Audi A3 Sportback Review & Prices

The Audi A3 Sportback is a premium product, with a stylish design and well-built cabin, but alternatives are more practical and cost less

Buy or lease the Audi A3 Sportback at a price you’ll love
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RRP £28,920 - £44,325 Avg. Carwow saving £2,520 off RRP
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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Striking design inside and out
  • Well-equipped as standard
  • Excellent build quality inside

What's not so good

  • More affordable alternatives
  • Other hatchbacks are more practical
  • Not the most fun on a twisty road
At a glance
A3 Sportback
Body type
Available fuel types
Diesel, Petrol, Hybrid
Acceleration (0-60 mph)
6.8 - 10.6 s
Number of seats
Boot, seats up
280 - 380 litres - 3 Suitcases
Exterior dimensions (L x W x H)
4,757mm x 1,816mm x 1,430mm
CO₂ emissions
This refers to how much carbon dioxide a vehicle emits per kilometre – the lower the number, the less polluting the car.
26 - 154 g/km
Fuel economy
This measures how much fuel a car uses, according to official tests. It's measured in miles per gallon (MPG) and a higher number means the car is more fuel efficient.
46.3 - 256.8 mpg
Insurance group
A car's insurance group indicates how cheap or expensive it will be to insure – higher numbers will mean more expensive insurance.
22E, 15E, 20E, 23E, 25E, 26E, 21E, 18E, 24E, 17E, 16E, 19E, 14E, 28E
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Find out more about the Audi A3 Sportback

Is the Audi A3 Sportback a good car?

The Audi A3 Sportback is a smart family car that was given a makeover in 2024 to give it a sharper design, cool new lights, and a refreshed interior that help to make this one of the poshest hatchbacks you can buy.

It’s sensible and fancy in equal measure, like a pair of Jimmy Choo walking boots.

Audi A3 alternatives are plentiful, but the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class are the closest competition. However, you could also look at the hybrid-engined Honda Civic, or well-specced versions of the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia.

The Audi A3 design looks upmarket from the get-go; there’s no denying this is a posh car before you even take a look inside. Changes for 2024 have given it a slightly sportier edge and some cool new lights that can display different patterns and scroll back and forth. Subtle updates, then, but no overhaul was required because this is a handsome and sophisticated looking thing.

Group test: Audi A3 v Mercedes A-Class v BMW 1 Series v Volkswagen Golf

Interior changes are even less obvious, save for a smaller gear selector, redesigned air vents and the now-standard-fit digital instrument display. Again, though, this is no bad thing, because the A3’s interior is solidly built and everything you touch feels suitably expensive.

All cars get a 10.1-inch infotainment screen that is neatly integrated into the dashboard, rather than plonked atop it as is the fashion these days, which is nice. It’s pretty slick and intuitive to use, too, and flanked by a neat fabric strip across the dashboard.

Cabin roominess is decent throughout, and there’s plenty of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel so it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. Storage isn’t fantastic though, with the glovebox, cupholders and cubby hole beneath the armrest not being particularly big nor useful.

The Audi A3 is smart, comfortable and refined – there are no gimmicks, it’s simply a lovely thing to drive around in

Boot space is average among alternatives, being near enough identical to the BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf, though the Skoda Octavia beats all with its cavernous boot.

Out on the road the Audi A3 is a fantastic all-rounder. Sure, it’s not the most fun car to pilot down a twisty road – check out the Audi S3 Sportback if that’s your thing – but it’s quiet and comfortable to drive around town, as well as being spacious and refined enough for long motorway drives. If you do a lot of the latter, the diesel engine is likely to be your best choice, but one of the two petrols will be a better fit for most. A plug-in hybrid will join the line-up later.

Interested? Check out the latest Audi A3 deals on Carwow, or check out other Audi reviews to find the right car for you. You can also browse used A3s from our network of trusted dealers and take a look at other used Audis, and when it’s time to sell your current car, Carwow can help with that, too.

How much is the Audi A3 Sportback?

The Audi A3 has a RRP range of £28,920 to £44,325. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,520. Prices start at £26,777 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £280. The price of a used Audi A3 on Carwow starts at £15,250.

Our most popular versions of the Audi A3 are:

Model version Carwow price from
30 TFSI Sport 5dr £26,777 Compare offers

The Audi A3 range starts in Sport trim at around £28,000 for the ‘30 TFSI’ petrol engine with a six-speed manual gearbox, but jumping to the more powerful ‘35 TFSI’ costs less than £2,000, which makes it rather tempting. The ‘35 TDI’ diesel starts at almost £33,000. Stepping up the trim levels, S line starts at over £31,000, while fully loaded Black Edition cars start at nearly £35,000.

