Audi A3 Sportback hatchback
Price £19,235 - £35,340
- Additional space over hatchback
- Powerful yet economical engines
- Impressive interior quality
- Some high prices
- S line suspension too firm
- Some versions have less boot space
At a glance
“The Audi A3 Sportback isn’t a cheap car, but it holds its value very well, meaning an owner should recoup more of their money when they sell it.”
The Audi A3 Sportback is the more than just a five-door version of its sister car, the Audi A3 hatchback. Its wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) is 35mm longer, meaning there's more legroom for rear-seat passengers and the boot is also much bigger. It's quite conservatively styled, but that suits the model's classy feel.
Prices start at around £19,000 (meaning the A3 could appeal to somebody considering a mid-price Ford Focus hatchback) and don’t stop until around £35,000. This price range means that in reality, the car's main rivals are upmarket models such as the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class. The A3 Sportback isn’t a cheap car, but relatively slow depreciation means owners should recoup more of their money when they sell it.
There's a wide choice of economical yet powerful petrol and diesel engines that are also used to power other models in the VW Group, Audi's parent company. Most models are front-wheel drive, but there are some four-wheel-drive quattro versions offering more grip. Transmissions come in two flavours: six-speed manual and seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic, which, in some versions, is more economical.
The quickest A3 Sportback is the S3, which can sprint from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds. The greenest is the e-tron plug-in hybrid version. This model can achieve 176.6mpg while avoiding road tax and the London Congestion Charge with CO2 emissions of just 37g/km.
There are four trim levels, spanning SE to S Line. All are well equipped with even the basic SE model boasting a DAB digital radio, a 5.8-inch colour display and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Safety-wise, all versions have multiple airbags and a range of electronic aids that improve traction and stability.
The A3 Sportback is based on the three-door A3, which was awarded five stars when it was tested for safety by Euro NCAP.
While BMW offers a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty on its cars, the Audi A3 Sportback offers just 60,000 miles cover over the same period.
The Audi A3 Sportback delivers a mature blend of predictable handling, a comfortable and quiet ride, plus smooth and effortless performance
Thanks to the Audi A3 Sportback’s widely adjustable seat and steering wheel, it’s easy to find the perfect driving position
Fitted with one of the powerful but frugal diesel engines and four-wheel drive, the roomy and practical Audi A3 Sportback makes a great tow car
Owners who responded to our customer satisfaction survey placed the Audi A3 hatchback an impressive 16th out of 150 cars for reliability and build quality