Audi A3 facelift revealed with sharper design and cheeky subscriptions

Published Mar 12, 2024


The Audi A3 has been given a midlife makeover, and apart from the usual stuff, like a sharpened exterior and new interior equipment, it ushers in a curious new subscription service allowing owners to rent equipment already fitted to their car.

It’s not clear whether this new “functions on demand” system will be offered in South Africa. But in the UK owners will be able to activate features like adaptive cruise assist and high-beam assist for a certain period of time, such as a month, a year, three years or permanently, using the myAudi app.

Audi says this provides flexibility, for instance, if you only need cruise assist on your annual holiday once a year. But it begs the question - if the hardware enabling these features is already fitted to the car which you purchased, why should you have to pay for it twice?

While potential buyers might have a hard time warming to the subscription services, the new design changes that the facelift brings are likely to prove a hit.

Upfront the redesigned grille is flatter and wider, and dare we say neater, with the Audi badge moving to the top section.

But perhaps the coolest feature is the new Matrix LED headlights that allow owners to switch between four different lighting signatures for the digital daytime running lights, which they’ll also get to admire when approaching and leaving the vehicle.

The facelifted A3’s cabin might not seem very different at first sight, but many of the details have been revised and sharpened, Audi says.

For instance, the centre console has been redesigned and given a new finish and additional contour lighting, while the chrome air vents have a fresh blade design to make them appear thinner. New decorative inlays and interior lighting schemes round off the cabin design changes.

Standard equipment, although this could differ by region, includes a 10.1-inch touchscreen with MMI Navigation Plus, Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster and wireless phone charging tray.

Overseas the Audi A3 is offered with a choice of 1.5-litre mild hybrid turbopetrol and 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines, both paired with a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission. Additional petrol and diesel engines will be added later in the year along with a plug-in hybrid option.

The South African market, on the other hand, will likely have to make do with the older-tech 1.4 TSI once again, thanks to our archaic fuel standards.

The facelifted Audi A3 is expected to make landfall in South Africa around the fourth quarter of 2024. Watch this space later in the year for more local details.

IOL Motoring