Audi A3 review - better than a BMW 1-series? - Engine and Gearbox

Audi’s posh Golf is a massive sales hit and it’s not difficult to see why, though rivals drive better

Evo rating
Price
from £20,365
  • Beautifully designed, impeccably built and competitively priced premium hatch
  • All just a bit too grown up and sensible, needs a more playful side

Engine and gearbox

While Audi would love to have you believe that both petrol and turbodiesel engines in the A3 range have a connection with its illustrious LMP1 history, neither are going to come even close to keeping up with an R18 down the Mulsanne straight.

The selection of TFSI turbocharged petrol engines are relatively smooth, but it's worth noting that the smallest 1.0-litre unit, featuring just three cylinders, only puts out 113bhp. While not over-endowed with power it's still a willing unit and boasts more urgency than its entry-level status would have you imagine.

There are only two quattros in the line up - ignoring the S and RS models - four-wheel drive limited to the highest output 187bhp 2.0 TFSI and 181bhp 2.0-litre TDI.

Those quattros are also exclusively fitted with a six-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission, the same gearbox being used on the front-wheel drive 2.0 TDI with 147bhp. The rest of the line-up comes as standard with a six-speed manual, or an optional seven-speed S tronic automatic.

Both the six- and seven-speed autos are smooth enough in most situations, but they are prone to the odd clunky shift, particularly at lower speeds. They work best being driven via the too small paddles on the steering wheel. The six-speed manual will feel familiar to anyone who’s ever driven an Audi before, the shift springy and light across its gate and not particularly accurate if it’s hurried, either. 

 

Most Popular

Car pictures of the week
Maserati MC20
Maserati MC20 coupe

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 294, we look at the highlights from Jethro Bovingdon’s drive in the highly anticipated Maserati MC20
21 Jan 2022
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring eCoty – front tracking
Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience

There are few, if any, more rewarding, engaging or intense experiences for those in pursuit of the thrill of driving
7 Jan 2022
Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar shown in new images
Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar
Peugeot

Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar shown in new images

Peugeot Sport’s new wingless Le Mans racer gears up for its competition debut later this year
18 Jan 2022