What will they cost?
The BMW 1 Series is the priciest to start with and the Infiniti Q30 the cheapest, but relatively small discounts mean the Q30 costs the most after haggling.
The A3, by contrast, is most affordable after you’ve factored in depreciation, servicing, insurance and fuel bills. Assuming you cover 36,000 miles over three years, it will work out around £1800 cheaper to run than the 1 Series, and more than £4000 cheaper than the Q30.
The A3 is also the most affordable to lease at £263 per month, although the 1 Series is only £13 dearer. Meanwhile, at £291 per month, the Q30 is the most expensive on contract hire.
It’s the same story on PCP. Put down £3000 on a three-year deal with a 12,000-mile annual limit, and the Q30 costs £315 per month. With the same terms, the A3 is £300, while the 1 Series costs £292 per month.
Most company car drivers will go for diesel versions of these cars, but if you are a business user after a petrol car, the Q30’s higher CO2 emissions make it the most expensive option. The A3 costs the least each month in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, but it’s only £2 a month more to have the 1 Series.
All three come with Bluetooth and climate control (dual-zone on the A3 and Q30, single-zone on the 1 Series), but only Infiniti charges extra (£1400) for sat-nav and a DAB radio. However, the Q30 gets rear parking sensors, heated front seats, cruise control and power-folding door mirrors, all of which cost extra on the other two. Both the Q30 and 1 Series also come with auto lights and wipers as standard, whereas Audi charges extra for these.
Euro NCAP gave all three cars five stars for safety, but the Q30 was assessed under a newer, tougher system than the A3 and 1 Series. The Q30 is also the only car with automatic emergency city braking and lane departure warning as standard, but Thatcham rates all three cars equally highly for their ability to resist being stolen or broken into.
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