Premium hatchbacks are now more popular than ever, with buyers increasingly looking for something more upmarket than a run-of-the-mill model.
And one of the stand-out choices in this field is the Audi A3, which is one of the German firm’s more affordable models, yet one that doesn’t sacrifice on quality or technology.
Now in its fourth generation, here’s five reasons why it’s a great premium hatchback. Fantastic design
The A3 has always been a good-looking model, but even more so in this latest generation, which benefits from some of the design changes seen on Audi’s more expensive models.
These include the larger Singleframe grille that the German firm’s models are distinguished by, as well as more angular air inlets at the front. There’s also fancy new LED lighting at the front and rear. It’s certainly a striking piece of design and even more so in the higher-spec S line and Edition 1 models. Brilliant interior
The interior is arguably the biggest change on the latest A3, and it moves the game on considerably compared to its predecessor.
It’s a far more modern affair than before, but one that hasn’t lost sight of quality, with the A3 still having one of the most premium-feeling cabins in this class. Loads of technology
And another aspect to the A3’s interior is the range of new technology fitted. That’s because all models come with a fantastic 10.25-inch digital dial system, which is easily configurable depending on the screens and gauges you want to see. You can also upgrade this to an even more impressive 12.3-inch screen, which comes as standard on the higher-spec Edition 1 and Vorsprung models.
Audi has also introduced a new central 10.1-inch touchscreen, too, which runs on the latest MIB 3 operating system, bringing enhanced connected services thanks to an in-built 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. Better to drive than ever
Behind the wheel the A3 has always majored on comfort and refinement, and while those attributes remain, this new Audi is now far more engaging than before.
And that’s from all version – not just the sporty S3 – with the new A3 handling better than before, with strong grip levels and fantastic balance that enables you to push on. If you fancy something a bit more sporting, the S line with its sports suspensions setup is well worth considering.Big choice of engine options – including plug-in hybrid
Choice is absolutely key on the latest A3, with this model available with a wide choice of powertrains to suit most buyers. The range begins with more affordable petrol and diesel engines, while mild-hybrid technology has also been introduced to aid efficiency further.
But a choice of plug-in hybrid models are also available, too, bringing an electric range of 41 miles, and making them very efficient to run, and also a fantastic company car option.Enquire on a new Audi A3.
Audi to complete India line-up this year; launch two EVs
© Provided by The Financial Express
From the peak of over 40,000 units per year in 2014-15, sales of luxury cars in India dropped to about 21,000 units in CY2020. In the pandemic year, the market was led by Mercedes-Benz (7,893 units, down 43% year-on-year) and BMW (6,604 units, down 31%), while Audi – once the biggest luxury car player in India – trailed at just 1,639 units (down 63%). Other carmakers in this segment are Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Lexus. However, Balbir Singh Dhillon, head, Audi India, is hopeful that with a product offensive strategy in place for CY2021, the company will see double-digit growth. “We launched the new made-in-India A4 sedan in January, and this year will see a host of new car launches; with a well-established petrol strategy in place, we are also geared up to kick off our electrification strategy in India,” he said.
Audi India currently manufactures only two models, the A4 and the A6. According to its website, the A3, the Q3 and the Q5 – the so-called ‘volume’ cars – are not even on sale. “Preparations are on for local assembly,” Dhillon said, without specifying any models. Last year, the company moved its strategy from petrol-plus-diesel to petrol-and-electrified cars. This year, in addition to petrol cars, Audi will also launch two pure electric cars. “We will launch the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback within two-three months,” Dhillon said. “This year will see new sedans and SUVs; we will have volume cars as also niche cars and sports cars, and will try and cover most of the segments.”
On electric cars, he said the success depends on the infrastructure – it should not happen that a customer buys these cars and faces charging-related issues. “We are trying to find out what potential issues a customer may face once he or she buys an electric car, and that’s why the launch is taking some time.”
While the sales split for Audi India (metro cities vis-à-vis non-metro) is 50:50, Dhillon said sales in tier-2 and tier-3 cities have been growing of late. “We will now have a workshop-first approach and focus on Audi Approved plus (pre-owned sales channel). At the same time, our focus on digital sales channel is paying off and about 20% of our sales leads are coming from the digital channel,” he said.
Last year, during the lockdown, Audi was one of the first carmakers in India to have launched digital sales initiatives, including 360-degree product visualiser in augmented reality and fully online car sales. On Monday, the company launched the S5 Sportback, a supercar priced Rs 79.06 lakh.