Audi A3 vs Skoda Superb: Petrol Comparison Review

We put up the uber cool Audi A3 against the practical and luxurious Skoda Superb to see comes out on top.

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Audi A3 vs Skoda Superb petrol comparison 2


How important is the badge on the grille when it comes to a buying decision? Would you for instance sacrifice a bit of luxury, comfort and space for a car that offers much less but has a more premium badge? We have often been asked this question by people who have a decent chunk of money to spend on a new car but are confused about the badge dilemma. So we decided to put the petrol versions of the newest and cheapest Audi one can buy, the new A3, up against one of our favourite entry-level luxury sedans, the Skoda Superb.



Audi A3 vs Skoda Superb petrol comparison front 2



Exterior styling


The Skoda Superb is the quintessential low-profile luxury automobile. With its large dimensions and curvy body that is quite contrary to the likes of the Skoda Octavia, the Superb has always been a looker. In fact, the Superb, in its newest avatar is possibly one of the prettiest cars you can buy in the segment. The other thing the Skoda has in spades is road presence, which is probably why there has been a recent increase in politicians preferring these large barges.



Audi A3 vs Skoda Superb petrol comparison 2



The Audi on the other hand is as sharp as Bond in a brand new tuxedo. The compact dimensions of the Audi A3 combined with its sharp cuts and wide stance makes it by far the hottest non-RS Audi available in the country today. In S-Line guise for instance, the A3, with its large five spoke 17-inch wheels and pronounced side skirts looks fast even when it is just standing still. That said, it is still understated, mostly because it is quite small and is often confused for another sedan from the Volkswagen family.

Audi A3: 4/5

Skoda Superb: 3.5/5




Audi A3 interior



Interior & space


As with exterior design, the interiors of the two cars mentioned here are very different. The Skoda excels in terms of overall space and a classy interior by far and is definitely the kind of design that a mature owner would prefer. The A3 on the other hand offers a sense of sportiness and sophistication that the Superb does not. We prefer all-black interiors combined with the white carbon-esque accent pieces on the dashboard as compared to the beige interior of the Skoda combined with the wood trim.



Skoda Superb interior



The front seats on both cars are electrically adjustable. Not only do they both offer a good level of overall support, they also feel really comfortable across long distances. The Audi’s seats just feel a tad bit sportier with slightly larger side bolsters to support the driver when it comes to sprightlier driving. When it comes to the rear seats though, the Skoda is the obvious winner. In fact, in terms of leg space, the Skoda is known to trump cars twice its price range. The seats too are well angled and large enough to offer both under thigh support and adequate back support. That said, the Audi isn’t as cramped as one would expect it to be and though there is enough legroom, the seats do not offer decent under thigh support which in turn tends to make longer journeys slightly tedious.



Skoda Superb rear leg space



In terms of dashboard design though, the A3 is more modern and contemporary than the Skoda Superb. The round AC vents for example look like after burners from an F18 fighter aircraft and the pop up screen adds an extra cool factor in the car. Comparatively, the conventional rectangular AC vents on the Superb combined with the large touch screen look slightly plain.

Audi A3: 4.5/5

Skoda Superb: 3.5/5



Skoda Superb centre console



Features & Equipment


Both the Skoda Superb and the Audi A3 are well matched when it comes to features and standard equipment. In fact, since both are cars from the Volkswagen family, they share a lot of the same components on the interior front. For example, the flip-down hand rest in the rear seat is identical and offers a rather cool flip open cup holder. That said, one of the areas the Audi trumps the Skoda is the large sunroof.



Audi A3 central console



As we mentioned earlier, the AC vents on the A3 are particularly cool. They also offer a multi flow setup where the occupants can choose from diffused or directional flow, a feature we found particularly useful in Mumbai 38 degree heat. Both cars also come with rear AC vents.

