This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Audi A3 Sportback review.

4.2 out of 5 4.2
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Audi's compact hatch is classy and refined

Audi A3 Sportback (13-20) - rated 4.2 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £18,900 - £49,005
Used price £5,520 - £44,475
Used monthly cost From £138 per month
Fuel Economy 29.4 - 166.2 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £490
Insurance group 14 - 46 How much is it to insure?


  • Wide range of excellent engines available
  • Good to drive with smooth ride on most models
  • Practical and roomy interior, plus excellent quality
  • Fast and luxurious Audi RS 3 Sportback available


  • Higher-spec models can be pricey, as can options
  • Some features feel dated next to rivals
  • S Line models have a firm ride
  • A3 Saloon arguably more stylish

Audi A3 Sportback rivals

Written by Lawrence Cheung on

The Audi A3 is a premium family hatchback that competes for sales with the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Volvo V40 and in-house rival Volkswagen Golf. It comes with a vast engine range with petrol, diesel and high-performance models available in a range of familiar Audi trim levels - meaning there should be something to suit almost every kind of taste and desire.

Buyers also get a choice of alternative body styles. There's the five-door Sportback (the most popular model), the four-door A3 Saloon, the A3 Cabriolet and the three-door A3 that went out of production in 2018.  A choice of slick manual and smooth S Tronic automatic gearboxes are available across the range, while Quattro all-wheel drive is also an option on particular models.

Badge appeal aside, one of the A3’s biggest strengths is its simple, classy, high-quality interior with slick dashboard and ergonomic design. It still feels bang up to date despite debuting back in 2012. 

Don't forget that the car you're reading about here will be replaced in July 2020 by the all-new A3 Sportback - and you can read about that in our handy explainer here.

Engine choice

Audi offers a wide selection of engine options for the A3, consisting of petrol and diesel, as well as a plug-in hybrid. Providing petrol power is a choice of 1.0-litre TFSI three-cylinder, 1.5-litre TFSI four-cylinder and 2.0-litre TFSI petrols, all of which are turbocharged with the choice of manual and automatic transmissions.

Then there are S3 and RS 3 performance versions if you want a more potent A3 Sportback. Diesel power is provided by a familiar choice of 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI units, with 116, 150 and 190hp respectively. Again, Quattro all-wheel drive and a choice of transmissions are available. 

Trim levels and equipment

The A3's trim levels are familiar, spanning SE Technik, Sport, S Line and Black Edition, with distinct S3 and RS 3 models. Highlights include alloy wheels, air-con, an MMI infotainment system with its electrically deploying screen, Bluetooth with voice control and a multi-function steering wheel.

Audi A3 2013 S Line interior, diesel

Cloth seats are standard for SE Technik and Sport models, while S Line versions upgrade to a mixture of cloth and leather. Move up to top spec Black Edition trim and unique 18-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, black styling additions and an upgraded Audi sound system are added to the standard kit list.  

S3 and RS 3 performance models

If you fancy more power, there is of course the 310hp Audi S3. Available in two trim levels, S3 bags you lowered sports suspension, sportier progressive steering, an upgraded sound system and heated fine Nappa leather seats. The S3 Black Edition, meanwhile, adds unique 18-inch alloy wheels, black styling pack, privacy glass and a top-end Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Like the S3, the RS 3 is a model in its own right with its own equipment specification. This more aggressive model boasts a powerful 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine pushing out 400hp and 480Nm of torque, with some serious performance that rivals far more expensive sports cars. It briefly went off sale in 2018 and was tweaked to comply with WLTP regulations.

In May 2019 it was reintroduced to the range with some small tweaks made to the exhaust system, plus an Audi Sport Edition was introduced with some styling updates including black mirrors and grilles, unique alloy wheels and a sports exhaust system.

Plug-in hybrid A3 E-Tron: potential 166mpg

In 2015 the range was be augmented by the plug-in hybrid E-Tron model, combining a 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine and electric motor to offer up to 176mpg and just 37g/km of CO2 output - perfect for company car users. This model met its end in 2018.

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto, is offering Audi A3s from £317 per month. The usual terms and conditions apply.*

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*These deals are indicative examples of some packages available as of 2 January 2020 but are subject to change without prior notice. Everyone's financial circumstances are different, and the availability of credit is subject to status. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically. Bauer Consumer Media Limited is an appointed representative of ZenAuto Limited for the broking of regulated hire agreements. ZenAuto Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ZenAuto Limited's registered office is Number One, Great Exhibition Way, Kirkstall Forge, Leeds LS5 3BF. ZenAuto Limited's company registration number is 10967345. ZenAuto is the trading name of ZenAuto Limited. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.

Audi A3 Sportback rivals

Other Audi A3 (2012 - 2020) models: