2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan Review
Price & Equipment: 8.5
Performance & Economy: 9
Ride & Handling: 8.5
Interior & Practicality: 8
Service & Warranty: 8.5
What we like:
  • Refined and efficient powertrain
  • Good value for money in standard form
  • Refined and comfortable to drive
What we don't like:
  • Features like memory seating limited to upper models
  • Grainy reversing camera
  • Some interior materials could be improved
8.5DiscoverAuto Rating:

We’ve seen many types of cars dwindle in sales thanks to the constant rise of SUVs, and premium small cars are one of them, so much so that Mercedes-Benz has reportedly canned plans for a next-generation of its A-Class. Audi has been more successful with its A3 and even in a tough year for supply, sold 3,319 units in Australia in 2023, which was only 273 units behind its Volkswagen Golf cousin. Making the A3 appeal to more buyers is that it’s offered as a sedan, which is not unique in the premium small car segment but still something of a rarity in the new car market. Should the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan be on your premium small car shopping list? Let’s find out.

As the premium small sedan market is a small one these days, the A3 doesn’t have a whole lot of competitors – just the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe – and even looking beyond the non-premium part, only a few more products are available, like the Kia K4 that’s due later this year, the Hyundai i30 and Toyota Corolla.

How much does the 2024 Audi A3 Sedan cost to buy?

The 2024 Audi A3 tested here is the entry level sedan, known as the 35 TFSI. It’s priced from $53,100 plus on-road costs or around $59,000 drive away, depending on location. Above the 35 TFSI are the 2.0-litre all-wheel drive A3 40 TFSI Quattro ($60,200 +ORC or around $67,000 drive away), as well as the performance S3 (around $88,000 drive away) and high-performance RS3 (around $111,500 drive away). Each A3 variant can also be chosen as a hatchback (or ‘Sportback’ in Audi jargon) bodystyle option available for $2,500 less.

A3 35 TFSI standard equipment:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with a tyre repair kit
  • Dusk- and rain-sensing automatic all-LED exterior lighting with scrolling rear indicators
  • Rain-sensing automatic wipers
  • Keyless entry and push button start
  • Kick-to-open keyless bootlid opening
  • Electric heated mirrors
  • Electric windows with auto up/down and remote open/closing
  • Black leather upholstery
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters
  • Six-way manually adjustable front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with rear air vents
  • 10.25-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital driver’s display with Google Maps integration
  • 10.1-inch infotainment screen with live services
  • ‘Audi Connect Plus Navigation and Infotainment’ three-year subscription with online traffic information, Google Maps integration with live traffic, parking information, weather, fuel prices and Google Services
  • ‘Audi Connect Plus Security and Assistance’ services include car finder with remote signal, remote lock and unlock, emergency calling (for 10 years), online roadside assistance and service requests
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • AM/FM/DAB+ digital radio
  • 180W six-speaker sound system
  • 4x USB-C ports
  • Wireless phone charger

A3 35 TFSI standard safety equipment:

  • Seven airbags (including a front centre unit)
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality and traffic jam assist
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • Low-speed automatic reverse braking
  • Emergency assist (slowly and safely stops the car if the driver becomes incapacitated)
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Reversing camera
  • Automatic parallel and perpendicular parking functionality
  • Driver attention monitoring
  • Auto high beam

The 2024 Audi A3 range received a five-star ANCAP rating in 2020 with scores of 89 per cent for adult protection, 81 per cent for child protection, 68 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 73 per cent for safety assist.

A3 35 TFSI options:

  • Comfort Package with heated 12-way electric front seats, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and auto-folding/auto-dimming/auto-dipping in reverse exterior mirrors: $2,050 (fitted to our test car)
  • 18-inch Audi sport wheels: $1,500 (fitted to our test car)
  • 360-degree camera: $750
  • Glass sunroof: $2,000 (fitted to our test car)
  • Rear privacy glass: $650
  • Heated front seats: $650
  • Interior decorative trims in ‘dark aluminium spectrum’: $370

A3 35 TFSI colour range:

