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Key Facts

All the variants in the range benefit from Audi’s renowned build quality, while every A3 on the new and used markets looks the part, even the base models.

The A3 comes in several different specifications, so you can really pick and choose which engine package suits you best. If you want a small car that’s stylish yet achieves good mileage, then either of the SE models equipped with the 1.6 TDI ultra engine would be ideal. 

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2003-2016
2016 onwards
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Why buy a Audi A3?

The benefit of buying any A3 is that you’ll reap the benefits of the German manufacturer’s superior build quality. All of Audi’s hatchbacks allow you to achieve the sheer style and class that pulses throughout the range, whilst the badge itself is also a big draw.

Aside from the models at the economical end of the scale, there are also performance-based versions available too. Audi has managed to achieve an output of over 180bhp with its 2.0 litre engine, which is available in both the Sport and S line models. Naturally, these top-of-the-range A3s are for those who want to get from A to B a little faster than usual.

Audi A3 on Finance?

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Which Audi A3 is right for me?

Latest Range


New Blood: Audi A3 Sport

New Blood: Audi A3 Sport

The new Audi A3 is the best yet. The interior has been redesigned to simplify your driving experience and has the novelty of a pop-up infotainment display. The new A3 now has the option of a 1.0l turbocharged engine producing 115bhp and capable of achieving up to 60mpg combined, making it quick, efficient and stylish. What more could you ask for?

Previous Range


For flash and dash: Audi A3 S line

For flash and dash: Audi A3 S line

The top-of-the-range Audi, the S line definitely looks the part, with a whole host of exclusive trim pieces being available, such as S line badges and a roof spoiler.

It’s also the only model in the range to be equipped with Audi’s 1.8 TFSI quattro engine. However, the 2.0 litre engines actually put out a similar amount of brake horsepower and come in at a lower tax band.

The lowest price: Audi A3 SE

The lowest price: Audi A3 SE

The SE is the base model and is therefore the cheapest car in the range. Coming with Audi’s 1.2 litre engine as standard, when bought new you do have the option to upgrade to the 1.4 TFSI or even the 2.0 TDI engine, which puts out almost 150bhp.

However, it’s the 1.6 engine that achieves the best mileage, so that’s the one to go for if that’s an issue for you. Plus the SE doesn’t cut back on trim, meaning it certainly doesn’t look like the base model in the range.

For a little extra at a good price: Audi A3 SE Technik

For a little extra at a good price: Audi A3 SE Technik

The SE Technik is a step up from the standard SE, while it’s focused around being economical and comfortable on long journeys. Available with only the 1.6 engine, expect to get up to 60mph in a little over 11 seconds. Because it comes with a few more features than the standard SE, you can feel that much more comfort for long and short journeys.

Speed fiend: Audi A3 Sport

Speed fiend: Audi A3 Sport

The A3 Sport is very much focused around the theme of choice. When bought new it was available with a mass of engine options, so make sure to check the specs of the model you’re looking at to check what’s under the bonnet. Expect to have a few extra pieces of trim with the Sport model too.

For all this oomph and appearance, a used Sport normally costs less than the SE Technik.

What are the Alternatives?

For cheaper German engineering: Volkswagen Golf

For cheaper German engineering: Volkswagen Golf

A mainstay in the hatchback class, the VW Golf has got its offering down to a tee. With certain models of the Golf S starting as low as £7,000, it can be cheaper to buy than the base A3, whereas the top-of-the-line model is more expensive than the A3 equivalent, giving you a wider choice throughout the range.

Although, the high-end Golf – the R-Line - only achieves just shy of 150bhp, whereas the A3 S line manages over 180bhp. Both achieve similar tax bands with their 2.0 engine offerings, but the Audi slips into band G when equipped with the 1.8 TFSI quattro engine.


Used Volkswagen Golf

That rear-wheel drive feeling: BMW 1 Series

That rear-wheel drive feeling: BMW 1 Series

If there’s one badge that beats an Audi’s four rings, it’s a BMW one – especially that extra ‘M’ motif. With prices starting at around £7,500 used, the main 1 Series range is only slightly pricier than that of the A3. Although, when it comes to the sought-after M models, they’ll go for significantly more.

But, the top-range 1 Series models are some of the fastest hatchbacks around, even beating the likes of the Honda Civic Type R off the line.


Used BMW 1 Series

For prestige: Mercedes A-Class

For prestige: Mercedes A-Class

Widely seen as a major competitor to the A3 and the 1 Series, the A-Class starts at a similar price point and extends to sums that reach the higher end of what you’d expect to pay for a car of this type.

So while the base models are similarly priced to the A3, you can really expect to pay a hefty chunk of your wages on the top models. This is especially the case with the A45 AMG 4MATIC, which comes in at a mind-boggling £38,000 off the forecourt!


Used Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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