The Audi A3 Saloon is the third version of the A3 along with the hatchback and Sportback. The Saloon has more rear legroom and a bigger boot and its only direct rival is the Mercedes CLA. The Lexus IS can also be considered an alternative along with the cheaper Mazda 3 Fastback.
Inside you’ll find one of the best interiors in the class. The high quality materials and pop-up infotainment screen make for a premium atmosphere. The saloon boot adds day-to-day practicality and a little more individuality but the sloping roof means headroom in the back is worse than in the Sportback.
Thanks to modern underpinnings the A3 saloon is agile and confident in corners. The optional Sport and S line suspension setups improve handling marginally but make the ride quite firm for UK roads.
The A3 Saloon gets the same range of excellent engines as the hatchback and Sportback but two really stand out – the 1.4-litre petrol and the 2.0-litre diesel. The petrol is punchy and fuel efficient, but the diesel spectacular fuel economy is better if you plan to do lots of motorway miles.
It’s not an exciting choice but the A3 feels like a cut above the competition
As a premium model, the A3 saloon gets two well-equipped trim levels – Sport and S-line. Although the Sport has a generous kit list with a 5.8-inch multimedia screen, alloys and a DAB digital radio with eight speakers, we’d go for the S line for the more stylish body kit it adds. In 2016 standard equipment was increased to include xenon headlights that turn on automatically and wipers that do the same.
Read our colours and dimensions guides to see if the A3 will fit in your life or check out our dedicated RS3 Saloon price, specs and release date article for full details on the sporty range-topping model.
The Audi A3 saloon isn’t many things. It isn’t the most comfortable, it isn’t the fastest, it isn’t the cheapest and isn’t the most desirable in it’s class. What it is is a shrunken A4 and while it may not be as exciting to drive or look at as some of its rivals, the A3 Saloon makes a fine case for itself over the blander hatchback. It’s a bigger rival for the A4 though, providing just as much car for a lot less money.
If you want to read some more in-depth analysis of the A3 saloon, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, to see what sort of offers are available on the A3 saloon, just click through to our deals page.