Audi A3 Sportback hatchback - Practicality & boot space
A slight size increase brings small gains inside, while the boot is on par with rivals
Shifting trends mean Audi no longer sells a three-door A3, so the five-door Sportback is now the standard car, with a four-door saloon version set to follow later.
Audi A3 interior space & storage
The latest model is slightly longer and wider overall, and the benefit of this is slightly more headroom and legroom front and rear. There's plenty of room with four passengers but the middle seat isn't as comfortable, so is best reserved for short trips only. The Audi’s ISOFIX points – which are neatly concealed behind plastic covers – are easy to find and use, so fitting a child seat is a doddle. Optional front passenger seat ISOFIX points mean the A3 can be made even more family-friendly, too.
While passenger space is boosted slightly, boot space remains unchanged at 380 litres behind the rear seats, expanding to 1,200 litres when they're folded down. Technik trim level comes with 60:40 split and fold rear seats, but these are upgraded to a 40:20:40 design for Sport. This gives the benefit of a load-through for long items such as skis or snowboards, as well as a centre armrest with cup holders.
In the plug-in hybrid 40 TFSI e model, though, overall boot space is reduced to 280 litres due to the car’s battery; the boot floor is raised to accommodate it. This is pretty poor for a hatchback of this size – it’s a compromise that’s much more apparent than in rival plug-in versions of premium hatchbacks such as the DS4, which offers 110 litres more than the A3. Even the more budget-friendly Skoda Octavia offers a 450-litre boot with the same plug-in hybrid setup.
The A3 remains competitive in the class, with identical luggage space to the BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf, while the 370-litre boot in the Mercedes A-Class is slightly smaller, though that of the DS4 is much larger at 430 litres. The A3 also boasts a usefully wide boot opening and there’s no luggage lip to haul bags over.
A removable towbar with a 13-pin socket, that can swivel up behind the bumper when not in use, is available as an official accessory for around £800. The A3 Sportback can make a surprisingly good tow car, with even the 30 TFSI petrol rated to tow a 1,500kg braked trailer, climbing to 1,800kg for the diesel engines.
Which Is Best?
- Name30 TFSI Technik 5dr
- Gearbox typeManual
- Name40 TFSI e Sport 5dr S Tronic
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto
- NameS3 TFSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto