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 S line 5dr S Tronic [17 inch Alloy]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,950

Fastest

  • Name
    40 TDI Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,470

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