Used Audi A3 Hatchback 2003 - 2013 review


(2003 - 2013)
Audi A3 Hatchback (03 - 13)
Review continues below...

What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi A3 hatchback?

If you like the sound of an Audi A3 but don’t want to spend the money, have a look at a Volkswagen Golf. The Golf drives better, rides more comfortably and has a better reputation for reliability, yet comes with a similar range of engines to the A3 and costs less to buy.

The Ford Focus is another alternative; it’s nowhere near as classy as the A3 or the Golf, but it is an awful lot more enjoyable to drive, with engaging handling and communicative steering. The 2.0-litre diesel version also has a better reputation for reliability than the equivalent A3.

If you want a hatchback with a desirable badge on its nose, you might be better off with a BMW 1 Series. It’s less practical than the A3, with cramped rear seats and a small boot, but it’s far more engaging to drive and has an interior that feels every bit as classy. Plus, you’ll find it’s fractionally more fuel efficient, like-for-like.

If you’re buying strictly with your head ruling your heart, try a Kia Cee’d. The interior feels cheap compared to the Audi’s and it’s fairly average to drive, but it’s ridiculously cheap to buy and, if you buy one that’s less than seven years old, comes with the advantage of having a chunk of its manufacturer’s warranty left over.

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Audi A3 Hatchback (03 - 13)
Audi A3 Hatchback (03 - 13)
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The second-generation Audi A3 looks and feels classy, but it's expensive and bland to drive

  • High-quality interior
  • Great range of engines
  • Desirable image
  • Expensive to buy
  • Reliability worries
  • Too light-feeling steering