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All-new Audi A3 Saloon revealed. Image by Audi AG.

All-new Audi A3 Saloon revealed
Audi A3 Saloon model to join hatchback line-up.
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2020-12-11: Driven: Audi A3 Saloon

What's all this about?

Following the debut of the fourth-generation Audi A3, the company has pulled the covers off of its new A3 Saloon. We first saw the A3 Saloon as part of the quite expansive previous generation, and while the model mix seems likely to be pared down going forward, the four-door is sticking around due to its popularity. The new car is clearly recognisable as the A3 Saloon and gets the same styling treatment as the five-door Sportback does. That will include the new Singleframe grille at the front and LED headlights. The latter carry different DRL signatures that correspond to the specification grade, making it easier to differentiate them.

That similarity extends back as far as the B-pillar. Rearwards from there the A3 Saloon receives bespoke sheetmetal and the roofline takes a sleeker arc than its predecessor. Audi's designers were able to give the rear a less stubby appearance. The design team even managed to design the bootlid in such a way that it uses the same rear light units as the hatch, something that should keep the beancounters in Ingolstadt happy. Overall cargo capacity stays the same at 425 litres, though that is more than what is available in the Sportback.

What about the interior?

As sharp as the exterior of the Audi A3 Saloon looks, we think buyers will be more impressed once they get inside. That knack Audi has of creating great interiors continues and this latest A3 is right up there as one of the best in the range at present. All models get a 10.25-inch digital instrument display - or Virtual Cockpit in Audi parlance - along with the option of upgrading to a larger 12.3-inch display and or adding a colour head-up display. In the centre of the dash is a 10.1-inch screen, which is standard across the range and will be able to mirror Android and Apple smartphone devices.

Space in the rear is decent enough, and the new design brings minor improvements to both shoulder and elbow room for those in the back. The middle seat is better, though as Audi plans to offer quattro all-wheel drive with the A3, there is still a small transmission tunnel in the floor.

What engines will be available?

When the A3 Saloon goes on sale, it will initially be available with a choice of two TFSI petrol engines and one TDI diesel. The 35 TFSI is a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that has an output of 150hp and will come with either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic. The latter includes Audi's 48-volt mild hybrid technology, which comprises of an additional small battery under the front passenger seat and a belt alternator starter. What it allows for is the engine to shut off for brief periods when the car is coasting, thus reducing fuel consumption.

The diesel offering will be a 35 TDI, based on that latest evolution of the Volkswagen Group's widely used 2.0-litre turbocharger four-cylinder engine. Available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, it should be a popular choice for some company car users. Bolstering the diesel lineup in time will be a 116hp version of the same engine that should offer lower CO2 emissions and better fuel consumption.

The Audi A3 Saloon is set to go on sale towards the end of April with deliveries due to start... well, who knows at the moment?

Dave Humphreys - 21 Apr 2020

Earlier articles featuring 2020 Audi A3

2020-03-04: Next-gen Audi A3 takes its bow

2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.

2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.2020 Audi A3 Saloon. Image by Audi AG.    - Audi road tests
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