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Used test: Audi A3 vs BMW 1 Series verdict

These two premium family cars are fantastic used buys, but is it the Audi A3 or BMW 1 Series that impresses most?...

Audi A3 driving in front of BMW 1 Series

Our verdict

In isolation, the BMW 1 Series shines brightly. It's quick enough and balanced in the bends, plus its infotainment system is one of the best in the business. It's very reliable, according to our latest survey, and the interior has good front and rear leg room as well. 

However, when pitted against the Audi A3, the 1 Series is shown up in a lot of areas. The A3 is better to drive – with sharper handling and a more composed ride – and it has a higher-quality interior. What's more, its boot is larger and easier to get on with. The A3 is an exceptional used buy and our winner. 

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1st – Audi A3

Used Audi A3 rear cornering

For Great to drive; practical; classy interior; low running costs
Against Firm ride; road noise; lacks standard-from-new auto lights and wipers

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Used 2013-2020 Audi A3 review >>

Used Audi cars for sale >>

2nd – BMW 1 Series

Used BMW 1 Series rear cornering

For Class-leading infotainment; supportive seats; quiet engine; good reliability record
Against Jittery ride; wind noise; lacks in-gear performance

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Used 2011-2019 BMW 1 Series review >>

Used BMW cars for sale >>

Specifications: Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI 125 Sport Nav

Engine size 1.4-litre, petrol, turbo
Power 123bhp
Torque 148lb ft
0-62mph 9.0sec
Top speed 128mph
Test economy 42.5mpg
Official economy 53.3mpg
CO2 122g/km

Specifications: BMW 1 Series 118i Sport 5dr

Engine size 1.5-litre, petrol, turbo
Power 134bhp
Torque 162lb ft
0-62mph 9.3sec
Top speed 130mph
Test economy 35.0mpg
Official economy 53.3mpg
CO2 123g/km

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