3 & 5 doors
Price £17,905 - £28,160
The latest Audi A3 is a more stylish, economical and practical version of the popular premium hatch and has moved the game on to compete with the current BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class. It weighs less, less than its predecessor, yet provides more interior space. The inside has received a major overhaul, too, with higher quality materials and a new pop-up screen that slides neatly into the dash. Buyers can choose from a range of TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines, including a 1.6 TDI that is capable of 74mpg and 99g/km, as well the usual SE, Sport and S line equipment levels. There's a range-topping S3 hot hatchback version, too, which will do 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds.
Price £19,205 - £24,880
The premium badge and smart styling are a big part of the three-door A3 hatchback's appeal. It's also good to drive, but while it's refined and well built, its chassis lacks the sparkle of mainstream rivals like the Ford Focus. The A3's diesel engines offer great fuel economy and models fitted with these tend to be worth more second-hand than their petrol equivalents.
Price £19,825 - £26,980
The Audi A3 Sportback is, in simplest terms, a five-door version of the A3. Look a little bit closer, however, and you'll realise that it's actually much more than that. Audi has changed the shape of the body to create extra headroom, stretched the wheelbase to allow more legroom and added roof rails as standard to boost practicality. The result is a car that's just as luxurious and good to drive as the three-door but with the kind of family friendly appeal that the standard A3 is missing.
Price £20,775 - £24,150
The five-door A3 Sportback builds on the appeal of the three-door version. The key difference is a longer wheelbase and a redesigned rear that creates more legroom and an extra 20 litres of boot space. You still get the same safe and reassuring driving experience and a large choice of engines.
Price £21,435 - £30,615
At this price, drop tops don’t come any more desirable than the A3 Cabriolet. It's a style seeker's dream, with a snug-fitting, electrically-operated canvas top, and a neatly judged design. It's not the most rewarding car to drive – there is too much body shake over rough roads – but it does offer decent value for money and you won’t lose as much as some rivals when you come to sell it on. Rear visibility is poor and it's not terribly practical, either, with a tiny boot and small rear seats.
The Audi RS3 is the smallest car in Audi's high-performance RS division. It's based on the A3 Sportback, so while it packs a punch, it's still reasonably practical, thanks to its five-door body. It uses a powerful five-cylinder turbocharged engine and comes with four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox, and is a rival to models such as the BMW 1 Series M Coupe and Subaru WRX STi. As it's the flagship of the A3 range, it comes with lots of standard equipment, but it also has a high asking price.