IN THE push for greater efficiency, cars with small engines continue to do more than what they seem capable of.
With turbocharging, the diminutive 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder engines are able to perform like a much bigger engine. But you have to be careful about how you go about pushing it, especially if milage is something on your mind.
Pushed hard, you get more petrol being pumped in to prevent engine knocking. So, gently does it when it comes to accelerating.
The three-cylinder, one-litre engines are becoming quite popular as cities push for environmentally friendlier cars. In Singapore’s tax-heavy automotive environment, it’s great to have a car that ticks all the cost savings boxes, without compromising too much on performance.
The City Runner
The A3 Sedan, a pleasant enough four-door, marries its clean looks with a small, 1-litre engine to cater to the needs of new customers getting onboard the Audi brand at the lower basement level, or those whose driving is limited to the city streets.
There’s enough to attract an audience — from the LED headlights fore and aft, with dynamic indicators as standard, to an interior that is leading edge in its class.
Other than some noticeable shuddering when the engine fires to life during its auto start/stop function, the engine, which generates 85kW of juice, is more than adequate for your basic run-around requirements.
For the more enthusiastic driver, this car will deliver enough pep despite its diminutive displacement, thanks to the wonders of turbocharging. While you may not be able to rocket off — it does the 0-100kmh dash in a bit more of a leisurely canter — it does have low-speed feel and grip, which is ideal for threading through traffic. As the needle hits the 2,000 revs mark, you get a fair amount of torque to urge you along. But it does get a bit breathless after that.
The suspension tends to be set more for comfort than performance, which, for city driving, is fine.
Where you will appreciate the A3 sedan is in the comfort afforded the occupants. The finish is clean but classy, and while some of the features may be pared down, there is still enough left in to keep the modern traveller connected. The virtual cockpit adds to the luxe factor, allowing you to change your display settings to alleviate boredom at long traffic lights.
Phone calls are a voice command away, and the controller lets you programme a variety of options that will make for a smooth or engaging ride.
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Engine: Turbocharged, in-line 3-cylinder DOHC
Max Power: [email protected],000–5,500rpm
Max Torque: [email protected],000–3,500rpm
Top Speed: 211kmh
Retail price: *$135,400
Please reconfirm price with dealer.
Read more STORM car reviews HERE.