What should I look for in a used Audi A3 hatchback?
If the fit and finish of a used car were all you were going by, the A3 would win easily.
However, there have been a number of issues relating to its long-term use, most notably a problem relating to rattles from the 1.4 TFSI engine, traced to the wastegate actuator rod vibrating. Listen carefully for evidence of this. In diesel-powered A3s, the DPF warning light has been known to come on, although the fix of driving the car on an open road for a few minutes is usually enough to turn it off again. There have also been issues with clutch failure, so check its operation carefully.
There are some reports of problems with the motor powering the sliding roof.
What are the most common problems with a used Audi A3 hatchback?
Some owners have reported issues with rattling from the centre console area, mainly from the trim surrounding the gearlever, and from the boot locking mechanism. Also, there have been reported problems with the sat-nav screen, which rises out of the dashboard and can creak in use. Water pumps have also been reported to leak, and the A3 has been rated poorly for headlight bulb failure.
Is a used Audi A3 hatchback reliable?
Surprisingly, it depends on which engine you have in your A3. The petrol models scored a wholesome 90% in our most recent reliability survey, while the diesels scored 86%. Both are respectable scores, though.
Audi as a brand finished in 20th place in our most recent reliability survey. However, the A3 has been around for a while and its tried-and-tested major components are shared with many other Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda models, so it should be easy to source the parts and, if you seek out a trusted independent dealer, not unduly expensive to repair.
If you would like to see the full reliability list for family cars, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.