We're a couple of months in with Aldo, our Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Sport long-termer, and the majority of time spent behind the wheel has been the daily grind to and from the CarAdvice Melbourne office. So how does it stack up so far?
In short, it's pretty impressive! Stay tuned for the next update... Only joking!
My daily commute to and from work is around 20 kilometres from Doncaster to Richmond, and then back. Depending on the day, the trip may include a decent freeway stint before negotiating the infamous Punt Road, or I might choose to take a detour through the tram track-laden roads of Hawthorn and Kew to beat the bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Regardless of the conditions, Aldo has been a very capable companion for the urban grind, proving to be a comfortable, efficient and likeable city runabout.
One thing worth pointing out is the user-friendliness of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is possibly the best iteration of the Volkswagen Group's DSG automatic I've personally experienced.
There's pretty much none of that low-speed hesitation that is typically associated with gearboxes of this type, and the time it takes for the car to take off after firing up the stop/start system is pretty much as good as vehicles with torque-converter automatics.
I've come to appreciate the punchiness of the 2.0-litre turbo four as well, which seems to always have plenty of go from pretty much idle, while also delivering superbly smooth and linear acceleration that's not far off that of performance-oriented hot hatches – this does have a motor related to the one used in the Volkswagen Golf GTI, after all.
It's pretty efficient, too. We're seeing an indicated 7.8L/100km on the trip computer consistently, even with daily drives in heavy traffic mixed in with some stints on the freeway.
The Audi has a pretty well-sorted ride, too, despite riding on fixed dampers. Generally, MQB-based vehicles have a rather firm, taut setup. While the A3 tends to keep to that same trend, we've noticed a nice suppleness over poor and undulating surfaces that is no doubt helped by the smaller 17-inch wheels and chubby 225/45 Michelin tyres.
Other highlights include the comfortable front seats, light yet direct steering, and the decent eight-speaker audio system that keeps me entertained with my favourite Mariah Carey bops while I'm stuck in traffic. Having Apple CarPlay and the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit are also great, so I can have the maps right in front of me and seamless integration with my iPhone.
If there was one complaint it's the fact the A3 can exhibit a bit of tyre roar over rougher surfaces, which can be a bit annoying given the premium nature (and pricing).
So far, so good. The Audi A3 sedan is great little whip in town.