Audi A3 Sportback Review 2024

Audi A3 Sportback At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
While the Audi A3 Sportback isn't dramatically different from its predecessor, it remains a very classy compact car that's packed with kit.

+Sharp looks and classy interior, frugal engine line-up, impressive standard equipment levels.

-Interior lacks the wow factor of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

New prices start from £23,300, brokers can source from £28,739
Insurance Groups are between 20–29
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

The Audi A3 Sportback is an upmarket relation to the new Volkswagen Golf, set to rival the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series. It has a high class interior including a clever Virtual Cockpit instrument display and a 10.1-inch touchscreen media display in the centre of the dash. It features the usual array of Volkswagen Group engines including a 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel, as well as a plug-in hybrid. All models are generously equipped with the range made up of Sport, S line, and Black Edition models. While the Audi A3 represents good value for money, you do pay more for the higher quality finish compared to the Volkswagen Golf. Read on for our full review of the Audi A3 Sportback.

The Audi A3 Sportback is a strong alternative to premium hatchbacks like the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Now in its fourth generation, Audi’s best-selling model was updated in 2020, with fresh new looks and a tech-packed interior.

Just like the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia (all of which it shares a platform with), the biggest change over its predecessor is to the Audi A3 is its interior. It features a driver-focused cockpit, with a 10.25-inch digital display as standard in place of regular dials, and a 10.1-inch infotainment screen across the range.

The Audi A3's cabin is ultra modern and just as premium as you’d expect from an Audi, although it doesn't quite have the wow factor of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which feels like an ultra-modern baby Benz. That's not to say you'll be disappointed with the Audi A3 - everything you touch feels like it's made out of quality materials, just like in a bigger (more expensive) Audi.

Talking of bigger... there's marginally more space in the new Audi A3 than in the old model, and we doubt any front-seat passengers will be left wanting more room. The same can’t be said for those in the back. As you'd expect from a car of this size, rear space is limited. If you’re looking to regularly carry rear-seat passengers, you should look at the Skoda Octavia instead. Also, there's no three-door model any longer.

Buyers can initially choose from three trim levels: Sport, S line, and Black Edition. All models are well-equipped, with even the entry-level model getting rear parking sensors, cruise control and LED headlights.

The Audi A3 offers three engines: petrol 1.0 litre with 110Ps or a 1.5-litre with 150PS combined with a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed automatic transmission. There is also a 2.0-litre 150PS turbodiesel with a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox.

Which one you should pick depends on how many miles you cover, but the diesel suits the A3 well and makes light work of motorway journeys. It's also incredibly refined, helped in part by a new acoustic windscreen fitted as standard across the range.

For those seeking the lowest emissions, the plug-in petrol-electric hybrid TFSI-e model emits as little as 26g/km of CO2 and can return a claimed combined consumption of 256.8mpg. At the other end of the scale is the rapid S3 with its 310PS 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine that offers 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and is aided by Quattro four-wheel drive for supreme grip in all conditions.

The new Audi A3 is more expensive than mainstream alternatives like the Volkswagen Golf and Mazda 3, but with a superb cabin you can see where your money's going. We reckon it's one of the best family cars you can buy right now.

Looking for a second opinion? Check out heycar's review of the Audi A3 Sportback.

Ask Honest John

What hatchbacks come with a manual gearbox?

"I am looking to change my current Mercedes A200 which has a manual gearbox. Can you suggest a similar size car, with the same spec and a manual gearbox? I intend to purchase a brand new replacement."
Unfortunately the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is not available with a manual gearbox, so we would suggest looking at its key rivals - the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3, both of which are available with a manual gearbox.
Answered by David Ross

Can lane assist be switched off permanently?

"I have an Audi A3. Can the lane change option be turned off permanently? It’s far from a safety feature. When overtaking a cyclist it pulls you back into the the cyclist."
The lane change assist system in your Audi A3 can usually be turned on or off using the car's infotainment system or settings menu. The specific steps to do this may vary depending on the year and model of your vehicle, so it's best to consult your owner's manual or contact your local Audi dealership for assistance. Unfortunately it is not possible to turn the system off permanently, as it will reactivate automatically when the car is switched on. Also if you indicate when overtaking a cyclist the lane departure warning will not activate.
Answered by David Ross

Which premium hatchback has the largest boot?

"We're looking to replace a 2015 Mazda 3 with something similar. But we need a bigger boot, especially for two Spaniels. I'm a bit of a brand snob, and so wondered what 'premium' hatchback has the largest or deepest boot with the seats up?"
The Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series will provide 380 litres of boot space - which is around 20 more than you get in your Mazda. You may also want to consider the Honda Civic, which isn't deemed as 'premium' as its German rivals but does provide a useful 420 litres.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Audi A3 Sportback cost?

Buy new from £28,739(list price from £33,090)