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Car trim reviews

Audi A3 S line

The A3 S line sits at the top of the Audi A3 range, but the suspension modifications make it very uncomfortable, and it costs a lot more than the basic model.

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Audi practically invented the premium hatchback when the first generation went on sale in 1996 and it seems it’s moving the game on again with the latest iteration. The current Audi A3 combines unrivalled quality, style and a wide range of economical and powerful engines – it’s even well-equipped.

Going up against cars like the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes A-Class and the Lexus CT it has to be good to stand a chance of being short listed. Luckily, it is. Just three trims are available with the A3, the SE, Sport and S line.

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Standard specification is high with all models gaining a 5.8-inch touchscreen colour display, as well as a digital radio and Bluetooth hands-free calling. A trip computer that informs you of average fuel economy, speed and distance is also included.

The range-topping S line model we’re focusing on adds the biggest 18-inch wheels and a sport bodykit that includes a redesigned front and rear bumper, sporty roof spoiler and side sills. The S-line also gets xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights. Inside there’s leather multi function steering wheel and half leather seats.

Good points

The current Audi A3 is more comfort biased than the old car and that’s a good thing for those who like a soft ride. All the engines are smooth and quiet too, while inside the seats are comfortable and it’s easy to find a decent driving position. There's no denying the cabin feels beautifully built.Pick any A3 and low running costs come as standard. Strong resale values should also factor into your purchase decision, plus fixed price servicing will help avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to maintenance.Finally, the Audi A3 undercuts both the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes A-Class and comes with a decent level of equipment.

Bad points

Ultimately, the BMW 1 Series is more fun to drive, while space in the Audi A3 remains tight in the rear seats for adults. As with many other German premium brands be very careful not to get carried away with ticking option boxes. It’s all too easy to rapidly inflate an already substantial list price.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Alarm
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Auto climate control
  • Full leather seats
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Single CD player
  • Stop/Start

Recommended optional extras

  • Metallic paint
  • Comfort package (parking sensors, cruise control)
  • Audi Complete five-year maintenance package

Our choice

The smooth and quiet 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine offers brisk pace and the ability to average 60mpg.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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