The A3 has always been a popular salary sacrifice car so we were eager to test the new sportback model. Early reviews have been very positive, but could it live up to the hype? We eagerly started to find out.

Audi have an enviable position in our portfolio, a premium manufacturer that avoids being ‘niche’ and due to their low co2 product dominate our order book with the Audi A1 being our most popular car for the last 2 years. However larger cars have not always represented the best value and the A3 sportback with lower co2 has been introduced to try and address this shortfall, but has it succeeded?

Initially reactions on delivery were very positive, all the team loved the quality finish, the feel of the cab and the external styling, the A3 has only changed slightly over the last few years yet still manages to look modern and refined. It lacks some of the stunning looks of cars such as the Guilietta but delivers a more refined look and indeed as we will see drive.

On the road the Audi behaves impeccably, it’s eager to move you to your destination and returns a ‘real’ world economy of 45mpg even driven in sports mode, the pick of the range is the 1.6 SE which has all the performance ad equipment most would want but we trialed the top of the range 2.0 with the Audi suspension management system, an option on other models and what a revelation this proved to be. We’ve tried similar systems many times so imagine our surprise when we left the confines of the office roads and found country lanes and switched to sport mode. Instantly the car felt tight, agile and fast, the exhaust note changed and power was delivered exactly where needed. During the course of our demo we tried the comfort modes, Eco modes and even ‘played’ with the personal settings and each delivered.

So the verdict? Well it’s not the roomiest sportback we’ve ever had but if you want a slightly bigger hatchback that promises to change its driving style to suit you then select the Audi suspension management system and you have effectively 2 cars in one! Otherwise the 1.6 se is very hard to beat from £270 per month all in on the typical scheme. To organised your demo or check stock speak with your driver line account manager today!