Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen as standard
  • All versions get digital instrument display
  • Swish, grown-up, solid feeling

If you stepped out of a more expensive A4, and into an A3 Saloon, you wouldn’t feel short changed. While if you moved directly from a Ford Focus to an A3 Saloon you’d definitely feel like you are going up in the world.

Settle into the driver’s seat and you’ll find it’s adjustable enough for most people. Cars in S Line spec and above get firm but comfortable sport seats that keep the driver in place.

Looking at the quality of fixtures and fittings there is very little to complain about. The material feels plush, plus, and there’s little in the way of alignment errors.

The only minor complaints are that speaker grilles are cheap feeling. This wouldn’t normally irk anyone, but it’s where your hand naturally sits when opening the door.

The volume button is odd too. It looks like a physical button, but it is in fact touch sensitive. You twirl it around much like an original iPod. Luckily there’s a volume dial on the steering wheel too. USB-A and USB-C connections are on offer. But don’t worry, if your phone is running off a regular USB you can buy an adaptor.

Ergonomically it’s a master class. You’ll soon find everything you need. The lights and cruise control settings are dealt with by buttons and stalks in places that are sensible. Once you figure out where everything is you probably won’t forget. While the heating/cooling controls are on physical switches and buttons, and not on a touchscreen.

Speaking of touchscreen – Audi’s is 10.25-inch and comes as standard, although a 12.3-inch is also available. Both are superb pieces of kit. Audi reckons it’s 10x faster than the one of the old model, and we have to admit it is super responsive and slick.

Audi’s mapping software can divert you around traffic as well as show specific information about landmarks and shops too – like opening times.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both available wirelessly. These work fine in every variation of A3 – apart from the Sportback we’re running on long-term loan. This will sometimes cut out and restart when being used.

Nevertheless, we highly rate the A3’s interior. If you’re looking for something even flasher too – head to Mercedes. All of the infotainment and screens just seem that bit more polished.

How comfortable is the Audi A3 Saloon?

  • Broadly, very
  • Improved sound insulation and acoustic glass reduce noise
  • Type of suspension is dependent on engine

All of the A3s we’ve tested have been broadly comfortable. Very capable of both threading through town and battering autobahns. However, if you’re a real comfort snob you’ll want to pay attention to this.

The suspension set up is dependent on the engine. For ’30’ engined cars (learn what that means in the engine section) there is a simple suspension set up. Anything more powerful than ’30’ gets a more sophisticated, and comfier, suspension set up.

S Line, Edition 1, and Vorsprung get Sport suspension (ironically Sport spec does not). These have lower, firmer suspension set ups. This is mostly a cosmetic choice.

All cars ride well. Even Edition 1 models with 19-inch wheels and the firmest suspension glide over most road imperfections, with only deep ruts transferring vibrations through the seat and steering wheel.

Road noise is fairly high, it’s noisier than you’ll find in a BMW 2 Series GC. While the BMW is also slightly more comfortable. There’s not much in it though. The A Class is very similar.