25 January 2022

Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review

In a world dominated by SUVs and Utes it’s refreshing to step into a car like the latest all-new Audi A3 Sportback. New Zealanders are very familiar with the A3 and it has been with us in New Zealand for a quarter of a century, since Audi defined the premium compact hatch back in 1996.


Audi 1
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review
Audi 2
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review
Audi 3
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review
Audi 4
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review
Audi 5
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review
Audi 6
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review
Audi 7
Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022 Car Review

Model:                Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro 2022
Price Range:     $69,990 + ORC
Body Style:       Sportback
Status:               Currently on sale

The all-new A3 Sportback delivers a new sharp German exterior and premium connected interior design, you also benefit from the driving dynamics Audi are known for and a host of innovative technologies such as Audi connect®, which sweetens the deal even further.

Athletic exterior

Audi intext1

While the fourth generation A3 Sportback is related closely to the latest VW Golf, it has a sportier design. The first element that greets you is the wide single frame with a honeycomb grille. It also boasts large air inlets and a continuous shoulder line on the side. The C Pillar is strongly sloped and gives the rear of the vehicle an athletic, crouched, and ready to pounce, appearance.

The A3 Sportback features new LED headlights and LED daytime running lights. Optional are Matrix LED headlights with digital daytime running lights, consisting of a pixel matrix, each with 5 x 3 LED segments, giving the A3 Sportback a unique look.

The broad expressive wheel arches are furnished with S line 5 spoke Y - Design graphite 18-inch wheels, the low-profile wheels and rear segmented honeycomb rear diffuser combine to create a gorgeous and unique silhouette.

The A3 Sportback boasts more room inside, which makes it more functional especially because of its convenient hatch access, although it hasn’t grown by a lot in terms of its exterior dimensions, which is often the case with newer models. It measures in at 4.34 metres in length and 1.82 metres in width (without the mirrors). This means this premium compact car has grown by just over three centimetres compared with its predecessor, so if you are upgrading your existing Audi A3 Sportback you will have no issue space wise with transitioning.

Progressive design

Audi 5

The interior continues the dynamic styling of the exterior with aluminium and carbon inlays, angular door openers and an instrument panel embedded in a high gloss black surface, but not overdone.

The cockpit is a space that focuses on the driver, and we found familiar elements from larger Audi’s we have reviewed in the past. Like the 10.1-inch MMI (Multi-Media Interface) touch colour display as standard, which is neatly integrated into the centre of the instrument panel.

This MMI system recognises letters entered manually, provides acoustic feedback, and can be controlled using verbal natural language. The instrument cluster, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, is also digital as standard.

The Audi virtual cockpit screen measures 12.3-inches diagonally, and offers three different views, including a large display of the navigation map.

The latest MMI is powered by the new third generation modular infotainment platform. Its computing power is now ten times higher than its predecessor, so this means little lag and buttery smooth operation.

Essentially MMI is the system that is responsible for all tasks relating to the car’s audio, communications, and navigation functions, these include telephone and Audi connect services, and it’s integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. The Wi-Fi- Hotspot is great if you are out and about with the family and need to keep the occupants connected. Another win is the wireless charger, which is standard kit across the entire range.

Depending on the position of the rear bench seat, the luggage compartment holds a minimum of 325 litres, which can grow as high as 1,145 litres with the rear bench seat folded down. The loading floor can be inserted at different heights for greater flexibility. This is not bad considering the size and class of vehicle.

Dynamic performance

The A3 Sportback we reviewed featured a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder TFSI engine, which produces 140kW. As a first for the A3, the 2.0 TFSI engine now comes with Audi’s renowned quattro drive system for improved driving traction and stability.

The 40 TFSI Quattro we reviewed features a seven-speed S Tronic transmission with several adjustable settings to spice up performance, economy wise consumption is rated at 5.7L/100k with a CO2 output of 155g/km.

The four-link rear axle suspension of the new A3 Sportback is refined and balanced, combining pleasant ride comfort with enjoyable driving dynamics. On the winding perilous hills of Titirangi, trialling all the modes in the Audi Drive Select system, this system makes it possible to preselect three highly individual configurations for the engine and gearbox, the result is a car that can be enjoyed in three completely different ways. Regardless of the settings it always felt surefooted and confident on the road, and it’s certainly an engaging ride, accentuated by its modest dimensions.

Verdict

The Audi A3 Sportback has an athletic design, innovative features and above all superior handling. The 40 TFSI Quattro is also a perfect companion for New Zealand roads. This has been one of the most engaging drives we have had in some time, it gave us some of the same thrill of a GR Yaris – recent winner of the AA DRIVEN NZ Car of the Year 2021, but with a much more refined and polished feeling.

If you want a car that is both sporty, comfortable and practical, but don’t fancy the idea of getting behind the wheel of a boy racer type of sports car, then the more refined A3 Sportback is surely worth a look.

Pros

  • Great handling
  • Superb styling
  • Interior finish

Cons

  • No rear seat pockets

At a glance

Models

Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro

Engine

2.0-litre 

Price

From $69,900 +ORC

ANCAP safety rating

5-Star 

Power and Torque

140kW/320Nm

Transmission

Seven speed S Tronic

Fuel economy/CO2

5.7L/100km, 155g/km

Towing capacity

750kg unbraked / 1600kg braked

2WD/4WD/AWD

AWD

Seating capacity

5

Luggage capacity/payload

325L (All Seats Up) / 1145L

Safety systems

  • ABS with Electronic Braking Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Braking Assistance (EBA)
  • Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) with torque vectoring
  • Front driver & passenger airbags with side airbags in the front seats, side guard head airbag Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Audi Pre-Sense Front
  • Adaptive Cruise Assist with Emergency Assist
  • High Beam Assist
  • Lane Change Assist

Find out more on how the AA can help you when buying a new car:

Vehicle experts you can trust

Keywords
Previous review
Next review
Peugeot e-208 2021 Car Review
Read more
Audi S3 Sportback 2022 Car Review
Read more