That makes the A3 competitive among other posh hatchbacks, being about the same as the BMW 1 Series, and less expensive than the Mercedes A-Class. The Volkswagen Golf is a fraction cheaper, while Honda Civic prices start at £35,000 – though this is explained in part by the fact it’s hybrid-only, which pushes the price up. The Skoda Octavia isn't the bargain it once was, with entry level versions starting around £27,000, while top-spec models are more in line with the Audi at over £35,000.

Performance and drive comfort

The Audi A3 Sportback is comfortable, quiet and easy to drive although it’s not the best choice if you like your car to be fun to drive

In town

The Audi A3 Sportback gets the basics of town driving spot on.

You get a perfect driving position with loads of adjustment and large windows that give excellent visibility. Navigating through town is easy thanks to the car’s digital instrument display that transforms at the touch of a button into a massive map behind the steering wheel.

Get underway and you’ll find the A3’s suspension soaks up inner-city bumps and poor surfaces well for a car of this price. S line models are a touch more jiggly over imperfections, but not uncomfortable. The A3’s tight turning circle – tighter than a BMW 1 Series offers – is also a big help when you’re negotiating streets crammed with traffic.

Parking’s another A3 strong point. Light controls make it effortless to manoeuvre at low speeds and its progressive steering means you can get from lock to lock in just two turns. You also get standard rear parking sensors, though you'll have to pay extra for a reversing camera.

On the motorway

The Audi A3 is one of the best cars of its type on the motorway. Road, wind and engine noise are all well contained and you’ll also love the standard auto-dimming rearview mirror, which cuts out the glare of other cars' headlights at night. All models offer reasonable acceleration, but the 35 TDI diesel is worth considering if you do lots of long drives thanks to its good combination of performance and economy.

Cruise control is included as standard, but if you want an adaptive system that maintains your distance to the car in front, you'll have to pay extra – though it is included in the same package that gives you a reversing camera (and an upgraded Sonos sound system).

On a twisty road

Out on country roads, the Audi A3 Sportback doesn’t prove to be as much fun as a BMW 1 Series, which offers an extra level of driver engagement and enjoyment. S Line models feel a touch sportier than lesser versions, their sports suspension 15mm lower so you get less body roll and a sportier stance, but not at the expense of comfort. Still, whichever version you go for the A3 is easy to place on the road and pretty grippy, so it's not totally flumoxxed by a B-road. If you like the A3 but wish it was a bit quicker, consider the S3 Sportback instead.

Space and practicality

Decent space for four and good boot space, but glovebox and cup holders aren’t the most useful

The Audi A3 Sportback gives you a decent seating position and its cabin is well designed with space for four people, a square-shaped boot and a plethora of smaller storage spaces.

Getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy. You get loads of adjustment for you and your passenger’s seat and the steering wheel also offers plenty of movement.

Interior storage is mixed. The glovebox is only an average size and the cup holders don’t do a great job of holding your 330ml fizzy drinks upright – smooth driving is a must if you want to avoid a sticky mess. Also, the cubby under the centre armrest is next to useless for storing anything.

Better news comes in the form of a centre console tray that’ll accommodate big phones, two USB plugs in the front and large pockets in all four doors. You also get a hidden cubby under the steering wheel that’s ideal for hiding small valuables.

Space in the back seats

Headroom and legroom in the back of the Audi A3 Sportback are decent enough – you’ll fit comfortably even if you’re more than six feet tall, although three adults sitting across the back seat will feel crushed for hip and elbow room. While we’re having a moan, the centre armrest’s recessed cupholders mean it’s not a comfortable place to lean your elbow, which is something of a design flaw.

Fitting a child seat is easy thanks to the ISOFIX mounting points in the outer seats and, although you’ll have to move the front seats forward to squeeze in a bulky rear-facing child seat, the same is true on most alternatives.

Boot space

The Audi A3 Sportback’s boot has a large opening and a 380-litre capacity, which is bang on average for the class. In real terms, it can swallow up to five carry-on suitcases. That space is the same as the BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf, while the Mercedes A-Class falls behind a little with 350 litres. Although they're less premium, the Honda Civic offers 410 litres, while the Skoda Octavia has a cavernous 600-litre space.

