Well built, pleasant to drive, still fashionable
Cramped rear seats
The A3 was Audi's take on the Volkswagen Golf Mk3 and became the first hatchback from a premium manufacturer. It actually borrows most of its underpinnings from the Golf, including some excellent engines, but adds more stylish looks and a higher quality finish. When it was launched in 1996, prices were steep for what was essentially a three-door family hatchback, but thanks to the prestige badge it proved popular.
Used prices are now lower, making it a good alternative to a used Golf or BMW 3-Series Compact. Family buyers are better off finding a five-door model - these were introduced in 1999. The A3 was finally replaced in 2003.