Audi A3 Sportback: choices for £14,000

What would we really buy?

We established in a previous update that this three-and-a-half-year-old A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S Line would probably cost about £14,000 to buy from an Audi dealer.

But would it be better than choosing something similar with another badge on the bonnet? A used car buyer looking for a compact family hatchback and with a £14,000 budget (including the value of their part exchange) would be spoilt for choice.

There wouldn't be much to choose on price comparing it with a BMW 120d of a similar age and mileage.

Back in 2006 the 120d produced 143bhp, so similar to the A3 2.0 TDI, and the M Sport model is equivalent to the Audi S Line grade.

Find a 2006/06 120d with metallic paint, six-disc CD changer and leather seats, and you'd probably be looking at £200-£300 more than this A3 Sportback at 40,000 miles.

The 1-Series might feel a little sharper, but it certainly isn't as roomy as the A3 Sportback so would lose points for practicality.

If you were to look beyond premium badge cars, you'd be able to find models with lower mileage and much newer, but might struggle to match the image of the A3.

You'd be able to match up a 08-plate Alfa Romeo 147 150bhp 1.9 JTDm Lusso at 10,000 miles with added leather, upgraded alloys, metallic paint and rear parking sensors, according to our pricing data.

Its design is several years older than the Audi, but it certainly looks good value by comparison.

Or you could take your pick of powerful and well equipped mainstream diesel models like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra with 10,000 miles on the clock on a 2008/58 plate.

Some would feel the prestige of a premium badge car, despite its higher mileage and age, would be more desirable than a Ford or Vauxhall, and for those people, the A3 Sportback hits the mark.

Maybe it's a result of meanness on my part but the extra value of the mainstream models would tempt me.

Current mileage: 39,964

Average mpg: 50.4mpg