2021 Audi A3 Sedan Review: Slicker, Sportier, Spendier

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. 

Derryn and Ju-Len walk you through the new A3 Sedan

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. 

2021 Audi A3 Sedan Singapore Review - Interior

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.

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about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong