For The Audi A3 comes with strong, efficient engines, and it strikes an excellent balance between comfort and control on SE suspension. The cabin is beautifully built and resale values are high.
Against Prices are also high and the S tronic dual-clutch gearbox is disappointingly jerky.
The Audi A3 is good to drive and fantastic to sit in. It’s one of the best premium hatchbacks you can buy.
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Petrol buyers can choose between 1.4- and 1.8-litre turbo engines, but the 1.4 is our favourite. It keeps the price reasonable and is gutsy enough to let you enjoy the A3’s agile handling.
There are also two diesel engines: a 148bhp 2.0-litre and a 103bhp 1.6. The smaller of the two emits just 99g/km of CO2, so it attracts temptingly low company car tax bills.
Both diesels are smooth and flexible, but if you can stretch to it we’d recommend the 2.0 for its punchier power delivery.
There are three trims, each with a different suspension setting: SE, lower Sport and lower-still S line. For us, the SE’s suspension provides the best balance of comfort and control, and the good news is that you can specify it at no extra cost with every trim level.
SE trim undoubtedly offers the best value for money, too, but you might want to add one of two optional extras, such as automatic light and wipers and climate control.
For us, this is the best A3. It delivers all the power and kit you need, all at a reasonable price. The desirable badge and gorgeous cabin make it even more appealing.