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Car reviews - Audi - A3 - 2.0 FSI 3-dr hatch

Overview

Audi turns up the prestige small car heat with its all-new three-door A3 hatch

Audi logo23 Dec 2004

By MARTON PETTENDY

AUDI'S new A3 needs to keep its wits about it if it's to maintain station as a top contender in the increasingly busy "A" segment for prestige cars. Fortunately, the basics are all there for the German three-door. There's the mechanical techno fest that comprises the torque-rich TDi turbo-diesel, the direct-injection FSI petrol engine and the pumped-up 3.2-litre V6 quattro. Then there are the transmission choices, which include five and six-speed manuals, a six-speed Tiptronic auto and the new DSG manual-automatic. On top of that, we find unquestionably high standards of quality, an interior that is probably the most spacious in its class and an underlying sportiness that ensures it's fun to drive. Only the lack of doors works against it.
Model release date: 1 July 2004 to 1 May 2007

Previous model

Audi A3 hatch

Released: May 1997
Ended: June 2004
Family Tree: A3

The original three-door A3 hatch was launched in Europe in 1996 and in Australia in May 1997, available in both 1.6 and 1.8-litre guise. A 1.8 turbo version was launched here in February 1998, while the five-door A3 - including 1.6, 1.8 and turbo variants, each with 181mm-shorter front doors - went on sale here in October 1999, the same time the three-door was discontinued. Two months later the stove-hot 154kW AWD S3 arrived here, while all A3s variants received a midlife update in November 2000.

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