The Audi A3 (and its five-door stablemate, the A3 Sportback) is the very definition of a well-rounded, well-priced premium family hatchback. It was the overall What Car? Car of the Year in 2013, and it's remained a consistent class winner in our awards every year since.
It's not hard to see why, either. Whether you choose three or five doors, you get strong refinement from a line-up of punchy, economical turbocharged engines, and a beautifully built interior that’s practical enough for most everyday needs.
To cap it all, the A3’s three-year running costs are lower than those of much of the mainstream opposition, helped by rock-solid resale values.
The Audi A3 is built on the same underpinnings as many other VW Group models, including the Volkswagen Golf and the Skoda Octavia, but it takes all their mechanical benefits, including those excellent engines, and adds a level of sophistication that few other models can match.
What's more, in the longer run, the Audi’s superb resale values and low CO2 emissions mean it has competitive PCP and company car tax rates – not only compared with its traditional rival the BMW 1 Series, but also against everything from the Golf to the Ford Focus.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions on the A3, along with our recommendations for the best trim level and engine to choose.