Audi A3: 3.5/5

Skoda Superb: 3.5/5





Audi A3 vs Skoda Superb petrol comparison 2



Engines & performance


The Audi A3 and the Skoda Superb both come with the same 1.8-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine. That said, the Superb gets a tamer 160PS state of tune as compared to the 180PS of peak power that the A3 makes. And the difference of power is very obvious. The A3 is much much more spirited to drive and goes through the 7-speed dual clutch transmission with far more gusto that the Skoda does. Although both get 250Nm of peak torque, the A3 feels far quicker, primarily because it is 300 kilos lighter than the Skoda and of course, it does get slightly more power.



Audi Engine



What is slightly disappointing about the A3, is that with all its perfect balance and immensely enjoyable engine, Audi has skipped on the paddle shift option. Although there is a trip tronic option on the gear stalk itself, the joys of redlining a quick car with the use of paddle shifters is frankly unparallel. Strangely enough, the Superb does get paddle shifters.

Audi A3: 4/5

Skoda Superb: 3.5/5





Audi A3 vs Skoda Superb petrol comparison rear



Ride and ease of driving


The Audi A3 and Skoda Superb have very similar mechanical components as they are essentially made out of the same VW group components. That said, the Skoda has the better ride quality, mainly because of its 16-inch wheels with larger sidewalls. The Audi on the other hand does feel sportier and offers great feedback, but on broken and uneven roads, it does end up feeling slightly jumpy due to its stiffer suspension.



Audi A3



Both cars though offer great solidarity and feel solid both at normal city speeds and highway speeds. As with everything else, the Skoda is more mature with its demeanour at speeds, almost wafting over undulations making it the more comfortable car of the two.

Audi A3: 3.5/5

Skoda Superb: 4/5




Skoda Superb panning


Handling & braking


As is quite obvious by now, the A3 is the dynamically superior car here. That said, the Superb is by no means a slouch. In fact, for such a large and wafty car, it is surprisingly well planted through the bends. Its weight is a little obvious though when you try and push it hard through tight corners, but on the other hand, it does do the job of ferrying passengers in high speed comfort without braking a sweat.



Audi A3 wheel



If you want handling though, the A3 is where the party is. The A3 is by far one of the most sorted front wheel drive cars we have driven in ages. The A3, with its large 225/55 R17 tyres corners like it is on rails and the all round ventilated disk brakes help it stop impressively too. All in all, with the exception of perhaps the Mini Cooper S and maybe the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, there is no other front wheel drive car that handles this well.

Audi A3: 4.5/5

Skoda Superb: 3.5/5





Audi A3 badge


Price and Fuel efficiency


The Skoda Superb TSI is priced at Rs 22.5 lakh whereas the Audi A3 is priced at Rs 28.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). While the Superb makes a lot more sense considering the fact that it is such a large car that offers so much, the Audi does seem quite pointless in hindsight. But, the Audi offers a sense of exclusivity and sportiness that the Superb simply can not.



Skoda Superb badge



The Audi, although more powerful, as also the most frugal. While it has an ARAI approved fuel economy figure of 16.6kmpl compared to the 13.1kmpl offered by the Superb, we think sustaining those figures in real life would be way more difficult. That said, the Audi did shock us with impressive FE readings when we maintained a strict and steady speed on the expressway.

Audi A3: 4/5

Skoda Superb: 4/5




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Concluding a winner between these two cars is very difficult. While one is a luxury barge with a relatively desirable badge, the other is a genuinely sporty little saloon from the best selling luxury car makers in the country today. While one can cement your image as a responsible member of society, the other tries its best to bring out the wild side in you.



Audi A3 vs Skoda Superb petrol comparison grille



The Skoda Superb is definitely the best car in its class today but should you buy it over the more expensive Audi A3? Well, if you are pushing 40 and want an understated luxury car, then yes. But, if you are young at heart, younger in general, or enjoy the act of driving as we know it today, our choice is most the certainly the Audi A3. Or, you could wait, invest your money wisely and hopefully have enough money to buy the bonkers Audi S3 when that arrives later next year.

Audi A3: 4.5/5

Skoda Superb: 4/5


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