New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3: which is best?

You’re in the market for a five-door hatchback, but do you buy new with a stylish Vauxhall Astra or do you go used with the supremely classy Audi A3? Read our full new vs used test to find out...

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3: which is best?

Picture the scene. You’re about to commit to the five-door hatchback that you’ve decided is the car you need. Your research tells you the Vauxhall Astra is one of the best; it’s decent to drive, reasonably efficient and comes with a spacious and practical interior. It’s excellent value, too.

However, just as you’re about to sign on the dotted line, you discover that for the same price as your new Astra you can have a one-year-old example of the Audi A3 –  a car with a premium badge, and that's a former What Car? Car of the Year.

So does the A3 have what it takes to sway you out of your new Astra? Is it worth taking the risk on a used car? Read on as we pit our favourite versions of the two cars against each other.

Vauxhall Astra 1.0T Tech Line Nav List Price £19,605 Target price £18,530 Official fuel economy 64.2mpg (NEDC) Emissions 102g/km CO2 Power 103bhp 0-62mph 10.5sec Top speed 121mph

Audi A3 1.0 TFSI Sport Price new £22,965 Price today £18,300 Official fuel economy 60.1mpg (NEDC) Emissions 107g/km CO2 Power 113bhp 0-62mph 9.9sec Top speed 128mph

Price today is based on a 2018 model with average mileage and a full service history

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3 – interior & equipment

Vauxhall's aim with this Astra was to up its perceived quality in order to take on cars such as the Audi A3, and its efforts certainly haven't been in vain. There's a logical dashboard layout and evidence of better-quality materials than in its predecessors, as well as styling tweaks that make use of flashier foils and decorative trims. Our Tech Line Nav car is well equipped, too, adding a useful sat-nav to a healthy list of standard kit that includes alloy wheels, air-con and an intuitive touchscreen infotainment system.

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3: which is best?

However, it still has some way to go to match the sparkling interior of the A3. The dashboard and its surrounding controls (both major and minor) are all where you’d expect to find them and all feel beautifully made and well damped. The interior is a paragon of quality and modern design and the Astra can’t match it for ergonomics. Our Sport trim is well equipped and gives you dual-zone climate control, sports seats and sat-nav, while the large and clear infotainment screen is controlled by Audi’s excellent MMI rotary controller.

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3 – space & practicality

Despite the stylish exterior, the Astra hasn’t compromised on interior space. The driving position is good, with plenty of adjustment, and there’s plenty of room up front and in the rear, with an especially generous amount of rear leg room. Boot space is around the class average, although it can’t hold a candle to the humongous Skoda Octavia.

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3: which is best?

To add to that neat interior and clear instruments, the A3’s driving position is first class, with a perfect posture easily achievable for most. It’s a spacious car in both the front and rear, despite looking more compact from the outside than the Astra, with a boot of around the same size as its rival's, albeit with a slightly lower lip to haul items over.

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3: which is best?