Audi’s A3 hatchback has carved a small and moderately successful niche in the Australian new car market for itself, a bit like Audi itself.
But the challenges now start getting more serious for the A3 with BMW’s 1 Series presenting a tough new challenge when it arrives in October.
To ensure the fight is as difficult as possible for the new rival, Audi has introduced an A3 that offers more choice and more size inside and out for a lower introductory price than the outgoing car.
Let the battle commence.
Model release date: July 2004
AUDI introduced its original A3 hatchback range here starting with the three-door in May 1997.
At launch, it was available with 74kW/145Nm 1.6 for $38,950 and a 92kW/173Nm 1.8 for $41,950.
A 110kW/210Nm 1.8T was added in February 1998, before the five-door version joined the range in October 1999.
At launch, the five-door was available with the same 1.6 (uprated to 75kW/148Nm as part of a cosmetic upgrade in November 2000), 1.8 and 1.8T engines.
The outgoing 1.6 five-door, at $35,400, became the base model when the three-door models left the market in October 1999 (except for the S3 hot hatch).