Audi A3 Hatchback (12 on) - Review

Review by Parkers on
Last Updated: 02 Sep 2014
4.5
The Audi A3 hatchback is one of the smarter looking medium family hatchbacks and it attracts well-heeled buyers or company car drivers that don't want to draw too much attention to themselves. Most people will buy an A3 based mainly on the badge and, as a medium hatchback with excellent engines and sensible running costs (thanks to its strong residual values), it certainly ticks plenty of boxes.

Audi A3 Hatchback (12 on)
  • Badge appeal
  • Strong residual values
  • Wide range
  • Clever engine technology
  • Expensive
  • BMW 1 Series better to drive
  • Pricey options

New price range:

£18,575 - £29,905

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Used price range:

£12,334 - £22,523

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Summary

Parkers Rating:

4.5 out of 5

The Audi A3 hatchback is one of the smarter looking medium family hatchbacks and it attracts well-heeled buyers or company car drivers that don't want to draw too much attention to themselves.

Most people will buy an A3 based mainly on the badge and, as a medium hatchback with excellent engines and sensible running costs (thanks to its strong residual values), it certainly ticks plenty of boxes.

This latest model is not only larger than the previous version (12mm wider and the wheelbase is up 23mm), but it also weighs 80kg less. Boot space has grown from 350 to 365 litres. The A3 design is understated, but it’s in line with newer models like the Audi A6 and Audi A4.

Wide Range of economical engines

The A3 hatchback is offered with four petrol engines and two diesels. Petrol units range from 1.2 to 1.8 litres, with the latter coming with the option of quattro four-wheel drive.

A recent addition to the range is a 1.4 TSI unit with Cylinder on Demand technology. This system, which raises the price of the A3 by £850, automatically shuts down two of the four cylinders when coasting or on light throttle inputs – the result is diesel-like fuel economy of 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 109g/km.

Diesel engine options, popular among company car drivers, are 1.6 and 2.0 TDI units offering 103bhp and 148bhp respectively. CO2 emissions are from 99g/km.

Equipment levels

Base models will start at around £18,000, but as you go up the trim levels you'll start to realise that owning an Audi doesn't come cheap. Plus, once you tick a few extra option boxes, the cost will soon add up.

Entry-level models are badged SE and come with air conditioning, DAB radio with the Audi Music Interface, voice control and 16-inch alloy wheels. Sport models bring 17-inch alloys, aluminium interior trim, the Audi Drive Select system which alters the ride characteristics, and a sports chassis lowered by 15mm. Top spec S line models gain 18-inch wheels, part-leather interior and xenon headlights with LED running lights.

Read on for the full Parkers Audi A3 hatchback review.

Parkers Ratings

Overall

4.5 out of 5

Performance

4 out of 5

Handling

4 out of 5

Comfort

5 out of 5

Practicality

4 out of 5

Behind the wheel

4 out of 5

Safety

5 out of 5

Reliability

5 out of 5

Running costs

3.5 out of 5

Green credentials

5 out of 5

Buying new

3.5 out of 5

Buying used

4 out of 5

Selling

4 out of 5

Equipment

4 out of 5

What owners say...

 The running costs, Cheap Tax and Diesel. Its also 5 door so when my baby arrives will be perfect. Also got a nice size boot so should have no problem fitting in a pram.  

5 out of 5

Donna Howe ,   09 Sep 2014    ... read more

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