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Audi A3 35 TFSI

The independent definitive Audi A3 video review
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    COD AND CHIPS (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Thinking of buying a diesel-powered Audi A3? Don't, until you've considered the clever 1.5 TFSI Cylinder on Demand '35 TFSI' petrol version. Computer technology really has brought the petrol engine to the point where it's nearly diesel-frugal. Jonathan Crouch reports.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 72

    Most Audi A3 buyers choose diesel power. But these days, they don't necessarily have to. The A3 35 TFSI features a modern turbocharged 1.5 TFSI petrol engine that features a 'COD' cylinder cut-off system which means that when cruising, it'll run on two rather than four cylinders. The result? WLTP-rated Economy of up to 42.2mpg on the combined cycle, yet ths A3 has the ability to nip to 62mph in 8.1 seconds.

    Backgroundword count: 107

    Wanting to have your cake and eat it is usually asking a bit much. Especially when it comes to cars. Take the desire for the refinement and cheaper green pump fuel of a petrol model. With the same frugality you'd get from a black pump diesel. Will it ever happen? Cars like Audi's A3 35 TFSI CoD model make you believe that it just might. OK, so the name's a bit of a mouthful but the technology's very clever indeed. 'CoD' stands for 'Cylinder on Demand', this acronym your first pointer to the fact that this is a car with a trick or two up its sleeve.

    Driving Experienceword count: 248

    This engine is a 150PS version of Audi's 1.5-litre TFSI powerplant but features a clever piece of engineering on the camshaft. Basically, the second and third cylinders of this four-pot engine are shifted to a cam profile which doesn't activate the valves under low and intermediate loads and when coasting. This can occur at any point between 1400-4000rpm. Give the throttle or brake a good prod and it reverts to firing on four. There are manual and S tronic auto transmission options. It's actually devilishly hard to detect when it's operating because you're normally just tickling along. The central display screen can give you the nod or, if you've got a good ear, you can hear a slight change in engine timbre. It's certainly quick enough, managing 62mph from rest in 8.1 seconds, which used to be the preserve of a respectable hot hatch. Aside from the smart engine tech, the A3 35 TFSI feels remarkably conventional. The Volkswagen Golf-derived underpinnings work well enough, and weight distribution is remarkably evenly spread, front-to-rear. Combined with short overhangs and the latest generation Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with electronic axle differential, this makes for safe and predictable handling. You can drive it really hard and revel in its faithful responses, knowing that it's on your side. Some sports hatches might offer a little more in feedback, but it would take a very well driven hot hatch to put distance between it and a well-driven A3 35 TFSI on a twisty road.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-60 mph (s):

    7.9

    Combined mpg:

    56.5

    99.9

    Extra urban mpg:

    64.2

    72.4

    Height (mm):

    1416

    1461

    Length (mm):

    4237

    4458

    Max Speed (mph):

    86

    139

    ... and 5 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Compact Family Cars

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    70%
    Comfort
    60%
    Space
    60%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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