If you have your eye on a brand spanking new A3, the new 1.5-litre version is still exceedingly easy to recommend. It has a lot more performance than the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, is more refined and doesn’t drink too much unleaded.
As such, the 1.5 TFSI is our new pick of the A3 range. The Octavia fitted with the same engine still offers more space and a similarly impressive drive more less money, but if your budget can stretch to it, the A3 remains a classy and competent family choice.
Don't forget, if you are after more detail on the rest of the A3 range, click here for our full 16 point review.
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Audi A3 1.5 TFSI
Price £21,690 Engine 4cyl, 1495cc, petrol, turbo Power 148bhp at 5000-6000rpm Torque 184lb ft at 1500-3500rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual 0-62mph 8.2sec Top speed 136mph Official economy 56.5mpg CO2, tax band 112g/km, 21%
The best and worst family cars
With so much competition, family cars like the A3 have to be good at everything. Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the models that are best to steer clear of.
10. BMW i3
The BMW i3 is an electric family car that uses super-light carbonfibre and aluminium to offset the weight of the battery pack that’s mounted beneath its floor, while a smart interior and great handling add further to its appeal. In addition to the fully electric model, BMW offers a range-extender version with a two-cylinder petrol engine that acts as a generator to prevent the car's batteries from running flat.
9. BMW 1 Series
A more conventional option from BMW is the 1 Series, which offers a strong combination of performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions. It’s still a little unusual in that it sends its power to the rear wheels rather than the fronts, but this makes it entertaining to drive, and ride comfort is also good.
Pick of the range: 118i SE
8. Honda Civic
The latest Honda Civic is good to drive and has plenty of space inside for your family and their luggage. Add to that an impressive array of standard safety equipment and it's easy to recommend as an all-rounder. Team the frugal 1.0-litre petrol engine with mid-range SR trim for the best results.
Pick of the range: 1.0 VTEC SR
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