Brighter And Greener: Audi A3 Gets LED Lights, New TDI Engine

Audi A3 TDI front angle

Audi has become synonymous with LED daytime running lights, each car in its range displaying a distinct signature of LED lights around the headlamp units, marking them out from the throngs of other LED-equipped cars.

They're also known for the rumble of TDI diesel engines, mixing performance with economy.

It's only right then that Audi's latest revisions to the talented A3 range include an all-LED headlamp option and a new, Euro 6 emissions-compliant TDI engine.

Audi A3 TDI rear angle

The new 184 PS TDI unit joins the existing 150 PS TDI in both front-wheel drive (with standard manual) and all-wheel drive quattro (with standard dual-clutch S tronic) drivetrains, on either Sport or S line-badged models.

There's enough shove from the new TDI to reach 62 mph in 7.3 seconds and continue on to 145 mph. For those of us not blessed with autobahns in our back yard, the 68.9 mpg combined fuel consumption figure is the more relevant, while those Euro 6 tweaks mean it's far cleaner than diesels of just a few years ago.

Audi A3 LED low beam

Unfortunately, it just misses out on VED exemption, but its 108 g/km CO2 figure still means a bill of just 20 a year - something you'll struggle to match for the same performance.

For those who like the looks but not the occasionally jarring ride of Audi's Sport and S lines, you'll be pleased to hear that comfort suspension will also be an option - though those with spines of steel can opt for 25mm-lower S line suspension.

More interesting entirely are the new LED lights.

Audi A3 LED high beam

Inspired by those on the Le Mans-winning R15 and R18 TDI sports prototypes, Audi's multi-function lights provide daylight-mimicking power with lower energy usage, improving both safety and fuel efficiency.

Cleverer still are the light units' adjustability depending on driving conditions - lengthening on motorways above 68 mph, widening at junctions and reducing glare in fog. Smartest of all, they'll automatically adjust in right-hand-drive countries should your car be equipped with satellite navigation.

Priced from: 24,375
Available from: Order now, deliveries September

Audi A3 LED headlights

Conclusion

A higher-power diesel option will always be welcome for Audi buyers, and it'll allow diesel fans to get a little closer to the punch offered by the company's petrol TSI units. There's low road tax too and stricter emission controls means you can drive with a cleaner conscience.

The LED lights are the real step forward though. We've already seen them on more expensive Audis, and their appearance on cars like the A3 and recently-tested SEAT Leon SC is another great example of the latest technology filtering into more affordable cars. Even if you're not an A3 fan, expect to see these on A1s, Polos, Ups and more over the next few years.

For more, check our our full guide to the Audi A3, Audi A3 Sportback and Audi A3 Saloon, where you can read reviews, user reviews, stats, see photos and watch videos.

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