Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Solid, well-built interior
  • Lots of tech on offer
  • Very easy to navigate

The A3 Saloon is a refined and pleasant place to be. The materials feel better than the inside of the Mercedes-Benz CLA, and there are plenty of optional extras to choose from to boost the cabin’s feel further.

All of the dials are well-placed on the dash, and the trip computer is a swish screen between the rev counter and speedo which can be controlled using buttons on the steering wheel to show you vehicle information, navigation information or stereo details.

Introduced as part of the 2016 facelift, though, was Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit which replaces a traditional instrument cluster with a big digital screen that can be configured to exactly how you want it to look, displaying everything from sat-nav instructions and fuel economy, to what’s playing on the media system.

Special mention must go to Audi’s MMI system, which uses a ‘touchwheel’ located by the gear lever to control functions displayed on the seven-inch screen. It offers 64GB of storage alongside 3D sat-nav and mobile phone connectivity via Bluetooth.

It is controlled via the ‘touchpad’, which not only works as a rotatory selector system but allows you to input letters with your finger by simply ‘writing’ on the top of the selector.

Upgrading to the more advanced version of the same system, the Audi Connect system means your car actually turns into a WIFI hotspot so passengers can surf the ‘net while you drive. It also allows connection to Google Maps and Street View for the sat-nav.

  • Comfort depends on suspension
  • Good ride on the whole
  • S Line looks good, but stiff

When it comes to comfort in the A3 Saloon, the levels very much depend on the type of suspension your car has fitted.

Best ride quality comes with the slightly higher-riding standard suspension, which comes as a no-cost optional extra across the range.

Conversely, if you want the ultimate in handling then you’ll have to sacrifice some ride quality with the S line sports suspension which offers a much stiffer, lower set-up.

The seats are supportive and comfortable, though, and there’s not a huge amount of road or wind noise to complain about unless you opt for a model with the largest 19-inch wheels, as they can kick up quite a bit of noise.

Opting for these rims means you have to also specify Audi’s Magnetic Ride system which reduces how crashy it can be over the worst surfaces in the road.