The A3 Sedan is Audi's first foray into the premium small sedan segment, and considering it's based on the same, excellent platform as the A3 hatchback, it should be competent, composed and classy. But is it really different enough to warrant its presence in an already comprehensive Audi line-up? DEON SCHOEMAN finds out.
The A3 has been a sales staple for Audi. It made the Four Rings more accessible, without compromising the brand's hard-earned reputation for class and quality. It also pioneered the premium compact hatchback segment, and gave the marque a car park presence that, at least at first, could not be emulated by the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Now in its third generation, the latest A3 is also Audi's finest yet, thanks in part to a class-leading chassis (shared with the VW Golf 7) that finds that elusive sweet spot between smooth composure and involving dynamics.
Add the finely honed interior (which, although aesthetically minimalist in execution, is both well equipped and tactilely satisfying) and it's easy to understand why the latest A3, in three-door hatchback and five-door Sportback form, continues to attract strong sales support.
But there's another factor to consider here. Buying down has become...