Audi A3 Saloon review

Category: Executive car

Section: Costs & verdict

Audi A3 Saloon 2020 touchscreen
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 front cornering
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 rear cornering
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 dashboard
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 rear seats
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 touchscreen
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 side action
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 front static
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 alloy wheel
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 front seats
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 boots
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 front cornering
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 rear cornering
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 dashboard
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 rear seats
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 touchscreen
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 side action
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 front static
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 alloy wheel
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 front seats
  • Audi A3 Saloon 2020 boots
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In this section:
  • Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
  • Equipment, options and extras
  • Reliability
  • Safety and security

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Pricing and running costs for the A3 Saloon are roughly in line with equivalent versions of the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé and Mercedes A Class Saloon. What’s more, it will cost you a lot less than an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series with the same sort of power and spec, whether you’re buying outright or on PCP finance.

On the other hand, our favourite version of the 3 Series – the 330e plug-in hybrid – makes a much cheaper company car than any A3 Saloon, thanks to its tiny CO2 emissions and plug-in hybrid tax breaks. If you are choosing an A3 Saloon as your next company car, think about petrol rather than diesel – the A3's diesels aren't RDE2 emissions compliant (unlike those of the A Class Saloon), and that means you'll pay a 4% surcharge.  

Audi A3 Saloon 2020 touchscreen

Reliability

The A3 Saloon comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and three years’ roadside assistance – basically on a par with the industry norm. And you can pay a little extra to extend your A3's cover for up to five years or 90,000 miles.

We’d be tempted to do so, because Audi doesn’t have a brilliant record when it comes to reliability; it finished 22th out of 31 brands in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey. That is way below BMW (and a lot of non-premium brands, such as Ford, Mazda and Skoda) but still above Mercedes.

Safety and security

Overview

The Audi A3 Saloon is tidy in the bends, comfortable and well equipped, making it a very competitive option against its closest rivals, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes A-Class Saloon. However, the A4 is worth the extra if you can afford it, because it’s quieter and has a classier and more practical interior. Likewise, the BMW 3 Series betters the A3 in those areas, and it's also more enjoyable to drive.

  • Good ride and handling balance
  • Punchy 35 TFSI petrol engine
  • All versions are well equipped
  • Distracting infotainment system
  • Road noise at speed
  • Small boot by class standards