Setting the adjustable boot floor as high as it goes means you can slide heavy luggage into place, the space below the floor serves as an ideal place to store the parcel shelf and you get a completely flat floor with the rear seats folded down. Total luggage capacity sits at 1,200 litres in this configuration.

Handy features? There’s no shortage of those – you get hooks to secure your luggage and your shopping, as well as a 12V socket for powering electrical appliances.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The Audi A3 Sportback doesn't have a particularly flashy interior, but it's well put together and the infotainment system is slick and easy to use

Sitting behind the steering wheel, the Audi A3 Sportback feels modern enough, although its angular design isn’t as understatedly pleasant as the old model’s dashboard and interior quality isn’t as consistent, either.

Okay, so the tops of the front doors and the dashboard get soft-touch plastics, but below eye level, there’s plenty of scratchy stuff to grumble about. The BMW 1 Series’ consistently high-quality cabin feels like a level up in terms of materials, though the Audi A3 is really well put together and should stand the test of time better than most alternatives.

The BMW’s infotainment is also slightly better thanks to its brighter graphics and more logical menus, but we're being picky because Audi's system is still up there with the best of them. You can swipe through menus quickly and you get physical buttons for the ventilation so there’s no need to dive into menus just to turn up the heater.

As you’d expect, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard so it’s easy to mirror your phone’s apps and use its display on the car’s big screen. Two USB ports mean you can charge two phones at once.

Along with the 10.1-inch screen in the centre of the dashboard, you get a 10.3-inch 'Virtual Cockpit' screen behind the steering wheel which is class-leading even among other digital instrument displays.

The basic stereo is fine if you're an avid Radio 4 listener but if you like your tunes with a bit more get-up-and-go, you'll want the Technology Pack and its upgraded Sonos sound system.

MPG, emissions and tax

The Audi A3 Sportback is available with two petrol engines and one diesel. Petrol models come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, with the option to swap it for a seven-speed dual-clutch auto. The diesel is automatic as standard. 

The 30 TFSI is the range entry-point producing 116hp from a 1.5-litre petrol engine. Performance is adequate rather than startling – 0-62mph takes just under 10 seconds – but it can return fuel economy of about 50mpg.

Go for the 35 TFSI petrol engine which has a healthier 150hp. It’ll get from 0-60mph in 8.4 seconds, but returns identical fuel economy figures to the '30' in official tests, making it a tempting upgrade. 

The 2.0-litre 35 TDI diesel also makes 150hp, but gets the best fuel economy. It can return about 57mpg, and with a 0-60mph of 8.3 seconds it's just about the fastest A3 this side of the sportier S3. The diesel is ideal for those who do a lot of motorway miles, but it is more expensive to buy than the petrols, which can offset the savings.

All models have fairly low CO2 emissions, so first-year road tax isn't too pricey, though company car buyers will be better off waiting for the plug-in hybrid version, as this will have the lowest benefit-in-kind rating. Audi A3 insurance groups are similar to other premium hatchbacks, so should see similar premiums.

Safety and security

The Audi A3 Sportback was awarded a five-star rating when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP and it comes fitted with features such as automatic emergency braking, hill-hold assist, lane-departure warning and a distance sensor that warns when you’re too close to the car in front. Driver attention and drowsiness warning is included as standard as part of the 2024 update, as is a speed limiter function. You also get a car alarm as standard. 

Reliability and problems

Audi hasn't traditionally scored very well overall in the Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, and the A3 itself hasn't appeared in the latest list of the top cars to own in the UK. The three-year/60,000-mile warranty is about as basic as it gets, too, though you can pay a bit extra to extend this.

Audi A3 FAQs

Audi doesn’t have a brilliant reputation when it comes to reliability, and its warranty of three years/60,000 miles is about as basic as it gets. The Audi A3 itself didn’t feature in the top 50 cars to own in the 2024 Driver Power owner survey, either.

Which engine is best depends on your needs, but the ‘35 TFSI’ petrol is the best all-rounder. If you do a lot of motorway miles, it could be worth going for the ‘35 TDI’ diesel, which gets better economy at motorway speeds. A plug-in hybrid will join the line-up soon, which will appeal to company car buyers and those who drive in the city a lot.

The Audi A3 is an excellent family hatchback, but it’s not perfect. For example, it’s definitely not the cheapest hatchback you can buy, and while the boot should be big enough for most, the Honda Civic and Skoda Octavia offer considerably more room.

Buy or lease the Audi A3 Sportback at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £28,920 - £44,325 Avg. Carwow saving £2,520 off RRP
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Compare new offers Compare used deals
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