Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Audi A3 saloon?
Check the bodywork for scuffs caused by car parking in tight spaces and look at the alloy wheels for any kerb damage.
There have been a number of issues relating to the A3’s long-term use, most notably a problem relating to rattles from the 1.4 TFSI engine, traced to vibration of the wastegate actuator rod. Diesel particulate filter warning lights have been known to come on, although 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.
What are the most common problems with a used Audi A3 saloon?
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. The A3 also rated worse than average for headlight bulb failure.
There have been a couple of recalls for the A3. They only apply to a small number of vehicles, but it’s still worth checking to see if your car is affected. The first applies to A3s built between 1 July 2014 and 15 November 2014 for the passenger airbag, which might not deploy in an accident. The second relates to rear wheel bearing housings that might not have been manufactured correctly on cars built between 1 August 2017 and 31 August 2017. Check with your local Audi dealer if you are in any doubt.
Is a used Audi A3 saloon reliable?
While it topped the executive car table in 2017, this year the A3 Saloon has dropped to seventh place out of a group of 14 cars. Audi as a brand has also fallen a few places, having finished in a 20th place out of 31 car manufacturers.
If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.