Facelifted Audi A3 range revealed: new tech, kit and engines

Published: 06 April 2016

► Updated 2016 Audi A3 line-up revealed
► New tech, standard kit and engines
► On sale in May, deliveries in summer

Audi’s got around to revamping its A3 range, bringing it into line with the company’s more recent offerings.

Key updates include styling tweaks, Xenon or LED headlights as standard, an upgraded kit list and new engine and equipment options. 

So what’s new outside?

Minor tweaks all round, really. The grille’s been sharpened up slightly, as have the lights, meaning the A3’s exterior now more closely resembles the likes of the latest A4.

The colour palette’s been widened, too – and no, it’s not just a load of different greys. Among the new colours are shades of blue, red and yellow. The wheel designs have been updated as well.

Xenon lights with LED daytime running lights are standard-fit now, although S line and S3 versions come with LED lights. The advanced, dazzle-preventing Matrix LED headlight system is also offered.

Are the changes inside more extensive?  

The key update is the new option of Audi’s excellent 12.3in ‘virtual cockpit’, which replaces the conventional analogue gauge cluster.

Standard equipment throughout the range includes the 7in folding MMI radio system, while sat-nav is standard on SE Technik models and above. Pleasingly, cruise control is standard on all variants, too.

Every A3 gets Android and iOS connectivity, while inductive charging, numerous safety systems, a heated steering wheel and a massaging driver’s seats are available as options.

What are the trim and engine choices?

There’s plenty to choose from, that’s for sure. Trim levels consist of SE, SE Technik, Sport and S line, as well as the flagship high-performance S3 derivative.

You’ve also got three-door, five-door, cabriolet and saloon bodystyles to pick from in many cases – so most customers should be able to find something in the line-up that fulfills their requirements.

A new 1.0-litre three-cylinder TFSI petrol has been added to the range, so the engine-line up for the conventional A3 variants is now as follows:

  • 1.0 TFSI: 113bhp, 148lb ft
  • 1.4 TFSI COD: 148bhp, 184lb ft
  • 2.0 TFSI: 187bhp, 236lb ft
  • 1.6 TDI: 109bhp, 184lb ft
  • 2.0 TDI: 148bhp, 251lb ft
  • 2.0 TDI: 181bhp, 280lb ft

Transmission choices for most variants include manual and dual-clutch gearboxes, while quattro all-wheel drive is available in the 2.0 TFSI petrol version and standard in S3 versions.  

Sports suspension, which is standard on the S line models, is available and cuts the ride height by 15mm. Go for the optional S line sport suspension and the ride height gets cut by a total of 25mm.

An electrically powered variable steering system is also offered on many versions of the facelifted A3, and standard on the high-performance S3. 

Any other interesting things I need to know?

Audi claims that the kerb weight of the 1.0-litre TFSI-engined A3 is 1150kg, reputedly making it the lightest in its class.

The flagship S3 version also gets fractionally more punch for 2016, benefitting from an extra 9bhp and 14.8lb ft. That means a total of 306bhp and 295lb ft, the latter of which is on offer from 2000-5400rpm.

When will the updated A3s be available?

You can order any of the facelifted A3 range in May. Deliveries are expected to start towards the end of summer, but the plug-in hybrid A3 Sportback e-tron won’t arrive until later this year.

Exact pricing has yet to be confirmed but expect it to be similar to that of the current line-up. 

Read more Audi A3 reviews here

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car

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