Road Test

Road Test: 2013 Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S tronic

June 10, 2013

Audi A3 Spotcback 2013_05The Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI is powered by a new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Among other things, the new engine features an aluminium block which has helped to drop its weight. At just 107 kilograms, the new engine weighs 21 kilograms less than its predecessor. With the FSI direct injection, the four-cylinder, 1,395cc, turbocharged engine produces 122 horsepower. Doesn’t sound very impressive for this sporty hatchback, but actually the 1.4 TFSI delivers quite brisk performance. Especially at lower speeds the A3 Sportback with the 1.4 TFSI moves very nicely. When you need to accelerate to motorway speed, or when you’re overtaking, you could use more power, but otherwise this small engine delivers very enjoyable performance. Engine’s top torque of 200 Newton metres is delivered between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm, so you don’t even have to give it a lot of revs to make it move.

As standard the 1.4 TFSI comes with the six-speed manual gearbox. The S tronic transmission is available as an option. Usually an automatic transmission isn’t the best choice with a small displacement engine. However, this seven-speed S tronic should provide even better performance and smaller fuel consumption than the manual, so it is definitely something to consider. Thanks to its dual-clutch technology, the S tronic shifts very quickly and delivers almost continuous acceleration. With the S tronic transmission, the 1.4 TFSI accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 9,3 seconds. With the six-speed manual, the acceleration would take 0,2 seconds longer, if the driver makes the perfect shifts. The average fuel consumption of the 1.4 TFSI is just 5,0 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are 116 g/km. With the manual, the figures would be 0,3 litres and 7 grams higher. The five litres might be a bit of a challenge, but around six is quite realistic.

The S tronic transmission offers S and D modes. D mode prioritizes taller gear ratios and better fuel economy. In S mode, the transmission keeps the revs a bit higher. You can also operate the S tronic manually via the selector lever or the optional paddles on the steering wheel. The S tronic is surprisingly economical and provides better performance than the manual gearbox. However, it is not always as smooth as the traditional automatic. The 1.4 TFSI is quite fun with the manual gearbox as well, so you should try both options before making your choice.

Audi A3’s lightweight design helps it to achieve good driving dynamics, small fuel consumption and quite nice performance, although it only has a 1.4-litre engine. New innovations and lightweight materials makes it possibly to drop the car’s weight considerably, while maintaining the high safety standards. For example, Audi is using high-end components of hot-shaped steel in the occupant cell to form a strong, but lightweight structure. As a result, the occupant cell in the new A3 Sportback is 37 kilograms lighter than in the previous model. The engine hood, the fenders, the profile behind the front bumper and the subframe for the front axle are made from aluminium which has saved another 12 kilograms. With its new engine, the A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI is about 90 kilograms (198.42 lb) lighter than before.

At the same time, the Audi A3 Sportback has grown compared to the preceding model. The biggest change can be seen in the length of the wheelbase, which has increased by 58 millimetres and measures now 2,636 mm. Compared to the A3 Compact Coupe, the Sportback’s wheelbase is 35 mm longer. Thanks to the grown wheelbase length, the new A3 Sportback offers more space to the rear seat passengers. In addition to the grown leg room, the is also several millimeters more head room.



  • Petrol
  • 4-cylinder
  • 1395cc
  • Turbo


  • 90 kW (122 hp) / 5000-6000rpm


  • 200 Nm / 1400-4000rpm


  • 7-speed automatic
  • FWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 9.3 seconds

Top speed

  • 203 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 5.0 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 116 g/km

Audi A3 Spotcback 2013_03