  • Arkona White: $0
  • Brilliant Black: $0
  • Mythos Black: $1,250
  • Navarra Blue: $1,250
  • Python Yellow: $1,250
  • Floret Silver: $1,250
  • Manhattan Grey: $1,250
  • Daytona Grey: $1,250
  • Glacier White: $1,250 (fitted to our test car)

Unfortunately, there are not many rivals to the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan: the $63,400 plus on-road costs Mercedes-Benz A200 Sedan and the $65,200 +ORC BMW 220i GranCoupe. Even just looking at asking price alone, the Audi is over $10,000 less expensive than those two cars, and that makes it very good value in the segment, even before considering the standard equipment lists. Over the A3, the A200 only adds two extra airbags, a 360-degree camera, auto-folding exterior mirrors, a power bootlid and memory seating for the driver. The BMW adds even less equipment – just auto-folding exterior mirrors, a head-up display and memory seating for the driver. Are those pieces of equipment worth an extra $10,000? We think not.

How powerful is the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan?

The 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s aided by a 48-volt mild hybrid system for greater efficiency and performance. This powertrain produces 110kW of power (between 5,000rpm and 6,000rpm) and 250Nm of torque (between 1,500rpm and 3,500rpm). While those are reasonable figures, both main rivals make more grunt: the A200 produces 118kW/270Nm from its smaller 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine, while the 220i makes 141kW/280Nm from its larger 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine. All three are front-wheel drive and use seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions.

This is the first time we’ve tried the lovely 1.5-litre turbo-engine in the A3 paired with the mild-hybrid system and we liked it a lot. More than the usual eco mode in VW Group cars that coasts when cruising, the engine actually switches off a lot – when braking, for example – when driving and while that can be a bit of a surprise initially, it doesn’t take much to get used to. It can only get caught out sometimes when you’re turning a low-speed corner after braking and it thinking you’re coming to a stop, but it only takes a bit to restart the engine and thrust is provided. Otherwise, the drivetrain is refined and punchy.

Unlike some other dual-clutch transmissions, we were impressed with the A3’s seven-speed dual clutch unit likely thanks to the mild-hybrid system providing extra low-speed refinement. It was smooth to take off from a standstill and shifted gears at the right points in the rev range to help fuel efficiency, but to also give ample power when needed. The steering wheel mounted paddle shifters are a nice touch as well, and make the A3 35 TFSI more fun to drive.

Thanks to its mild-hybrid drivetrain, the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI’s claimed average fuel consumption figure is just 4.9L/100km, while its CO2 emissions are rated at just 111g/km (versus 6.5L/100km and 148g/km for the A200 and 6.3L/100km and 143g/km for the 220i). Our week behind the wheel of the A3 on a mostly urban commute with some brief motorway stints saw an average fuel consumption figure of 6.8L/100km, which we were quite happy with. The A3 requires 95RON premium unleaded fuel and has a 50-litre fuel tank.

What is the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan like to drive?

As you’d expect for an Audi, the driving experience of the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI is refined, comfortable and classy. It sits on the well-rounded ‘MQB’ platform that also underpins cars such as the current Volkswagen Golf, Audi’s own Q2, Volkswagen T-Roc, Skoda Karoq and even sports cars like the Audi TT, meaning that it’s capable of adapting to different types of cars. The ride of the A3 is forgiving and taut in the typical VW Group way and we found it to be more than comfortable around town. The A3’s centre of gravity is low, so it can be a reasonable handler – it’s not as sporty as the 220i, but it’s more comfortable. Even without being the sporty focused S3 or RS3, you can still have some fun in the A3 35 TFSI.

The A3’s steering is a touch light, but it’s quick and offers reasonable feel. Being a modern Audi, there is plenty of standard safety equipment to get your head around, but thankfully all of it works really well and as you’d expect for the VW Group, it’s all nicely subtle as well. The lane departure warning can be turned on or off by a button on the end of the indicator stalk and works well, the blind spot monitoring was accurate and the adaptive cruise control maintained a nice distance between us and the car ahead. Finally, the A3’s road noise levels are a touch louder than we expected, but it’s still nicely refined.

How practical is the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan?

