Audi’s popular four-door is no longer Cat A eligible in Singapore, but the A3 Sedan is also more mature, competitive and all grown up
SINGAPORE – Audi’s first small four-door, the A3 Sedan, was easily its best-selling car of the past because of three reasons: It was an Audi, it was affordable, and it was a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) Category A car.
But while the appeal of a Cat A car in Singapore is significant if you’re straddling the premium-mainstream divide (it’s a spectrum, not a clear line) and the old A3 1.4 was a premium car in appearance and execution, until you stepped on the gas. In contrast, the new A3 is now very clearly premium in all aspects.
To get up to speed with what you need to know about the second-gen A3: We’ve already test driven the five-door hatchback model, the A3 Sportback, and covered the launch of both cars in our detailed news story.
Traditionally, the A3 Sedan has been the best-seller here since hatchbacks are more of a European thing. That’s likely to continue since we think the A3’s angle-filled front end looks rather sharp, and having an elegant three-box shape rounds it out nicely.
One of our complaints of the old A3 Sedan – and Audis from that era really – was it pared back the styling well into confident understatement territory, but perhaps a bit too much. No such risk here, with the new car’s huge grille, pokey-looking LED lights, and sporty grille-d sections.
We won’t repeat what Ben has said about the interior too much: It’s a very high-tech place you won’t mistake for a non-luxury brand’s, with a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen and 10.25-inch digital cockpit, and far fewer buttons than before. You can pair the infotainment with your smartphone, and with the Audi connect app you have remove control/monitoring functionality too.
The lack of a gearshifter (it’s a little nub now) and MMI rotary controller make it look cleaner and roomier than before, but thankfully there’s a row of air-con controls still present. In this aspect, the A3 is more practical than the Volkswagen Golf Mk8 which it’s closely related to. Usefully, there’s also a single media control button for skipping tracks and adjusting volume.
The air-con vents mounted flanking the instrument panel are another dramatic touch, and make the driver’s side look sportier – but in a rare ergonomic mis-step ala Aston Martin these vents only blow air at your eyes or hands.