Look-a-like: Audi A3 sedan and…

Audi A3 rear

The Audi A3 sedan is a good-looking car: surprisingly well-proportioned for a compact sedan, more interesting than the “seen it before” hatchback, and nicely compact compared to its overlong and boring bigger brother, the A4. One of the better aspects of its design is the rear, and especially the aggressively squinty tail lights, which look much better than the boring lamps on the A4, or the weirdly frowning-looking ones on the A6. But the A3 sedan is not the only car that sports such aggressive lamps at the rear, to the benefit of the overall design.

Another such car is the Mazda3 sedan, which, like the A3 made, its debut in 2013, rendering moot any discussion of whether one carmaker copied the other, or vice versa. Of the two, the A3 looks a bit more upscale thanks to the horizontal line that defines the lower lip of the trunk, and more elegant integration of the reflective strips in the bumper. Still, the Mazda3 is one of my favorite designs, and the sedan versions of the Mazda3 and A3 are one of the few good-looking compact sedans around.

Mazda3 rear

  1. The lamp graphics are similar, nothing else is. File under: coincidence. Both are good lookers. The A3 is a strong argument against the A4 which is now a monster. The Mazda3 doesn’t threaten the 6 though (also huge). I often find the topic of small saloons provoked heated debate. I think some of them are quite smart if you especially recall the 1963 Alfa Giulia, Lancia Flavia and BMW 2002 as the root cars. All were just around 4 metres long and looked purposeful. Now look at a Cordoba saloon or late Astra saloon again. They’re usefully sized cars. But at this point the anti-saloon people weigh in… I’ll get my coat.

  2. the small euro sedans (128., etc..) of 1960s and 1970s had much more rear seat room,

    seems we went backwards instead of forwards….

  3. I like small sedans but, design-wise, they’re very tricky to get right. Interestingly, often more boring hatchbacks make for better-looking sedans (VW Golf Mk IV/Bora, Audi A3, the latest Renault Megane), while curvy, exciting hatchbacks result in pretty horrid sedans (think Ford Focus Mk I, latest Ford Fiesta, Renault Megane Mk II)

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