How to spec an Audi A3

Our guide covers what specification to go for on Audi's family hatchback, as well as which options are worth considering and how much you should pay for it all

Words By Darren Moss

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Audi A3

If you're in the market for a family hatchback with a posh badge, it's easy to see why the Audi A3 might end up on your shortlist. It is, after all, a former What Car? Car of the Year, and is still our favourite family car in its five-door Sportback form.

Even against strong competition from rivals such as the Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf – which, let's not forget, are both also built by the Volkswagen Group – the A3 impresses with its plush interior and efficient engines.

Our full review of the A3 can tell you what it's like to drive, sit in and live with, but here we'll look at what each specification of Audi A3 gets you in terms of equipment, as well as which options you should consider.

Which Audi A3 specification should I choose?

There are five specifications to choose from with the A3: SE, SE Technik, Sport, S Line and Black Edition. Below we've listed highlights of what each specification gets you.

Audi A3 SE specification

  • 16in alloy wheels
  • Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
  • Cloth seats
  • Air conditioning
  • Front centre armrest
  • Split-folding rear seats
  • 7.0in infotainment screen
  • 3.5in driver's display screen
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • DAB radio and CD player
  • Two USB ports and one aux port
  • Cruise control
  • Rear parking sensors
  • 6 airbags

Audi A3 SE Technik specification (in addition to SE models)

  • Sat-nav
  • Audi connected services (three-month trial including free Google Maps, social media connectivity and internet access)

Audi A3 Sport specification (in addition to SE Technik models)

  • 17in alloy wheels
  • Audi Drive Select (allows you to select one of five driving modes)
  • Chrome exhaust pipes and aluminium window trim
  • Front cloth sports seats
  • Dual-zone climate control

Audi A3 S line specification (in addition to Sport models)

  • 18in alloy wheels
  • Sport suspension
  • LED headlights
  • S-line body kit, including new front and rear bumpers
  • Sports multi-function steering wheel
  • Storage pack, including extra storage space and storage nets behind the front seats

Audi A3 Black Edition specification (in addition to S line models)

  • Black styling pack, including grille inserts, window trim and exterior highlights
  • Audi sound system

Which specification should I go for on the Audi A3?

While there's plenty of luxury to be found on higher trim levels, we think that the standard SE specification gets you most of the kit you're going to want. It's keenly priced, too, meaning you can spend your extra cash splashing out on some options.

Audi A3 options

Options we'd recommend

As with most of Audi's current product range, the A3 is available with the company's Virtual Cockpit Display, which comes as part of a Technology Pack. This replaces the conventional dashboard dials with a customisable screen that can also display sat-nav instructions.

Other features include sat-nav, a three-year subscription to connected services and wireless charging for smartphones. It's an expensive upgrade, but one that helps to make the A3 feel truly premium inside.

If you go for a Sport or S line model, you can deselect sports suspension at no extra cost. It's worth doing, because the A3 rides a lot more comfortably in its standard set-up.

Options to consider

If you'll be doing lots of miles in your car, then heated front seats could help to make long journeys more comfortable, especially in the winter. Four-way electric lumbar support looks tempting, too.

Adaptive cruise control can help to take the pressure out of long motorway journeys, especially as Audi's system can bring the car completely to a halt and restart automatically, which is very useful in traffic jams.

Options to avoid

You can opt for wheel alloys of up to 19in on the A3, and while they may make the car look even better, they also give it a stiff ride. For the best experience, stick with smaller alloys.

Audi A3 price

At the time of writing, a 1.4-litre petrol A3 in 3dr SE form costs Β£22,115, and by adding the Technology Pack for Β£1490 we take the total price to Β£23,605.

Model: Audi A3 1.4 TFSI SE 3dr

OTR Price: Β£22,115

Target Price: Β£20,039

Options: Β£1490

Target Price + Options: Β£21,529

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How to haggle on an Audi A3

There's no getting around the fact that the A3 is an expensive car on paper, but in real terms, it doesn't cost much more than the Volkswagen Golf with which it shares its underpinnings. And thanks to the plethora of PCP finance deals on offer it could actually be cheaper per month. Remember, too, that the A3 will hold onto its value better than the Golf.

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