Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
2 minute read
18 Jan 2014
10:00 am

Frugal A3 Sedan impresses

Mark Jones

Last week I made a statement when testing Audi's S3 that their claimed fuel consumption figures are a joke because you can never get close to them.

Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI

Funny how quick the wheel turns, although I will stick to my guns but perhaps further clarify my statement in adding that this should be for the TFSI models only.

I say this because the A3 2.0 TDI SE Sedan that I had on test this week really impressed me when it came to fuel consumption. No it did not do its claimed number of 4.1 litres per 100 km on average but came in at a test overall 5.9 litres per 100 km that included the flat out work at Gerotek.


I can’t remember when last I tested a luxury premium compact sedan that returned these sorts of figures. I was not trying to save fuel either; I was just simply enjoying the 340 Nm of torque available from 1750rpm to 3500 rpm when commuting in and around Johannesburg.

Be that as it may, the 2.0 TDI did a fine job at Gerotek and ran a sub 10 second 0-100 km/h and went on to come in at just over 220 km/h flat out when making proper use of the slick shifting six-speed manual box on our test unit. Not bad at all for a full four-door sedan that is 11mm wider and 9mm lower than the A3 Sportback.

Sure you can wind up the motor a little and make full use of the 110 kW that is on tap via the slightly clackety sounding 2.0 litre turbodiesel mill, ironically you only notice the engine sound when you stand outside the car while it runs, from the inside it is refinement all the way. But either way, drag racing is not what the A3 Sedan does best. Fuss free comfortable everyday motoring is what this Audi excels at.


There is a fair whack of space available for passengers and cargo for a compact sedan and you also have fold down rear seats that up the ante to 880 litres for even better family or daily convenience. You also get a host of standard luxury and a substantial list of optional extras like MMI Navigation plus to go with a standard price of R355 500.

At this stage only the more expensive Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI is a natural premium competitor, and compete it does on all relevant levels. Many like the styling of the CLA but I can’t get my head around the looks of the Merc, and because of this I would opt for the A3 Sedan because not only does it do the job, it looks the part too.