Audi A3 Sportback hatchback (2004-2012)
"The Audi A3 Sportback is a desirable five-door model that adds a dose of practicality to Audi’s compact hatchback range"
- Excellent build quality throughout
- Cabin comfort
- Spacious interior
- Cramped in back
- Unexciting to drive
- Pricey compared to rivals
The five-door Audi A3 Sportback has a longer wheelbase than the three-door A3 hatch, and it’s the most spacious and practical member of the A3 family. It’s very comfortable and quiet at motorway cruising speeds, but crucially, it still offers Audi’s sporting image – particularly in S line trim. Like the three-door A3, it’s as well built as every other car to roll off the company’s production lines, so quality is first-rate.
MPG, running costs & CO2
We’d recommend that you pick a diesel engine for the best running costs. The 1.6 TDI diesel versions manage an impressive 68.9mpg on average, and cost only £35 a year in road tax. If you’re after more performance, it’s worth bearing in mind that even some of the more powerful 2.0 TDI diesels fall into this low tax bracket.
Engines, drive & performance
Whether you are out on the motorway or on a bumpy back road, the A3 Sportback is comfortable. Even so, some of the smaller engines – like the 1.6-litre petrol version – can become quite noisy at speed. The 1.4 TFSI petrol engine is a better bet – it’s smaller, but as it has a supercharger and a turbocharger, it has more power and is more frugal, too. Audi’s optional DSG automated manual box offers slick changes and extra economy.
Interior & comfort
The A3 Sportback is longer than the three-door model, sothere’s more room inside. It’s more comfortable on the move, too. The supple suspension ensures it glides over bumps and potholes. What’s more, the seats are supportive and there’s plenty of adjustment, so finding a suitable driving position is easy. However, the small windows and dark cabin materials mean passengers in the back can feel a bit claustrophobic.
Practicality & boot space
There’s 370 litres of boot space, compared to 350 litres in the three-door A3. Fold down the split-fold rear seats, and you’re left with a stepped area, which isn’t so useful for loading in bulky items. The turning circle is impressive though, which makes parking less of a chore.
Reliability & safety
You pay extra for an A3 Sportback compared to a VW Golf, for example, but in this case, the extra investmentis worth it. Audi build quality is always excellent, and the Sportback is no exception. The fit, finish and reliability are second to none. What’s more, all the engines are familiar from other cars in the Volkswagen Group (of which Audi is a member), so parts are widely available and the mechanicals are tried and tested across a wide range of cars – including the Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon family hatchbacks.
Price, value for money & options
The A3 costs significantly more than its VW Group sister models, including the VW Golf and Skoda Octavia. But Audi’s premium image and attention to luxury detailing means that the A3 really is a cut above. What’s more, its family-oriented design means it has incredibly strong resale values, so you’ll get more of your money back when you come to sell the car.