Audi A3 review

Category: Family car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol, diesel
Available colours:
Audi A3 Sportback LHD centre console
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  • 2020 Audi A3 front
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  • Audi A3 Sportback front seats
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  • 2020 Audi A3 front
  • Audi A3 2020 Sportback rear tracking
  • Audi A3 2020 RHD dashboard
  • Audi A3 Sportback LHD rear seats
  • Audi A3 Sportback LHD centre console
  • Audi A3 Sportback left panning
  • Audi A3 Sportback right front static
  • Audi A3 Sportback left rear static
  • Audi A3 Sportback wide tracking
  • Audi A3 Sportback front seats
  • Audi A3 Sportback boot open
RRP £23,300What Car? Target Price from£22,180

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The A3 carries a slight price premium over equivalent versions of the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class, but there isn’t a lot in it. How well the A3 will hold onto its value, and how cheap its PCP finance deals will be, remains to be seen (figures weren't available at the time of writing) but they should be competitive if the previous A3 is used as a yardstick.

The engines offer official economy and CO2 emissions in line with what you can expect from equivalents from Mercedes and BMW. Unsurprisingly, the best fuel economy comes from the diesel engine. However, the diesel is not RDE2 compliant, so company car users should consider that it will cost more to run than an equivalent 1 Series or A-Class – both offer RDE2 compliant diesels that don't incur the 4% diesel BIK surcharge.

Equipment, options and extras

The three core trim levels are pretty well equipped, but you'll get more bang for your buck with a non-premium brand. The entry-level Technik trim represents the best value overall, giving you cruise control, air-conditioning, power-folding door mirrors, 16in alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. It also comes with the infotainment, parking and safety aids we've already mentioned.

Go up to Sport and you get dual-zone climate control, a leather interior and 17in wheels. S line gets 18in alloys, sporty styling touches, as well as front sports seats, while Vorsprung has every option ticked  – it's expensive, though.

Audi A3 Sportback LHD centre console

Reliability

Audi doesn’t have a brilliant record when it comes to reliability; it finished 20th out of 31 brands in the 2019 What Car Reliability Survey. That was above BMW and Mercedes, though.

The A3 comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and three years’ roadside assistance as standard – basically on a par with the industry norm. You can pay a little extra to extend your A3 Sportback's cover for up to five years or 90,000 miles.

Safety and security

Every A3 has automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure warning as standard. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition are optional.

It hasn’t been independently tested by safety experts Euro NCAP yet, but the Volkswagen Golf – which is very similar underneath – achieved the full five-star verdict. We'll update you with the NCAP rating when it becomes available. 

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2020 Audi A3 front
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Overview

There's no doubt the latest A3 isn't as well finished inside or as polished overall as the previous model, but it still rates well against the premium competition in the form of the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class. It's comfortable, good to drive, roomy, quiet, with some punchy petrol and diesel engines and a plug-in option coming soon, all of which should stick it on your shopping list.

  • Comfortable ride
  • Roomy rear seats and boot
  • Punchy petrol 35 TFSI petrol engine
  • Pricey to buy
  • Fiddly infotainment system
  • Audi's unimpressive reliability record

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