Used Audi A3 review: 2012 to 2020 (Mk3) : owner reviews

"The Audi A3 is a practical and upmarket small family car with a superb interior and some efficient engines to choose from"

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.1 out of 5

Reviews

Owner Reviews

  • 5 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 2 out of 5
  • 1 out of 5
thumbs up88%of people would recommend this car to a friend

Common Problems

  • Engine, Gearbox / clutch, Other (1 case)
  • Gearbox / clutch (1 case)
  • Other (1 case)

Review 1 of 16

5 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.4TFSI e-tron PHEV

Year

2015

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

65
Tell us what you think about your car?
Pros - Understated opulence. Interior, infotainment/mapping, layout. Very comfortable driving position. LED headlights. Parking sensors front and rear (no camera). Cruise (not adaptive - but I don't like adaptive cruise or lane control). Great step up from a 2006 sportback 2.0-litre tdi 170 quattro in terms of features. Always starts in EV mode - it's seductive for rolling around car parks or leaving the driveway. Type 2 charger is meant for overnight or destination rather than enroute charging (8 miles driving per hour charge but e.g. Chester Zoo has podpoint chargers). Has various suspension modes, I prefer the firmest. Has a DCT automatic with 'sport' option and paddle override if you must. 205bhp available for short periods but it's a heavy car. 1.4-litre engine coasts to save fuel and shuts down cylinders as needed. Four drive modes. 1:EV pure electric, very chilled and cool, 22 miles practical range 2: Hybrid auto - this is like a regular hybrid except it uses the battery more and reserves the engine for higher speeds until its discharged. 3: Hybrid hold - this is exactly like a regular hybrid only you decide what the fixed battery capacity is - this is also useful for holding onto charge for the bit of the journey where EV driving makes most sense. One advantage this car has over a regular hybrid is that there is lots more capacity to regenerate power from braking (hybrids often fill-up) and 4: Hybrid charge (removed as an option mid-2016) this slowly builds charge in the battery - it's not efficient using petrol to make electricity to make movement - but if you are on a long journey it's nice to build up some charge for some country roads/city driving/roadworks later in the journey (or if you aren't going to be able to plug in for days). The car drives best in hybrid auto or EV mode (so that's another reason for judicious self-charging). With a low battery the engine works harder as it comes in earlier and the switch between EV and petrol more frequent (and noticeable). Cons - The regenerative braking transitions to regular brakes, making stopping a lumpy affair sometimes but stopping with only regeneration becomes a game all of its own. The kick-down is horrible (kick-down in EV mode... Pause... Power meter shoots to 100%... Engine starts... Car slows down a bit.... Engine redlines - or sounds like it rather - and grabs the road... Jeez!). On long journeys the cruise control and engine works really well together and there is plenty of power (especially if the battery isn't flat). It's a bit too easy to break front grip coming out of a T-junction (which will almost always be in EV mode) which jolts the car but doesn't actually spin the wheel. Boot is small if you pack all the cables, which actually you won't, but seats fold flat when you need them. On mixed motorway and country roads and town and cities I'm getting about 65mpg per tank. It's not a 170bhp quattro road-sucking-on-rails sports car which I had for 10 years - but it's quiet, fast, cutting edge, green (when in EV mode - I don't believe the CO2 figures for a 205bhp car do you?) and I love it to bits. I look for excuses to run errands - I have never done that before. So far I have had no trouble. But even plugging in the charger you hear fans running - there is just SO MUCH to go wrong electrically. Hey ho. Oh and the myAudi app works just about, but is pretty embarrassing - you CAN turn on the heaters remotely or on a timer if its connected to a charger but not if it isn't. It has heated seats too but you just keep obsessing over the EV range if they are on so get a coat.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

