In-depth reviews

Audi A3 Sportback hatchback - Reliability & safety

We don't anticipate any nasty surprises but it's a shame some safety kit isn't standard

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

Despite being an all-new model, the A3 is based on underpinnings and engines that are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, so we wouldn't expect any major reliability upsets. It scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, but it's a shame some safety kit sits on the options list.

Audi A3 reliability

It will be some time until enough owners put the new Audi A3 through its paces to get a real feel for its reliability, but major issues seem unlikely. For a start, the A3 is based on an upgrade of the Volkswagen Group's MQB architecture, and its 1.5-litre petrol is an evolution of the engine found in the previous model.

The Mk3 A3 came 55th out of the top 75 models in our latest Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, with a below average score for reliability and build quality. Owners were most impressed with its engines and gearboxes, along with the value it offers. However, interior comfort and ride quality weren't highly praised.

Safety

The A3 is a key seller for Audi, so the company will be pleased it has been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP score. The A3's Volkswagen Golf sister car already achieved a top safety result, with impressive scores across the board, and the A3 received 89% for adult occupant protection.

New safety features also make their debut in the A3, including Car2X technology that can communicate with local vehicles and infrastructure (where supported) to warn the driver of hazards, traffic and even how long it will be until a traffic light turns red or green.

It is a shame, however, to see how much safety kit is an optional extra. For the Technik trim, a lane change system is £500, while a Driver Assistance Pack with parking sensors, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control is £2,100.

Next Steps

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    30 TFSI Technik 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £24,115

Most Economical

  • Name
    40 TFSI e Sport 5dr S Tronic [Comfort+Sound]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,245

Fastest

  • Name
    S3 TFSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic [Comfort+Sound]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,015

Recommended

Audi A3 Sportback hatchback review
Audi A3 hatchback
Audi A3
5 Jan 2022

Audi A3 Sportback hatchback review

Top 10 most economical family cars 2022
Skoda Octavia hatchback
Best cars
26 Jul 2021

Top 10 most economical family cars 2022

Top 10 best luxury small cars 2022
BMW 118 M Sport
Best cars
30 Jun 2021

Top 10 best luxury small cars 2022

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Mazda MX-5 Deals
Deals
21 Jan 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Car tax
20 Jan 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
21 Jan 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
21 Jan 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022