- Efficient petrol and diesel engines available
- Servicing and maintenance shouldn’t be too costly
- S3 and RS 3 models will be expensive to run
Claimed fuel economy figures for the A3 Sportback vary slightly based on the size of the alloy wheels fitted. Bear in mind that larger wheels reduce the mpg figure by around 2-3mpg. We’ve quoted the best-case combined figures for each engine.
The 1.6 30 TDI is the economy hero of the regular A3 engine line-up, claiming up to 72.4mpg when fitted with the S Tronic automatic gearbox. The manual is slightly behind at 64.2mpg.
Next is the manual-equipped 150hp TDI, claiming up to 67.3mpg. Spec the S Tronic gearbox and it falls to 64.2mpg, while adding Quattro into the mix sees it fall again to 56.5mpg.
The petrol engines in the A3 – some of them at least – claim some impressive economy figures that aren’t far behind the diesels’.
The 1.0 30 TFSI offers 56.5mpg in manual form, while the S Tronic claims up to 55.4mpg. The manual version of the 1.5 35 TFSI claims up to 53.3mpg, while with the S Tronic transmission it’s possible to achieve up to 56.5mpg.
The 2.0 40 TFSI claims up to 50.4mpg in manual form, while the S Tronic model comes in at 49.6mpg. The Quattro version with S Tronic gearbox returns up to 47.9mpg.
E-Tron claims impressive economy
If you want an A3 with the highest claimed fuel economy, you’ll want the E-Tron plug-in hybrid, with up to 166.2mpg possible, according to Audi.
However, don’t go expecting this to be achievable on every journey. You’ll need to be pottering around town on battery power for the majority of the time to get anywhere near this, otherwise you can expect economy more akin to a petrol automatic.
S3 and RS 3 more costly to run
You’d expect performance versions to be much pricer to run, and you’d be right in the case of the RS 3 – especially if you make use of that roaring 2.5 TFSI engine. Best case scenario is up 29.7mpg according to Audi, but we've driven one on a long journey and the car indicated over 30mpg without too much hard work.
The S3 isn’t quite as bad as you might expect, though, with Audi claiming it’ll return up to 43.5mpg. Make use of the power on tap and you’ll be heading towards low thirties instead.
Like the fuel economy figures, the claimed CO2 emissions across the A3 range can vary depending on the size of the alloy wheels. There aren’t figures currently available for some models on the pricelist, so we’ve listed what’s available from Audi as of the end of 2018.
At the time of writing, the only CO2 emissions figures available are for the entry-level 30 TDI engine. The S Tronic-equipped version produces 103-105 g/km of CO2, while the manual is higher at 114-118g/km.
Like the diesels, the CO2 emissions of the full petrol range aren’t all available.
The 30 TFSI emits 114-118g/km of CO2, and that’s the same whether it’s a manual or automatic gearbox you go for.
The 35 TFSI isn’t far behind, either. A manual-equipped example emits 121-125g/km of CO2, while the S Tronic is cleaner, pushing out 115-117g/km of CO2.
- Three recalls for this A3
- Overall, a solid, high-quality feel
- Three-year warranty from new
You shouldn't have much to worry about regarding Audi A3 Sportback’s reliability. The firm usually scores well in reliability surveys and has an excellent reputation for well-built cars. The interior feels solid, and overall the A3 has a very strong and dependable feel.
The A3 uses mechanical components found throughout the wider VW Group, so they should be tried-and-tested and largely free of problems.
If you do come across any problems early in A3 ownership, it comes with a standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty to cover most issues.
Estimated fuel cost per year
|Fuel type||Pence per litre||Estimated cost per year *|
|Unleaded||128p||£939 - £1,711 *|
|Diesel||131p||£718 - £1,063 *|
* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.
Highest and lowest CO2 emissions
|Engine||CO2 emissions||Road tax (12 months)|
|Petrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid||37 g/km (Min)||£0|
|2.5 TFSi (400ps) Petrol||195 g/km (Max)||£465|
Ongoing running costs
|Road tax (12 months)||
£0 - £465
See tax rates for all versions
14 - 46
How much is it to insure?
Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.