The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The A3 Saloon provides a fundamentally good driving position, although four-way powered lumbar adjustment is only an option on the Sport and S line trims. We'd recommend adding this, because it can really make a difference on long journeys.
All of the controls and screens you use frequently are within clear sight or easy reach, helped by the centre area of the dashboard being angled towards the driver. This includes simple physical switches to operate the climate controls.
That’s because there are no physical controls. So, instead of being able to keep most of your attention on the road while you scroll down a list and make selections using the mouse pad in the A Class (or the even better rotary controller in the 3 Series), in the A3 you have to look directly at the touchscreen to find and hit the icon you need.
On the plus side, the screen is sharp, with good graphics, and the menus respond quickly. It's also packed with features – including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The optional Bang & Olufsen surround-sound stereo, which comes as part of the Comfort and Sound Pack, adds more power and extra speakers, while another option to consider is wireless phone charging.