Audi A3 saloon : First Drive
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It is a sign of the times that give a car maker a sliver of a hint or a slight sniff of a trend and one can be rest assured that the product planners would hammer the designers and engineers to churn up something to slot into the thinnest of niches and then go about expanding this to attain the critical mass so very much needed for commercial success/survival, call it what you will.
The Audi A3 saloon is a product of this thought process as much as it has to do with Mercedes-Benz having been quick off the mark with its CLA saloon hewn out of the same third-generation A-class mould. So if Stuttgart could go down this avenue laughing all the way to the bank could Ingolstadt afford to be far behind? One might say how could this happen, don’t Mercedes and Audi have their C-class and A4 already pegging this space? Enter the marketing spooks who now hanker for a slightly lower perch from the C-class / A4 set, a segment which now goes by the predominantly Teutonic term ‘sport limousine’ when for all to see and understand is just that it is another sedan!
Of course that would be missing the point because this is a car which Audi is planning to bring to India once the rupee has gone back to sensible levels vis-à-vis the dollar but how long that would take is best known to nobody!
Even then Audi India gave us a day to experience this all new A3 saloon in and around Gyor (where it is built) and Budapest in Hungary and I must say that this niftily styled automobile is not just fresh yet different while retaining the Audi DNA in its makeup but its compact dimensions do not make it any less practical for occupants in space, comfort and performance.