4 out of 5

Car Details

Model

S3 Black Edition

Year

2010

Avg annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

25
Tell us what you think about your car?
With only a short commute to deal with, and on a mix of dual carriageways and twisty B roads, I decided that the time was right to forgo fuel economy for some out right pace but all wrapped up in a very practical package. The S3 delivers on all fronts. Superb build quality, strong styling - especially if you pick well from the options available and the panoramic sunroof was top of my list - and blistering performance. The car is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, with the handling and manners being impeccable under 3000 rpm and then, if you sink your right foot further, the turbo kicks in and you will beat just about everything else on the road from the sprint from the lights all the way to a license revoking motorway blast. Fuel efficiency also falls into this tale of two characters - under 3000 rpm and with early gear changes you can manage about 30 mpg - higher over motorway cruising distances but if you insist in using the full 260+ bhp you will see that fuel gauge head towards empty almost as fast the speedometer hurtles towards the limited top speed of 155 mph. A mixture of sensibilities and boisterousness should see you get about 25-27 mpg. I find the handling good, although a little "safe". No back end slides as you get from BMWs but it is very very good at going very very quickly over any and all sorts of roads. More than competent but never wild. The boot holds a lot for the size of car and the seat layout allows the back seats to fold down easily. Not had it in the snow as yet but I am sure it will manage that as easily as it manages the wet, the cobbled, the muddy and the tarmacked. The new (2014) version with 300 bhp and the 4 raspy exhausts lurking at the back, looks even more capable. With demand high - I am sure this purchase will bring loads of smiles and a healthy return on my purchase. Highly recommended!
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

4 out of 5

Car Details

Model

Se Technik 1.6 TDi

Year

2016

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

75
Tell us what you think about your car?
Very comfy and economical while used locally, 50 mpg on a run – can manage 85 mpg. Handy luggage/load space due to 60/40 rear seat split , the car has front rear parking sensors and auto mode for lights, the sat nav is very accurate, too. It has digital radio and a CD player, and all round electric windows. It's a very good all-rounder.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

5 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.6 tdi

Year

2016

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used
Tell us what you think about your car?
Fantastic build quality as one would expect from Audi. The ride can be a little firm due to the sports suspension. The cabin is a pleasure to sit in, the seats are supportive and comfortable. All in all it's a great car.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

5 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.4 TFSI PETROL

Year

2016

Avg annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

50
Tell us what you think about your car?
Excellent car, looks good, well set out interior. Good to drive and very economical. Would recommend.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

1 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.6 SE Technik

Year

2015

Avg annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

45
Tell us what you think about your car?
This is a horrible car. For the price you are buying an awful lot of plastic in the interior. The sat nav is just terrible for the price, you'd be better buying a TomTom from Halfords. The maps are 2D and impossible to see any useful detail on. The Technik pack as a whole is not worth the money. Like other reviewers have said other cars offer these extras such as sat nav for no extra cost. The engine is about as responsive as a sloth and the gear box feels like you're rattling a stick in a bucket of bricks. Basically you're going to pay roughly £21,000 for a car which is nowhere near as good and for more expensive than a Ford Focus S1 2.0. So basically your overpaying for the Audi badge. In my opinion if you want an Audi look at nothing less than the A4 or the A1 if you need a small car. The Audi just doesn't compete with other hatches and is way overpriced. "Hot hatch" if definitely not a term I would use to describe this model. While the car gets good reviews note that most magazines review the 2.0 model with lots of extras added which bumps the price up considerably, if after reading the review you think you're going to get the same experience from this model then think again. Even if you have the cash to buy the 2.0 with all of the extras you'd be better moving up a model to say the A4, A5 or even the A6 as you just get way more car and a much better finish for your money. However if you like being over charged and love cheap looking plastic interiors then maybe this is the car for you?
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

5 out of 5

Car Details

Year

2012

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New
Tell us what you think about your car?
EXCELLENT BUILD QUALITY EXTERNALLY AND INTERNALLY. HAS TO BE THE BEST VEHICLE I HAVE DRIVEN/OWNED. WE HAVE THE A3 SPORTBACK 1.6TDI, PLENTY OF RESPONSE IF YOU NEED IT, FUEL ECONOMY BRILLIANT. I LOVE IT. I AM SURE MY NEXT CAR WILL BE ANOTHER AUDI.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

