This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Audi A3 Saloon review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 3.5 - 5.7 mpp
Diesel engines 5.0 - 6.5 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 29.7 - 48.7 mpg
Diesel engines 43.5 - 56.5 mpg
  • Most A3 Saloons reasonably affordable to run
  • S3 and RS 3 models are more costly due to performance
  • Diesels most fuel efficient of the bunch

In regular form, the A3 Saloon shouldn’t cost too much to run when it comes to fuel efficiency, with the diesels proving the most frugal of the lot. However, the petrols aren’t much worse due to clever technology employed on some models.

TDI diesels best for cheap fuel costs

The diesel engine line-up in the A3 offers the lowest running costs in terms of fuel economy, with the least powerful 1.6 TDI providing claimed economy figures of up to 68.9mpg.

Going for the more powerful 150hp 2.0 TDI doesn’t mean you have to compromise, though, with claims of up to 67.3mpg, with the Quattro version returning 58.9mpg.

The 184hp 2.0 TDI follows a similar trend, with 57.6mpg claimed for this model.

Petrols surprisingly frugal (on paper)

The 1.5-litre TFSI with active cylinder shutdown technology returns 55.4mpg according to Audi, although it’s likely this is achieved by driving particularly conservatively to really take advantage of its fuel-saving tech.

The more powerful 190hp 2.0-litre TFSI returns up to 49.6mpg in Quattro, S Tronic form, but it might be tricky to get close to that figure as you still need to put your foot down on occasion. Again, drive conservatively to get close to this.

Performance A3 Saloons thirstier

If you take advantage of the extra power and performance on offer in the S3 and RS 3 (let’s be honest, you will), then you can expect to see fuel economy much lower than in the regular line-up.

Audi claims the S3 will return up to 43.5mpg, which sounds very promising indeed considering the performance, however it’s unlikely you’ll get close to this if you use it the way Audi intended. Expect to get somewhere in the mid-30s in varied driving.

It’s a similar story with the RS 3. Audi quotes a figure of 34mpg, but with 400hp under your right foot, you’re unlikely to reach this figure. And if you do, you’re not using the car properly! 

Audi’s range of modern engines are all reasonable when it comes to CO2 emissions.

The 1.6 TDI is the cleanest in this sense, with just 107g/km in CO2.

Step up to the 2.0 TDI 150 and this increases slightly to 110g/km, while this version with Quattro produces 126g/km.

The most powerful 184hp version at the top of the range produces 129g/km.

For the petrols, the 1.5 TFSI is the star, producing just 115g/km, while the 2.0 TFSI 190 Quattro is the highest emitter at 132g/km, at least for the regular A3 line-up.

More performance means more emissions for the S3, producing 163g/km of CO2, while the RS 3 at the pinnacle of the range produces 188g/km. Neither are too bad when you consider what’s under the bonnet. 

  • Audi A3 feels very well screwed together
  • No recalls for the car as yet
  • Mind should be at ease

Since it shares most of its parts with the regular A3, there shouldn’t be much to concern you about the A3’s reliability.

The engines, gearboxes and mechanical parts of the car are all tried and tested throughout the VW Group, so there shouldn’t be many hidden surprises.

It’s also off to a good start that the A3 feels very well built indeed, with nice materials and a solid feel.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0 - £520
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 15 - 46
How much is it to insure?