This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Audi A3 Sportback review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Modern and well-built interior
  • Easy to get comfortable
  • Options available to boost comfort

Having been introduced in 2013, the A3 Sportback features an interior that’s almost a couple of generations old compared with Audi’s newer dashboards, but it still looks bang up to date with a simple design and high quality feel.

It’s very easy to find a comfortable driving position with a wide range of adjustment in both the seat and steering wheel, while visibility is good all-round thanks to non-intrusive pillars and large windows – even at the back.

If you want to make it even easier, spec the optional electric seats so you can tweak your driving position to within an inch of its life.

2019 Audi RS 3 interior

The A3’s infotainment system is a slick thing to use, but now looks a little dated compared with its rivals – especially the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. However, it’s easy to operate and avoids the use of a touchscreen – instead being operated via a rotary wheel on the centre console. And if you don’t want to use it, the screen will elegantly slide into the dashboard out of sight.

If you spec the optional Virtual Cockpit digital dials, those with a keen eye will notice the resolution of the screen is better than that of the main screen. However, it’s an appealing option to have that makes the A3 feel modern and techy.

Audi RS 3 interior

The fastest version of the A3 comes with a slightly sportier interior thanks to that aggressive-looking flat bottomed steering wheel, standard-fit Audi Virtual Cockpitwith RS specific layout (a big rev counter in the centre of the screen) and the top-level MMI Navigation Plus.

If you pick the Audi Sport Edition you also get carbonfibre bits for the interior, a panoramic glass sunroof and super sport seats with diamond stitching.

Comfort

  • Comfortable interior with excellent seats
  • Firm ride on S Line models can be harsh
  • Overall, very impressive and refined

There are few complaints when it comes to comfort with the A3. Suspension on S Line models is the only source of jarring, so we’d deselect this free of charge for a softer set-up.

Lower-spec models also come with smaller alloy wheels, which will contribute to a more relaxed vibe.

Inside, the A3’s fairly upright body (compared with the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class) affords it generous headroom both in the front and in the back, plus it’s very easy to get in and out of.

2019 Audi RS 3 interior rear seats

In the front there’s a wide range of adjustment for both driver and passenger, with plenty of legroom for even the tallest of occupants, and both seats are well bolstered with decent side supports.

Those in the rear shouldn’t feel too cramped either. You can get three adults in the rear but it is much more comfortable if you stick to two.

This is helped by the wheelbase of the car being 58mm longer than the three-door, which allows for more legroom in the rear and a larger boot, making long journeys much more comfortable when carrying passengers and luggage.

2019 Audi RS 3 interior rear seats Isofix

Plastic Isofix tunnels make fitting a child seat super easy, and the rear doors open wide to reveal a large aperture for installing younger passengers too.

RS 3 is a bit of a comfort compromise

Unsurprisingly if you pick the sportiest model in the A3 line-up you'll have to trade a bit of everyday comfort for much sharper handling. Both versions of the RS 3 come with large 19-inch wheels and stiffened sports suspension, so it'd be best to avoid any large potholes.

That said there is still a nod to everyday use even in this model and you might be surprised by how forgiving the chassis and suspension can be when you're driving normally.