Audi A3 Sportback: First impressions

My new three-year-old Audi

I've taken on a three-year-old Audi A3 Sportback for three months to see how an example of the company's used approved models has stood up to prolonged use.

This car was registered in 2006 and has done more than 37,000 miles. It's a desirable S Line version, with high levels of standard equipment and sports styling.

Options fitted to my car include a full leather upgrade (part-leather was standard on S Line in 2006), as well as rear parking sensors and electric folding door mirrors.

As well as a cassette player (this remained a typical feature of the A3's dashboard until the range was revised in 2008), the S Line has a CD changer in the dashboard.

Perhaps its best feature is the 140bhp 2.0 TDI engine. This might seem a little noisy by modern standards, but with 37,000 miles under its belt, it provides surprisingly brisk performance and so far, excellent fuel economy. Exceeding 50mpg has been quite easy, and a tank of diesel will easily stretch 600 miles.

There is some evidence of its previous use: there is a Nokia phone cradle fitted to the dashboard and an aftermarket Nokia Bluetooth system. This isn't compatible with my own Sony Ericsson phone.

The floor mat in the driver's footwell is quite worn and there is a hole in the carpet next to it too.

Buying this car from an Audi dealer at three years old and with this mileage would probably set you back about £14,000. It might sound expensive for a three-year-old car, but it's perhaps evidence of the A3's popularity with buyers and the attraction of owning an affordable Audi.

Current mileage: 37400

Average mpg: 53.0