As you’d expect for an Audi, the cabin of the A3 35 TFSI – even despite being an entry-level model – is a nice place to spend time thanks to its quality, practicality and technological integration. The build quality is solid and the soft touch plastics on the dashboard and door tops feel good, though some of the lower plastics are harder to touch and can feel scratchy. But on the flip side, the leather steering wheel feels great, and the switchgear is very satisfying to use with the lovely tactile Audi click noise we love, though we wish that the lovely aluminium highlights that are optional on the A3 40 TFSI were available on the 35.

While some of the A3’s quality could be better, its storage is great. Storage highlights include a big bin underneath the centre armrest, wireless smartphone charger in front of the gear selector with two USB-C charging ports just next to it, two deep cupholders behind the gear selector, big door bins and the usual glovebox and centre console.

The 10.1-inch touchscreen that sits in the middle of the A3’s dash features Audi’s newer infotainment system, which we are big fans of because the layout of menus is intuitive and the screen itself is responsive and has a quality look to it. The 10.25-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital driver’s display is one of the best in the industry because it has unmatched configurability and the quality – like the centre screen – is excellent. While the standard sound system doesn’t sound great, we were pleasantly surprised by it – though the reversing camera is grainy.

The touchscreen is well featured with wireless smartphone mirroring, digital radio and even live features like weather, parking and Google Maps integration as well. The front seats are comfortable and nicely supportive and thanks to the optional Comfort Package, feature ample 12-way electric adjustment (we would choose that package just for the extra seat adjustment alone). The outward visibility is excellent thanks to large windows too.

Step into the rear of the A3 and you’ll note that there is enough space for three children or two adults comfortably thanks to ample leg and headroom, even for six-footers. Features includes centre armrest with cup holders, reasonable door bins, air vents, two USB-C outlets (that’s according to the spec sheet, though our test car didn’t feature them) and three top-tether points and ISOFIX points for child seats. Omissions include map pockets – only the A3 40 and above feature that – and a separate climate zone (which the related Volkswagen Golf features across the range), as well as any soft touch materials.

The bootlid of the 2024 Audi A3 Sedan is quick to open – it can be done by waving your foot underneath the bumper, which is very convenient – and reveals a healthy 425-litre space, which is 30L larger than the A200 and only 5L less than the 220i. The rear seats fold for more space in a 40:20:40 split as well. As you’d expect for an Audi, the boot is well finished and it features some under-floor storage, though no hooks or nets, and a tyre repair kit instead of a spare wheel.

What warranty covers the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan?

As with its other new cars, Audi Australia covers the A3 with a five-year/unlimited km warranty with five years of roadside assistance. The A3’s service intervals are once-yearly/every 15,000km, whichever comes first. Audi doesn’t quote pay-as-you-go service pricing, but a five-year/75,000km service pack for the A3 35 TFSI costs $2,520 for an average yearly service cost of $504.

BMW offers the same warranty term as Audi for its vehicles, though its roadside assistance only lasts for three years. A five-year/80,000km service pack for the 220i is $2,210 ($442 annually) with the same 12 month/15,000km service intervals as the Audi. Mercedes-Benz also offers the same warranty period as Audi but the A200 has longer 25,000km annual intervals. A five-year/125,000km service pack costs a massive $5,035 (average of $1,007 annually).

Should I buy a 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan?

So if you haven’t been able to tell already, the 2024 Audi A3 35 TFSI Sedan has quite a lot going for it. It’s well priced, is quite practical, is mostly pretty good quality, is filled with standard technology, it drives well and is quite fuel efficient as well. You might be thinking what’s wrong with it? Well, we didn’t find too much other than the reversing camera isn’t fantastic, some of the interior quality could be better, you can’t get memory seating in the 35 TFSI and without choosing the Comfort Pack, it’s a touch basic.

But would this be enough for us to look elsewhere? No, in all the Audi A3 is an excellent offering in the premium small non-SUV segment. It would definitely be our choice over the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 220i Gran Coupe and that’s before even considering the price gap between those rivals and the A3. The A3 35 TFSI isn’t fast or overly sporty, but it’s very comfortable, it’s practical and is a great all-rounder – what you’d expect for an Audi, really.

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