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...

How to spec an Audi A3

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 it's still our favourite family car for more than £23,000 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 also built by the Volkswagen Group), the A3 impresses with its plush interior and efficient engines.

Our full 16-point 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 options you should consider to turn this great family hatch into an excellent one.

Audi Virtual Cockpit (£450)

Audi Virtual Cockpit (£450)

As with most of Audi's current product range, the A3 is available with the Virtual Cockpit display, which comes as part of the Technology Pack. This replaces 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.

Advanced key (£400)

Advanced key (£400)

Say you're staggering towards your car with arms full of shopping. You have to set it all down to get out your car key, right? Wrong. With Audi's advanced key, you can gain access to the car even if the key is in your pocket. There's also a start/stop button inside, so you don't even need to insert the key to get moving. A real time-saver.

Heated front seats (£300)

Heated front seats (£300)

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, although it will cost you an additional £250.

Adaptive cruise control (£475)

Adaptive cruise control (£475)

Adaptive cruise control can help to take the pressure out of long motorway journeys, especially since Audi's system can bring the car completely to a halt and restart automatically – a very useful function in traffic jams. You can also combine this with pedestrian detection, which allows the car's automatic emergency braking system to recognise pedestrians and apply the brakes if it senses you're about to hit them.

Alloy wheels

Alloy wheels

You can opt for wheels 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 the standard 17in wheels that come on Sport models.

Metallic paint (£550)

Metallic paint (£550)

This is an option we recommend time and again, because not only does metallic paintwork enhance the look of your car, it also adds value, meaning you'll get more of your money back when it comes to selling up. In the A3, there are eight metallic colours to choose from.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also opt for more expensive pearlescent options or even create your own colour using Audi's cutomisation service. It will cost you £2400, though.

How to buy your perfect Audi A3

How to buy your perfect Audi A3

So that's how we'd spec an Audi A3. Below is how much it will cost you:

Model 1.5 TFSI Sport List price £25,135 Target Price £23,192 What Car? price £23,192 Options we'd choose Audi Virtual Cockpit (£450), metallic paint (£550), adaptive cruise control (£475), heated front seats (£300), advanced key (£400) Cost of recommended options £2175

You can buy this version of the Audi A3, or you can see all of our Audi A3 deals.

Next: our full Audi A3 review >