5 out of 5

Car Details

Model

2.0 litre S line 150 bhp diesel manual

Year

2015

Avg annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

51
Tell us what you think about your car?
This is the third Audi I have owned, after two A6’s I needed a smaller car as the kids now have their own. Great spec on S line and 150bhp 2.0 diesel with manual box has returned 51.5mpg over all. I've had no problems at all in almost three years, I love the cabin, great materials and bombproof build quality. It's only let down by a noisy engine especially when cold, and lots of tyre noise. I recommend you opt for the quietest tyres you can get - the Goodyear Eagles I replaced the original Pirellis with were better, but I still got 22k miles out of the fronts. It's a fab cruiser on the motorway where noise levels from engine fade away, but tyre noise is still poor and my only gripe on this car. I seriously don’t know why you would want the 180 bhp version as this is a very quick diesel, the Audi select system is great when you want to change to a sportier mode for quicker throttle response and firmer steering. It corners very well gives and good steering feedback compared to A6 models. There's decent cabin and boot space, I’m 6 ft 2 and always find a great seating position and the seats are really comfortable for long journeys. The Xenon headlights are brilliant, you really don’t need high beam. There's a great quality standard Audi Sound System too. S line styling is very stylish, its a great looking car especially in Grey. Optional Sat nav is really a good system, all the controls - including voice recognition - are intuitive and easy to use. It's not cheap at £27k but is a very well rounded car. It does everything very well, but it's a shame about the tyre noise and gruff engine when cold.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

1 out of 5

Car Details

Model

2.0 tdi

Year

2017

Avg annual mileage

More than 20,000

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

30
Tell us what you think about your car?
Terrible Car. This car is awful. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR. It is massively overpriced, underpowered and has a bad build quality. It needed a new clutch at 3,000 miles. I hate this car so much. I am stuck with it for the next 3yrs. The spec for the money is bad, i hate it so much. I hate the Audi brand and all of their cars now. I have never been so disappointed with a new car before now. I will never buy ever again. Save your money and buy anything other than an Audi. This is £25,000 i have wasted and it makes me mad every time i have to get in this piece of s**t! If i could give it 0 stars i would but the lowest i can give it is 0 stars.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

5 out of 5

Car Details

Model

14 TFSI

Year

2015

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

42
Tell us what you think about your car?
This is my 3rd Audi in succession - my 2 cars before were Skoda Fabia vRS which I could not fault. I bought the car from new and I can't fault anything. The gearbox and engine are superb and a pleasure to drive. I would certainly buy again.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

5 out of 5

Car Details

Model

2.0 TDi 150 S-line

Year

2014

Avg annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

53
Tell us what you think about your car?
I am delighted with this vehicle which looks stunning internally and externally. The detailed finish is superb and as expected from Audi. The 6 speed gearbox is slick whilst the 150 TDi engine gives effortless powerful acceleration especially in the mid range of speed. Sports suspension is stiff but not uncomfortable even for an older driver, the reward being excellent handling. Reasonably roomy too.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

4 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.4 TFSI Sport

Year

2015

Avg annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

Used
Tell us what you think about your car?
Overall, I've really enjoyed this car. The cabin is excellent, the 1.4 engine is plenty powerful and the car is wonderfully smooth to drive. My main bugbear with it (and I know it's petty) is the entertainment system. The car comes with an SD slot, which for me would be the ideal way to store my music. Unfortunately the MMI system is so finicky that putting music on an SD card seems to be tougher than splitting the atom. I get four second long "ghost tracks" that I can't get rid of (yes I've formatted the SD card) and the folder order is plain irritating. We also have a Citroen C1, which is considerably cheaper than the Audi yet I can just plug a USB stick into that and the music works. All for ten grand less. Even an iPhone doesn't work particularly well with the Audi MMI. Such a shame because it ruins the car overall. I would hope that Audi would sort it out for future models.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

