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Used Audi A3 review: 2012 to 2020 (Mk3) - Practicality and boot space

The Audi A3 Sportback is the model to go for, as it has five doors and is more practical than the three-door and A3 Saloon variants

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The Audi A3 Sportback has 35mm more between the front and rear wheels than the three-door A3 hatchback. This means it’s one of the roomiest cars in its class, and of course since it has two extra doors, it’s the most practical model in the range. 

It’s one of the most durable, too, with an interior that’ll stand up to family wear and tear like few others. Add plenty of storage space plus the two extra doors and the A3 Sportback makes a convincing case as a small family car.

How big is the Audi A3? 

The A3 hatchback, the three-door model, is 4,237mm long, but the Sportback five-door car is 4,310mm long. The Saloon model is even longer, at 4,456mm, but this version’s separate boot means it’s not quite as versatile as the Sportback. The Cabriolet version is obviously the least practical, but it’s 4,421m long.

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The A3 is around 1.8m wide and 1.4m tall, so it’s fairly compact. It’s about the same size as a Volkswagen Golf, and is about average among its rivals. It’s shorter than a BMW 1 Series, but a bit wider.

How much space is there for passengers?

In the front, the A3 Sportback is a perfectly roomy car. Behind, there’s more space than before, but in truth it’s only suitable for two adult passengers – three will be a bit of a squeeze. Wide-opening rear doors mean a child seat can be installed easily. However, the Sportback sits quite low, so you have to bend down awkwardly to lean in, while only the two outer seats have ISOFIX child-seat fixings. Storage space includes a decent-sized glovebox, a cubbyhole under the front armrest and deep door bins.

How big is the boot?

The normal A3 hatchback has 365 litres, the Saloon has 425 litres and the Convertible has 320 litres, but in the latter two models there’s no hatchback boot door, so the space is much less useful.

The Sportback’s extra length brings additional load capacity and a low, clear boot ledge means loads can be inserted easily. Handily, there’s a false boot floor to hide valuables under, too. You also get a slim space-saver spare wheel.

With the rear seats upright, boot space in the Sportback model is 380 litres. With the seats folded flat to make a level floor, that space grows to 1,220 litres. That’s about on par with the BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf. Space is reduced in the four-wheel-drive and e-tron hybrid models. In the latter, the battery pack reduces boot space to 280 litres.

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