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...

2016 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi 110 Ecoflex review

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3 – driving

The Astra has an up-to-the-minute platform that imbues the car with good levels of grip and nicely balanced handling. It feels light on its feet and keen to change direction. Added to that, it rides well most of the time, although the low-speed ride can be a little fidgety and road irregularities are both heard and felt. The 1.0-litre engine has just enough oomph to propel the Astra along well, even if sharp inclines can occasionally catch it out.

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

The A3 has a chassis of rare composure in this class, with a silken fluency to its ride most of the time. At low speeds, there can be a little patter but, despite its relative firmness, the car is never uncomfortable. It handles corners with aplomb, too, via quick and accurate steering, high levels of grip as well as well-balanced and – for the keener driver – encouraging handling. The 1.0-litre engine is more than up to the job, with plenty of flexibility, excellent accelerator response and a consistent power delivery.

New Vauxhall Astra vs used Audi A3 – costs

According to our Target Price team, it’s possible to walk away with our chosen Astra for just £18,530, against its on-the-road price of £19,605. That’s a healthy reduction, although you have to factor in the fact that the Astra is expected to lose quite a lot of value in the first year, whereas the A3 will already have shed some. That same Target Price figure will buy you our chosen A3, the 1.0 TFSI Sport, that will only be a year old and probably have minimal mileage on it.

There’s further good news for the A3 when it comes to reliability. In our most recent What Car? Reliability survey, the Audi managed to scoop a second place finish, while the Astra was further down the pack of 27 family cars in 16th place.

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

The Astra would come with a full three-year warranty, of course, while the A3 would have only two of its three years' cover left.

The Astra has a slight advantage in claimed fuel consumption, too, with its average figure being 64.2mpg compared with the A3’s 60.1mpg. With both cars registered after the tax changes of April 2017, they would both be liable for the same annual road tax bill.

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