The Esquire Drive

New Audi A3

It’s under the skin where the new Audi A3 really shows its mettle. 


Car ads haven’t changed much over the years — man alone at the wheel, descending a deserted and spectacular coastal road in late afternoon sunshine, with a slight smirk that says, “Jesus, I made some good life decisions to get here.”

Of course, unless you happen to be a lighthouse keeper nipping out to buy some milk, this is not most people’s typical daily drive. Real driving involves plodding traffic, waiting at the lights, accelerating unnecessarily fast to the next set before the cycle repeats again.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

In short, driving is now as much about sitting around and enjoying the space you’re in, something not lost on Audi judging by the new version of its top-selling model in the UK, the A3.

Outside, Audi has gone for an “if it ain’t broke” approach to design, subtly sharpening things up with what it calls “evolutionary” changes — in other words, you’d need a forensics team to spot them. It’s inside the cabin that the A3 has taken a genuine jump forward.

Most Popular

The level of finish and gadgetry on offer is more typical of flagship executive models — plush seats, dashboard detailing and strokeable materials shout “premium” as soon as you hear the door clunk. It’s roomier too, thanks to an extended wheelbase compared to the last model. And gadget-wise, there are more extras on offer here than a Berlusconi massage. Radar cruise control, anyone?

Under the skin, it’s all change. Almost everything — engine, electronics, gearbox — is brand new and the result is a car that is lighter, livelier and more responsive than its predecessor when the lights do go green. If you’re going to get stuck in traffic, this is a nice place to get stuck in. Audi clearly understand, that for many drivers, it’s what’s inside that counts.

Max power......178bhp
Top speed.....144mph

What do you think?

Grand Seiko Hi Beat 36000 GMT Mount Iwate
10 Beautiful New Watches You Should Treat Yourself To This Winter
​Your wrist assessment for AW16​
Supreme Brick
Supreme Made A Branded Brick And It's Selling for £750
This is truly the end of days, friends​​
Alexander Skarsgard
The Best Dressed Men Of The Week: Skarsgård, Hiddleston And... Woody Allen?
​See who's got it right over the past seven days
brown brogues
The 8 Pairs Of Shoes Every Man Should Own
Men's fashion might often feel like an ever-changing carousel of what's hot, what's not, and what might be hot come A/W 2032, but our edit...
Adidas R1 NMD
One Of Adidas' Most-Coveted Trainers Is Finally Coming Back
​​Second time lucky?​
Derek Zoolander
Male Models Earn 75% Less Than Women
​​But they do have better career longevity ​
Style Hacks: How To Wear A Breton Top
​Three ways to master the classic pattern
Stranger Things Cast
Are The Stranger Things Kids About To Become Louis Vuitton Models?
​They hung out with the brand's creative director for an "exciting project coming up"​
Watch David Beckham And Kevin Hart Wreck Their Tour Bus In New H&M Video
Will they ever get to Vegas​?
Apple Watch 2
The 10 Best Smartwatches
​The wearable tech that's as stylish as it is cutting-edge​