Review

Audi A3 Sportback hatchback

Price  £19,195 - £34,950

Audi A3 Sportback hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Additional space over hatchback
  • Powerful yet economical engines
  • Impressive interior quality
Cons
  • Some high prices
  • S line suspension too firm
  • Some versions have less boot space

At a glance

The greenest
1.4 TFSI e-tron 5dr £34,950
The cheapest
1.2 TFSI SE 5dr £19,195
The fastest
2.0 TFSI quattro Sportback S tronic 5dr £33,040
Top of the range
1.4 TFSI e-tron 5dr £34,950

“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.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.2 / 5

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.

Engines, drive & performance

4.3 / 5

The Audi A3 Sportback delivers a mature blend of predictable front-wheel-drive handling, a comfortable and quiet ride, plus smooth and effortless performance

Interior & comfort

4.2 / 5

Thanks to the Audi A3 Sportback’s widely adjustable seat and steering wheel, it’s easy to find the perfect driving position

Practicality & boot space

3.8 / 5

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

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

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

What the others say

4.5 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
“Factor in its well-built, high-tech cabin and new-found practicality and it's one of the best cars in the current Audi range.”
4.5 / 5
“Its weight has been cut by 90kg compared with the previous model and that has helped to keep fuel consumption and CO2 emissions down.”
5 / 5
“The SE's suspension provides the best balance of comfort and control, and you can specify it at no extra cost with every trim level.”

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What owners say

4.5
4.5 /5 based on 2 reviews
100%
 people would recommend this car to a friend

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3 star   0
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Last updated
24 Nov 2014
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