3 out of 5

Car Details

Model

2.0 TDI se teknik

Year

2015

Avg annual mileage

15,000 – 19,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

58
Tell us what you think about your car?
After owning this car for 2 years I find it on the bland side. The cabin is quite boring, for all that the press rave over it. The front windows freeze up in the mildest of frosts. The gearchange is quite clunky and the ride is harsh. On anything but the smoothest roads the road noise is very intrusive. The DAB goes off when you turn on the rear windscreen heater. I don't think it's a great commuter car, I do a 36 mile round trip on single carriageway a roads. That's the downsides then. It is an absolute pleasure on the motorway, rock solid, quiet, not at all tiring to drive. Get it on a hilly back road, Lake District for instance, and it will climb up the side of a house in 4th gear and go round the bends on rails. It's been reliable, one small issue with a handbrake warning light that was sorted at the dealership. Fuel is average 58mpg, well over 60 on a 20 mile motorway journey. £20 road tax, and it can really move if you get it right. I think the facelift has a bit more kit than this model, but if I was buying another, I would get the sport model or the S line, just for a bit more pizazz.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

4 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.4 petrol

Year

2016

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

40
Tell us what you think about your car?
Smart, stylish, great car to drive. Drive a mix of short and long journeys. Useful folding rear seats. My only complaint is the Sat Nav, it's fairly basic, no speed cameras, and mine out of date when bought car! Showing incorrect speed limits. Audi response, wait till update next year, and pay for that! But nice motor.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

4 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.0 TSI S tronic (auto)

Year

2017

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

48
Tell us what you think about your car?
I've had the Sport version with the conventional softer suspension for a year. Overall it is a pleasure to drive. The auto gearbox can be slightly hesitant but is otherwise smooth. There's amazing power from the 3 cylinder 1.0TSi engine which is also quiet other than if you put your foot to the floor when it gives a pleasant sporty sound. It's very economical, more so than a 1.2TSi I had in previous Leon. Overall on mainly shortish mixed runs it gets about 46mpg but on a long mixed run with a lot of motorway with usual variable speeds with a max of 80mph I regularly get 53mpg. The seats are good and supportive for my long thighs which is essential for me. Main downsides are Sat Nav which has some ridiculous pronunciations of even obvious words like London, Hastings and so on and the whole infotainment isn't very intuitive although the use of some analog dials is useful and safer. Other issues have been a very noisy rattle from within the dash which turned out to be a fault in the heater matrix which was fixed by Audi. A bit of tyre noise on some surfaces (and I opted for the smaller 17"wheels) and suspension causes the odd rattle and rumble on some bumps which is disappointing for an Audi. The boot is on the small side and smaller than the excellent Seat Leon which I had before. On a PCP plan the cost of this was the same as the Seat Leon so being an Audi you'd think it would be a bargain but the reality is that is no better really than the Leon with pros and cons for both.
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

5 out of 5

Car Details

Model

1.4TSi

Year

2015

Avg annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

48
Tell us what you think about your car?
This is a superb car. It's a bit more expensive to buy than all its rivals but the quality of the interior and the superb engineering makes you feel good every time you see the car on your drive or open the door and sit inside. The quality feel of the dashboard is second to none and would not shame a car twice the price. It's soft touch and very intuitive. Heating and ventilation is fine and the pop up MMI screen works fine. I have a sports model and the seats are very comfortable and supportive, though my wife feels they are a bit hard. The 5 door model is more practical and has a bit more room in the back seats, along with a decent sized boot. Above all, the 1.4 engine is a gem - very smooth and a delight to use. The gearbox is fabulously slick, with short shifts and very easy and light to use, as is the steering. I haven't had a petrol car for 10 years but this 1.4 feels little different to my old 2 litre diesel. It's unbelievably impressive and as smooth as melted caramel. Can't recommend the car highly enough. As I said at the start, I think only the relatively high prices of these vehicles is stopping them selling like hot cakes. Vorsprung durch Technik!
Would you recommend the car to a friend?

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