The rear leg room isn’t amazing, especially when tall people are in the front, but head room is reasonable enough. 

Overall, this A3 looks as good and drives as well as larger Audi saloons but is cheaper to buy and easier to park into the bargain.

Our top spec

Sport: S Line gives you plenty of kit and looks great, but the stiffer ride could be a deal-breaker. Entry-level Sport has pretty much all the standard kit you will need and will be easier on your back.

Need to know

Audi’s baffling new naming system came to the A3 in 2018. A ‘30’ very much doesn’t mean a 3.0-litre engine, rather a 1.0-litre.

Prices start near £6000. Spend £7000 to £10,000 on good 2014 and 2015 cars, up to £12,000 on 2016 and 2017 cars, up to £17,000 on 2017 and 2018 cars and up to £22,000 on the last examples.

The A3 Saloon came second out of 26 executive cars in What Car?’s latest Reliability Survey. Audi as a brand was 21st out of 32, though.

Buyer beware

Automatic gearbox: The S Tronic ’box is a delight to use, but it features a Mechatronics control unit that has a nasty habit of packing in and costing £1500 or so to repair.

Timing belt: Diesels need a new timing belt at five years or 75,000 miles, while petrols need one at five years or 60,000 miles. Budget about £750 here.

Water pump: The water pump’s plastic housing can degrade and crack, springing a leak. If left as such, the whole unit will need replacing for several hundred pounds.

Diesel filter: Diesels dislike regular short journeys, and the DPF can get clogged up as a result. Unless you do major miles, a petrol should serve you just fine.


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