Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s more than enough leg and shoulder room for tall adults up front, and even those well over six feet tall are unlikely to find head room wanting.
The minimalist dashboard design doesn’t conceal a huge number of cubbyholes, but there are storage areas ahead of the gearlever and under the central armrest, plus a couple of cupholders in the centre console. The front door bins are big enough for a large water bottle, too.
Anyone over six feet tall won’t exactly be sprawling out in luxury, but neither will they be packed in with their knees tucked up under their chin. The A3 offers a similar amount of space to the Mercedes A-Class, with the BMW 1 Series very slightly roomier. The cheaper Ford Focus, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia are all a lot bigger in the back, though.
There isn't much storage space in the back for odds and ends, although the door pockets can hold a small drinks bottle.
You can only buy the latest Audi A3 hatchback as a five-door, so access to the rear seats is good no matter which version you choose.
Seat folding and flexibility
The A3’s rear seats aren’t especially innovative. They don’t move back and forth to allow you to prioritise between passenger and boot space, for example (that kind of feature is mainly the preserve of SUVs). The seatbacks split 60/40 on the entry-level Technik trim, with a more flexible 40/20/20 arrangement from Sport trim upwards.
The front passenger seat is manually adjustable, including for height, but four-way powered lumbar adjustment costs extra on all but the range-topping trim.
The A3 Sportback gives you a very similar-sized load bay to the BMW 1 Series, with both managing to fit six carry-on-sized cases under their parcel shelves. The A-Class can go one better than that with six, but that's still miles off the load-lugging family car champion, the Skoda Octavia.
An adjustable boot floor comes as standard and can be raised to reduce the load lip at the boot's entrance. It also ensures there’s no step up to the rear seats when they’re folded down. The folded seats don’t lie totally flat but the slope is a small one, so it shouldn’t cause too many loading dramas. The boot opening is a decent size and shape, too.
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