2014 Audi A3 Smoker’s Pack and Other Details

A chance to look inside Audi’s A3 presented itself. I found what is referred to as a smoker’s pack.


These are to ashtrays what “cotton rich” is to shirts. For a costly motor car such as the A3, the quality of the plastic is far below the expectations of this writer. Audi must have saved a lot of money by deleting the standard ashtray and replacing it with a cupholder and a fireproof mug. At least a few extra euros could have been spent to design something more convincing than the Hasbro-level of moulding shown above. Does Audi really think their customers will overlook a lame effort such as this?

Here’s the device after having been lifted from its nook.


That’s not real metal. The ash-cup is not illuminated, of course. If Audi sold a branded thermal cappuccino mug I would expect it to look like this.


Apart from this, it’s a pleasant interior which is available in this Italianate high-contrast colourway as well as plain black. I found it more subtle than the interiors I’ve inspected from Mercedes though I feel Skoda customers enjoy a similar degree of satisfaction (at this price level). I thought the roof-mounted interior lamp had received more designerly attention than such things normally do and that delighted me. If I have to find fault, it’s the meagre volume of the boot and an oddly careless handling of the c-pillar trim colour split that stand out. I bet the c-pillar wasn’t like that in the concept sketches.



Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

5 thoughts on “2014 Audi A3 Smoker’s Pack and Other Details”

  1. I was driven about in a Golf VI for the first time and enjoyed its clean, substantial cabin (which was black, I hate to admit). Current Audi cabins feel much more frippery-prone, despite still being of good overall quality. The Golf, on the other hand, exhibited a sense of simplicity I found almost calming within the context of current styling trends. Despite all that black.
    I really wish Mercedes still did cars as sensible as that.

  2. If I were a smoker the portable ash tray might offend, but I don’t inhale. So it’s a pity the ashtray matter is first up. The new 1.6 tdi A3 is the best, great turbo and only 99g of CO2. The A3 SE finish as in pictures above look great. 5 stars. The pcp Audi contract which Audi offer in UK and Ireland, makes the car really affordable. Dynamic approach for dynamic Audi…

  3. Since I don’t smoke and don’t like to store coins in ashtrays, the actual design is the only thing that gives me pleasure. I once had a Ford where the ashtray had some sort of air damping, so it hissed out, which gave my endless unaccountable pleasure even though I never needed to use it. So I agree the Audi offering is unsatisfactory. How unsatisfactory depends on whether it costs more that 10 Euros.

  4. I must be the most un-curious person alive. Over the past three weeks, I have travelled in & on a few occasions, driven a 2014 A3 saloon – a thoroughly likeable car by the way. I however, at no point examined, attempted to lift the lid of, or indeed remove the above-mentioned receptacle. In fact, until I read the piece, I had no idea what it was – assuming it was just a piece of needless decoration in an otherwise pleasingly rational facia. I’m still unsure whether I should feel mortified or pleased with myself. Nevertheless, now that it has been pointed out, it’s difficult to escape the idea that it is a bit of a cheap solution. That and the fact that I really must pay more attention in future.

  5. I was reminded that there existed an A3 saloon by the presence of an A3 saloon outside a supermarket I had just graced with my presence yesterday. While Eoin might berate himself for not noticing an ashtray in a car, I had forgotten about a whole line of cars. Now if Skoda can sell lots of Octavias and Audi sell lots of A3 saloons, is there really a reason that the rest of the middle market can´t sell these things too? I can´t for the life of me see how there is nil demand for a small saloon from Ford or Opel or Renault that will have exactly the same limitations as one from VW group. What does that really mean? Anything at all? I know that the Skoda is appealing to the kind of people who bought Volvo 340s in the 80s but who is Audi seducing with their A3 saloon? Is the people who might buy Mercedes CLAs? Isn´t the supposed lack of demand for small saloons just a huge lie?

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