4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Junior Audi saloon that doesn't feel junior

Audi A3 Saloon (20 on) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 11 photos

At a glance

New price £25,265 - £46,215
Lease from new From £265 p/m View lease deals
Used price £19,545 - £41,130
Used monthly cost From £488 per month
Fuel Economy 35.3 - 64.2 mpg
Road tax cost £150 - £475
Insurance group 18 - 38 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Great looking
  • Feels mature
  • Posh interior

CONS

  • Boot is big, but not that practical
  • Pricey options
  • No PHEV - yet

Audi A3 Saloon rivals

Written by Murray Scullion on

The Audi A3 Saloon is the smallest saloon car Audi makes. The previous model helped cement this little niche in the market by bringing premium interiors (and badges) to the compact junior executive range. Previously, small saloons in the UK didn't make a dent in sales figures - when's the last time you saw a Vauxhall Astra saloon?

But Audi, among others, figured there was room below the usual crop of four-doors for a smaller and cheaper model. It worked too - with the A3 Saloon especially proving to be popular.

So it's basically an A3 Sportback that isn't a hatchback. Simultaneously, it's much like a smaller and cheaper Audi A4. In terms of rivals, the A3 and A4 are obvious ones, while there are others from rival German cars in the shape of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes A-Class Saloon.

What engine and trim options are there?

Like with the regular A3, Audi offers a broad range of engine options. Kicking things off is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol. There's also a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol that's quicker, but more expensive.

On the diesel side, there are two 2.0-litre models. One has more power and is more expensive than the other.

There will soon be a plug-in hybrid option, as well as a performance variant called the S3.

At launch, there are four trim levels to choose from. From most expensive to cheapest they go, Sport, S Line, Edition 1, and Vorsprung. Like with other cars, the more money you pay, the more kit you get.

Interior: Audi at its best

Audi is responsible for some of the best interiors in the business. If you kidnapped several people, blindfolded them, and stuck them in an Audi A3 Saloon they'd all probably say that it 'felt solid.' The buttons, the gearbox controls, the door handles - they all function with a solidity few can match.

All trim levels get Audi's Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the traditional dials behind the steering wheel with a configurable screen.

If that all feels a bit too modern for you, it's worth noting that unlike many similar cars, like the VW Golf, it has physical controls for the heating and cooling. They're not hidden away in a sub menu on a screen.

The reason we bring up the VW Golf in particular is that the A3 is mechanically similar to it. The interior is where it differentiates itself from the cheaper car the most - everything looks just that bit plusher.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Audi A3 Saloon including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Audi A3 Saloon rivals

Other Audi A3 models: