It’s Saturday and it’s time for a new episode of our ‘How it is and How it goes’ : in this last weekend of January we are dealing with the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron . The fourth generation has been renewed in design and technology, with an increase in quality especially in the interior. We tested it in recent months, but now we get behind the wheel of the methane version , with which to save on fuel consumption and emissions.
Design and dimensions
Compared to the previous generation, there is a distinct change from a design standpoint, now with much sharper lines and pronounced edges . Starting from a front with the single frame grille with more generous dimensions or from the L-shaped full LED optical groups, to then continue with the new design of the more hollowed bumper. The side features pronounced wheel arches and the classic V-shaped shoulder line of the A3, while at the rear there are the new optical groups with a serrated design. The difference, compared to the petrol and diesel versions, is the g-tron wording on the tailgate.
The new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron is 4.34 meters long, with a height of 1.44 meters and a width of 198 centimeters. The wheelbase is 263 centimeters, able to give a good habitability inside the passenger compartment. Two rear passengers are comfortable, the third is a bit tight. The trunk has a capacity of 280 liters with the classic seating configuration, which can increase to 1,100 liters by folding down the rear seats. A slightly lower flow rate than the versions with petrol or diesel engine, from 380 to 1,200 liters, due to the additional presence of methane tanks.
Interior and technology
The interior of the new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron has received a very important update. As for the exteriors, any curvilinear shape has been abandoned, in favor of sharper lines. The interiors are characterized by the black panel with a gloss effect, with a clean design to emphasize the width of the dashboard, with some elements in aluminum look on our Business Advanced trim level with which we are testing. A premium environment with refined finishes and soft touch plastics in the upper part, a little harder in the lower part, but still of excellent quality. As well as that of the comfortable heated fabric seats .
The dashboard is horizontally developed with the standard 10.25-inch digital display for instrumentation and all driving information, while the 10.1-inch infotaiment screen is standard (12.3-inch with Audi Virtual Cockpit plus). The MMI Plus system debuts, even if the basic set-up is a bit poor, with integration with the smartphone or navigation present only in the upper levels, like the one we tested. On this set-up there is also wireless charging , with four USB-C sockets. The center tunnel has been revolutionized, with the new and smaller S-Tronic automatic gearbox selector to free up a lot of space.
Road test and consumption
We now come to the highlight of the ‘How it is & How it goes’, that is our driving sensations on the new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron, to see how the compact with four natural gas rings performs on the road. This version is powered by the 1.5 TFSI engine with 131 horsepower and 200 Nm of maximum torque, combined with the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. There are three methane tanks , with a total capacity of 17.3 kg and, once exhausted, the 9-liter petrol tank (about 130 kilometers) automatically comes into operation.
If you do not look at the g-tron badge or the digital dashboard with the dual methane / petrol range indication, it seems to drive the traditional version of the Audi A3 Sportback , with a smooth ride and that touch of sportiness of the house of the four rings. An agile and comfortable car, able to give a good start when required, even if it does not have the pretensions of being a sports car. The S-tronic gearbox is confirmed as a guarantee, just as the steering is progressive and fast in changing direction, but leaving the A3 Sportback g-tron always well anchored to the road . The suspensions allow to dampen vibrations and to respond well to any disconnections of the ground, making the car also very well acoustically insulated.
We close the test, classically speaking of consumption , even more important on this model, where methane is chosen to contain fuel costs. The house of the four rings declared an average consumption in the combined cycle of between 6 and 6.5 cubic meters of methane per 100 kilometers, for a gas mileage of up to 445 kilometers in the WLTP cycle. A somewhat optimistic figure, given that our test allowed us to cover 370 km in a combined route. However, considering that it took less than 17 euros to fill up, this is certainly an advantageous solution, compared to the versions with more classic petrol or diesel engines.
Equipment and ADAS
The new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron is available in four versions : standard, Business, Business Advanced and the top of the range S line edition. The first offers the digital cockpit and MMI Radio Plus with 10.1 ”MMI touch, e-call, Audi Connect Remote & Control services and front LED headlamps. A little ‘poor’, also in relation to the premium segment of the car, while the one we tested (Business Advanced) also offers 18 “alloy wheels, parking aid system, Audi virtual cockpit Plus, smartphone interface and the Audi Connect Navigation navigation system.
The driver assistance systems offer cruise control, Audi Pre Sense Front and lane keeping as standard. In subsequent levels, rear parking sensors, parking aid and adaptive cruise control are added.
The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron has a starting price of 31,900 euros for the entrance set-up, 34,400 euros for the Business, 35,700 euros for the Business Advanced (the one we tested), 37,450 euros for the S line edition version.
Audi A3 Sportback g-tron Scoreboard