Long term report: Audi A3

Audi A3
Blackball Media

It seems our Audi A3 has won almost universal approval from the AOL Cars office. Its upmarket design, high-quality cabin and quite frankly astonishing fuel economy has seen it become rather popular, leading to some quite unseemly squabbling for the keys.
I, on the other hand, was rather less than enthusiastic. However, my tune certainly changed when I slumped into the A3 for a long motorway schlep after a late night in the office. Despite the car's compact size, it was easy for me to get my not inconsiderable frame comfortable behind the wheel; the driver's seat offering a great amount of adjustment.

Things got better on the open road. Audi has successfully managed to distill a big car feel into this compact car, and cruising the motorway, I didn't find myself looking longingly at passing exec saloons, like I do in most small cars. No wonder these things are so popular.

The only bugbear? It's the sat nav. Last month it took my colleague Andy a little while to become familiar. Now, not being such a technological Luddite, I managed to get it up and running without a problem, the handwriting recognition pad making it laughably easy. The problem I found is that it doesn't automatically reroute around detected traffic jams, which left me sat in a queue for a well over an hour.

The knowledge

Model: Audi A3 Sportback S line 2.0 TDI
Price: £31,130 (as tested)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel
Power: 182bhp, 380Nm
Max speed: 145mph
0-60mph: 7.2s
Emissions: 110g/km
Mileage this month: 702

This month's highlight

Having my mind changed – because Audi have delivered a big car feel in a small car package.
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