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Audi A3 Sedan Mild Hybrid 1.5 TFSI Review Singapore 2021

From Audi Singapore comes the new Audi A3 Sedan equipped with the new 10.1-inch MMI Touch Screen with Smartphone Connectivity, Mild Hybrid System, and Audi Virtual Cockpit.

Since pioneering the premium compact sedan segment back in 2013, the Audi A3 sedan has been something of a crowd favourite. At one point, it even became Audi Singapore’s best selling model in the country, taking over the A3 Sportback as Audi’s de-facto entry level car. Since then, sales of the A3 sedan have been consistently strong, with many of us eager to see what the 4th iteration of the car will bring to the table. While the previous A3 sedan was a solid little car that brought a lot of value to consumers, times are slightly different now, and people are concerned about different things. Will the latest A3 effectively address those concerns? - And will it continue to shine through as a smart and effective daily driver for its demographic?

A Major Step Up in Stature

In the previous versions of the A3, you could always tell that the interior was a watered down version of its more accomplished stablemates, the A4 and the A6. The interior was simpler, more elemental, and ultimately, more juvenile. In the new car however, this has changed, and the newly designed interior takes a major step up in terms of build quality and material use. In essence, it feels like a much more mature car. It isn’t just the fact that more design elements such as Lamborghini inspired air vents have been incorporated into the car, it is also the manner in which these elements have been delivered. Everything, from the weight of the doors, to the feel of the new 10.1-inch MMI infotainment unit, alludes to a more complete experience for the consumer.

The thing with entry level continental cars like the A3, is that they play an extremely important role in Singapore as “crossover cars” - Not in the traditional sense of the term, but in the way that they serve as the sort of gateway car for drivers who are considering an upgrade from a bread and butter Japanese or Korean make. Contextually, if there was ever any doubt about the previous A3 being a worthy crossover car, there won’t be any now. Overall, the new A3 is a superbly built car that presents immaculate build quality coupled with an avant-garde, futuristic simplicity that will be more compelling than ever.

Excellent Positioning in it's Segment

Cars in the premium compact sedan segment offer consumers reasonably comfortable brand access to the Big 3 German marquees, yet are getting a car that resembles a proper sedan that doesn’t instantly draw attention to the fact that the car might be the entry level car of its lineup - In essence, these cars need to present the best value for money to the consumer, and provide a very good balance between prestige and price. In my opinion, the A3 does this better than its main competitors.

You see, with the 2 Series Gran Coupe, the car feels like a disconnected range from the 3 Series and the 5 Series. With the A-Class Saloon, it feels like 2 steps below a C-Class, due to the CLA-Class existing in between. With the A3 however, it feels very close to an A4 in stature, and therefore is most likely to fulfil the prestige-based aspirations of its target demographic. With car models getting larger and more premium with every iteration, it feels like Audi has deliberately positioned the new A3 in such a way that it will fill the gap left behind by the A4 when the A4 eventually undergoes a revamp and becomes bigger and more premium. In fact, it almost feels like the new A3 sedan already feels more premium than the A4 in some ways, particularly with interior elements like the new touchscreen infotainment unit, and the revamped Audi Virtual Cockpit (digital driver’s display).

Quick & Economical

Perhaps the most important reason the A3 sedan is going to impress is because it is incredibly smart as a car, and in doing so, is also incredibly relevant to Singapore’s driving conditions and to the needs of the modern Singapore driver. For starters, the A3’s new mild hybrid system is a proper mild hybrid system which works in tandem with the internal combustion engine (ICE), unlike in the A4 where it only works on the auxiliary systems. In the base car, combining the ICE and the mild hybrid system, it puts out an extremely respectable 150 bhp, making it the most powerful A3 ever. And yet somehow, the car also manages to be the most economical A3 ever - even better than the 1.0L 3 Cylinder version we saw on the outgoing car.

Audi rates the car at approximately 21.3 km/l, and this is achieved partially by the mild hybrid system, and partially by Audi’s new cylinder deactivation system, which has the ability to shut off 2 out of 4 of its cylinders when cruising along at highway speeds. However, after a few days of testing, we think consumers will likely achieve an economy figure of between 18km/l to 19.5km/h - still mightily impressive considering that the A3 is no slouch, is pretty zippy to drive, and is still pretty much an ICE car.

Is There a More Relevant Car than the Audi A3 Sedan?

More important than being impressive perhaps, is that this makes the Audi A3 sedan extremely relevant to consumers today. Think about it - If you want a sedan that is premium, branded, German, economical, relatively quick, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, it’ll be quite difficult to find a value proposition that is better than the new Audi A3 sedan.

For more information about the Audi A3 Sedan, visit Audi’s authorised dealer in Singapore, Premium Automobiles to view or test drive the car.

Premium Automobiles is located at:

Audi Centre Singapore

281 Alexandra Road

Singapore 159938


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