashboard dominates the design, alongside a lower button panel that houses toggle switches for the climate control and heated seats.

The gearlever surround is also detailed in matching silver trim, and contains the switchgear for such functions as the car’s drive modes and hazards. It also houses the start/stop button, a jog-style dial used to control the stereo, and for automatic models, a minimalist looking gearstick similar to those found in the latest Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon.

Technology

All cars get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster as standard, with lower spec cars getting a 10.25-inch infotainment display that can be upgraded to a full-sized 12.3-inch version featuring multiple graphic displays for different driving modes. A full colour head-up-display makes the options list and can project the car’s speed and sat nav directions onto the windscreen.

Other new features include connected functions such as Car2X technology, which is capable of communicating with other cars and road infrastructure to give the driver real-time info about traffic and available parking spaces. Wireless smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also features, along with Amazon Alexa voice assistant and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality.

Driver safety and assistance technology

The new A3 Saloon features the firm’s latest driver assistance tech, including Audi’s pre sense front system that works via a camera and front radar to automatically apply the brakes if a hazard is detected. Adaptive cruise control assistance also features, and cross traffic assistance and an exit warning system will be available shortly after launch.

Engines, performance and economy

Audi will initially offer the A3 Saloon with one petrol engine and one diesel engine at launch. A turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol unit is badged ‘35 TFSI’ and is capable of returning up to 48.7mpg with emissions of 132g/km when equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Buyers can have this engine with a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox and href="https://www.carbuyer.co.uk/tips-and-advice/159947/what-is-a-mild-hybrid">mild-hybrid assistance, which provides an electrical power boost when driving and can shut the engine down entirely when coasting.

The system recovers power when you decelerate, which is stored in a small battery pack located under the front passenger seat. Audi claims that the mild-hybrid system saves around half a litre of fuel in 62 miles of driving, helping to improve fuel economy up to 50.4mpg and lowering CO2 emissions to 128g/km.

For higher-mileage drivers, a 2.0-litre TDI diesel will also be available. It produces 148bhp and comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard. This engine will be the most economical unit at launch, with claimed economy of up to 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions starting at 119g/km.

Additional engine options will arrive later this year, including a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol producing 108bhp. It will also feature mild-hybrid assistance when specified with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. An entry-level ‘30 TDI’ diesel has also been confirmed, with 114bhp and a six-speed manual gearbox.

Full economy and performance specifications for UK cars will be confirmed when the A3 Saloon arrives in showrooms this summer.

Trim levels and specifications

Trim levels for the A3 Saloon start with entry-level Sport trim, which features 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-trimmed upholstery and dual-zone climate control. S line models add 18-inch alloy wheels, LED tail lights, privacy glass and sports seats.

The new Edition One trim level adds sporty features including 19-inch alloy wheels, black exterior detailing, Matrix LED headlights and LED daytime running lights. Inside, there are electrically adjustable and heated front sports seats with Alcantara and faux leather trim.

The range-topping Vorsprung model has a panoramic glass sunroof as standard, Nappa leather upholstery and a premium Bang & Olufsen stereo system.

Audi S3 and RS3 saloon

Saloon versions of the S3 and RS3 are likely to join the range next year. They will use the same engines as the forthcoming hatchback models, with the S3 Saloon using a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 306bhp that’s shared with the new Cupra Leon ST estate. The new RS3 will retain its turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine as seen in previous generations, with a power output of around 400bhp. Both cars will only be offered with quattro all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox.

Want to know more about the A3 model line-up? Read our in-depth review of the new Audi A3 Sportback.

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