Audi A1 vs Audi A3: verdict

These desirable hatchbacks both have plenty of strengths, but which is right for you: the cheaper Audi A1 or the larger Audi A3?...

Audi A1 vs Audi A3 header

Our verdict

The Audi A1 is a fine car, mixing good comfort with composed handling and plenty of big-car features. True, there are some small hatchbacks that give you more for less, but only if you can live without a premium badge.

It’s still the A3 that wins this test, though. It may be more expensive than its smaller sister, but the margins aren’t huge – especially once you’ve factored in the A3’s lower running costs. What’s more, it feels worth the extra when you consider its superior refinement, more engaging drive, extra practicality and longer list of standard equipment.

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1st – Audi A3

Audi A3 2022 rear

For Sharper handling; lower running costs; more spacious; better equipped
Against Previous version was classier inside; a BMW 1 Series is quieter

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5


2nd – Audi A1

Audi A1 2022 rear

For Cheaper to buy or finance; more manoeuvrable in town; accelerates faster
Against Restricted rear visibility; slightly disappointing interior finish

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5


Specifications: Audi A1 Sportback 35 TFSI Sport S tronic (Tech Pack)

Audi A1 2022 headlight

Engine 4cyl, 1498cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 148bhp
Peak torque 184lb ft
Gearbox Seven-speed, dual-clutch, automatic
0-62mph 7.5sec
Top speed 137mph
Official economy 47.1mpg
CO2 emissions 137g/km


Specifications: Audi A3 Sportback 35 TFSI Sport S tronic

Audi A3 2022 headlight

Engine 4cyl, 1498cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 148bhp
Peak torque 184lb ft
Gearbox Seven-speed, dual-clutch, automatic 
0-60mph 8.1sec
Top speed 139mph
Official economy 49.6mpg
CO2 emissions 130g/km


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