27 July 2023
2022 Audi A3 1.0 – Frugal Fighter

Pop a downsized 1-litre engine into the Audi A3, and magic happens.

Sensible. Practical. Frugal. These are words that economical buyers want to hear when buying a new car. Positive words that resonate “You got your money’s worth”. And with COE and fuel prices soaring to unprecedented heights, the question arises – what is a sensible choice for the times we’re living in?

Well, I may have your answer, and it’s the 1.0-litre Audi A3. 


On the outside, the Audi A3 carries itself with a sense of understated elegance. You won’t find a single ‘1.0’ badge in sight, and you know what? That’s a clever move by Audi. They understand how conscious some Singaporeans are about these little details.

Unlike its rival, the BMW 216i Gran Coupe, which practically flaunts its Cat A status in its name.

Docile looks give the A3 some unique charm, and it looks great from just about any angle you view it from.


Step into the cabin, and you’ll realise that the Audi A3 is playing in the premium class with finesse. The design and layout mirror its larger-engined sibling, complete with the digital driver display and a 10.1-inch touchscreen.

You also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Sure, you might miss the onboard navigation, but options like the S Line interior design package help to spice things up.

These optional Sports seats pamper you like a king, offering plush cushioning and lateral support that’ll keep you cosy on the road. Rear passengers won’t feel cramped either, even in this compact sedan thanks to plenty of knee and headroom to go around.

Kudos to Audi for nailing the insulation too – road and wind noise barely make a peep, and build quality? Top-notch!

The sedan variant we got for testing gets a bigger boot over the Sportback variant, spanning 425 litres versus 380 litres. Enough for a weekend getaway or a large shopping spree.

Most importantly, the interior retains its luxe persona with a sterile and ergonomic design, and there’s no clear evidence of cost-cutting anywhere.


Now, don’t be fooled by the Audi A3’s compact 1.0-litre engine, because this little car is anything but ordinary.

With only 109bhp and 200Nm of torque at your disposal, you’re not going to win any traffic light duals anytime soon. The 10.6 second century sprint time only bolsters that fact. Acceleration is also hampered further by the S Tronic gearbox that is programmed to hold onto the highest gear possible, only letting loose if you mash your foot and it touches the carpet below.

But, if you’re driving around with this kind of speedy mentality, you are totally missing the point.

The engine, coupled with the 48V mild hybrid system, works like an absolute charm when saving fuel. It’s almost magical how the system can seamlessly start and stops the car, even when you barely notice it. 

The result is a car that is a composed drinker, returning an impressive average of 15.4km/litre. On highway bits, numbers could even swell to 20-24km/litre. On the car’s 45-litre tank, that easily translates to more than 800km of range. 

Another bonus is the A3’s handling. With its torsion beam rear suspension, it is quite lively to drive. Some might argue that a multi-link rear is better, but a torsion beam makes a car more predictable in the corners, and any bouts of understeer can be mitigated with just a moment off the gas pedal.

Ride quality is also decent, only degrading on shoddy bits of tarmac.

In terms of active safety, there’s only lane-keeping assist, but no autonomous emergency braking, nor useful stuff like blind-spot monitors. While you do get a reverse camera and self-parking, it would be nice to see more safety features being added for possible future variants. 


Now, for the big question – the price tag. At $188,809, this 1.0-litre A3 Sedan comes with a juicy discount compared to its larger-engined counterpart. Plus, let’s not forget the road tax – a mere $392 a year, making it a wallet-friendly choice.

It may be budget-friendly, but the A3 Sedan doesn’t skimp on quality either, earning its place among the quality German products we adore.

If you seek a sensible, yet stylish ride with a touch of German magic, the Audi A3 Sedan might just be your ticket to driving bliss.

Technical Specifications

Audi A3 TFSI S-Tronic 
Engine: 999cc 3-Cylinder, mild-hybrid
Power: 109bhp
Torque: 200Nm
Gearbox: 7-Speed S-Tronic (A)
0-100km/h: 10.6 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed: 210km/h
Fuel Economy: 23.3km/L (claimed)
Price: S$188,809 with COE (accurate at the time of this article)
Contact: Audi Singapore

Photo Credits: Sean Loo (@auto.driven)

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