Now here’s a thing. Someone recently mistook the vibrant A3 for an S3, the sports version that has ñ whisper it ñ a petrol engine. Perhaps we’d better cover our editor’s ears so he doesn’t hear such blasphemy. It is well known that he regards petrol-drinking cars ñ except for those with CO2 outputs below 100 g/km ñ as being fuelled by Satan. So the thought of an S3 on the long-termer fleet would probably send him into a paroxysm of apoplexy.
I’m rather enamoured though with the notion that our yellow A3 resembles an S3. It’s a compliment that speaks volumes about how good the slickly-styled Audi looks in its extrovert attire. It means that the car’s visual appeal is strong and bolstered by the anticipation of hot performance. Our A3 is no slouch, with its energetic 2.0-litre diesel engine packing a 148bhp punch, and sprinting willingly up to just past 60mph in around eight and a half seconds, but it isn’t an S3-level hot hatch even if its aesthetics make some people think it is.
As the months roll by, it’s not just the sunny colour that is smile-inducing. I have found the A3’s compact size, friendly efficiency and general practicality very endearing. Its neat dimensions work very well in the semi-suburban, edge-of-country area where we live. In the busy south-east, road space is at a premium, and bigger cars can be a bit more of a pain to weave through the traffic and manoeuvre into tight parking spots.
Happily our A3 has a canny feature that helps with threading a course into an anorexic car park space, and equally is a boon when edging into a kerbside slot while being careful not to get too close and risk nudging the alloys. I love the feature on the door mirrors that sees them automatically pivot down when you engage reverse gear, to helpfully ensure that you have a good view along the car’s body sides as you manoeuvre. Hooray for that. It’s a canny little detail that I now greatly miss when I drive another car that lacks it.
Another pleasing detail is the way the indicator lights scroll to reinforce the visual notification of the direction you intend going. Of course, I can’t see them when I’m driving, but I know they’re doing it, and it’s a stylish touch, as well as adding a bit of extra safety by ensuring that other drivers notice your direction of turn. Seeing other Audis with this feature is a reminder that our A3 has it too, and it’s a classy touch.
The months are ticking past, not just on the shrinking tail of this year, but also on our remaining time with the yellow S3-looking A3. Some long-termers endear themselves more than others. This has become a particular favourite amongst the team.
Date arrived 20th December 2016
Fuel economy 65.7mpg (combined) 48.1mpg (on test)
The way the door mirrors automatically swivel downwards when you engage reverse gear.
Although I love the Audi’s vibrant canary yellow paintwork, it’s a bit tiresome to have people constantly commenting ‘Isn’t it bright’. As if I didn’t know!