The considered yet complete transformation of the Audi A3 Sportback has been enough to earn it one of the most coveted accolades in the motor industry – the What Car? Magazine Car of the Year Award for 2013. The all-new five-door premium compact hatchback took the top honour, along with the Best Small Family Car award, at the magazine’s annual high profile presentation event, staged last night in London. The TT Coupe also emphasised its enduring appeal by being voted Best Coupe for the seventh consecutive year.
In the What Car? Magazine awards issue its road test team is full of praise for the ground-up redesign that has taken place under the subtly but comprehensively remodelled skin of the new A3 Sportback, describing the end result as “an incredible package” that sets “the new benchmark”.
Referring to the specific version that impressed them most – the 1.4 TFSI 122PS SE – they commend the “smooth and punchy” engine, the “top drawer” refinement and the suspension, which they say “strikes an exceptional balance between fun and comfort.”
The cabin also wins plaudits for offering “the sort of quality usually reserved for luxury saloons”, as does the purchase and ownership proposition – the newcomer is described as being “aggressively priced”, and offering “low running costs and strong resale values.”
Chas Hallett, Editor-in-Chief at What Car? Magazine, summed up by saying: “The Audi A3 Sportback, our 2013 Car of the Year, brings new levels of brilliance in a host of areas. It mixes excellent refinement and an accomplished driving experience with easily the finest cabin quality ever seen in a small family hatchback; you’d have to look at full-size executive saloons to find anything that can match it.”
UK deliveries of the all-new A3 Sportback will begin in March. It launches with a choice of three advanced turbo charged and directly injected engines – two petrol and one diesel initially. Further engines, including the acclaimed 1.6 TDI offering 74.3mpg and 99g/km capability and the 1.4 TFSI with Cylinder on Demand technology delivering in excess of 60mpg, will be available later in 2013, as will quattro all-wheel-drive-equipped variants. Like its three-door counterpart the Sportback will be offered in SE, Sport and S line specification with prices ranging from £19,825 OTR to £25,500 OTR.
TT Coupe has an “unbeatable edge”
For the seventh year in a row, the TT Coupe has also collected some silverware – it retained its crown as the Best Coupe in its respective category, owing to a combination of “firecracker performance, beautiful steering, a well-judged ride and tenacious handling.”
Prices start at £24,355 for the TT Coupe 1.8 TFSI (160PS) Sport model and rise to £33,680 for the 2.0 TFSI (211PS) quattro Black Edition model.
Commenting on this exceptional start for the new A3, and on the run of success for the TT, Director of Audi UK Martin Sander said: “The A3 has never before faced such formidable competition, so the category win for this all-new car is in itself an achievement to be incredibly proud of. To win the overall Car of the Year award is something else entirely though – this great honour marks the car out as something truly special in the eyes of UK car buyers, and is of course also highly prized by all of us at Audi.”
“We shouldn’t let this great result overshadow what our TT has also achieved – it too is facing much tougher challenges from competitors, so the fact that none have managed to topple it for a seventh year really is nothing short of remarkable.”