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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

2.0 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 have expected any major reliability upset, although Driver Power owner verdicts appear to contradict this. In terms of safety, however, the A3 does reasonably well – it scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.

Audi A3 reliability

The Mk4 Audi A3 came 59th out of the top 75 models in our 2022 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, with a below-average score for reliability, but it’s not charted since. When it did feature, owners were most impressed with its engines and gearboxes. However, interior comfort and the infotainment system weren't highly praised.

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Audi as a brand performed poorly in the latest 2023 Driver Power survey, coming in 30th place out of 32 manufacturers, behind all of its direct rivals. Reliability across the board for Audi was slightly better than average, with around 23% of respondents reporting a fault in the first year of ownership. Mercedes performed worse in this area, with 28% of owners reporting a fault in the same time period, while just 22% of BMW owners reported the same.

Safety

The A3 is a key seller for Audi, so it’s a good job it was 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 made 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.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    30 TFSI Sport 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £28,920

Most Economical

  • Name
    40 TFSI e Sport 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,400

Fastest

  • Name
    S3 TFSI Black Edition Quattro 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £46,925

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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