Audi A3 (2008 – 2012) Review

Audi A3 (2008 – 2012) At A Glance


+Good choice of engines. Some petrol engines now chain cam. Comfortable and well built interior. cheap to run 1.6 TDI. Feels very refined especially on the motorway.

-Doesn't handle as well as some other premium hatchbacks. All diesels remain belt cam.

Insurance Groups are between 14–36
On average it achieves 83% of the official MPG figure

The 2008 Audi A3 is basically a VW Golf V1 with more upmarket trim that carries more status.

Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a Audi A3 (2008 – 2012)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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Real MPG average for a Audi A3 (2008 – 2012)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

20–72 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

Blown turbo on Audi A3
"About a year ago the turbo failed on my 62-plate Audi A3. It was replaced under warranty (it had one month left) and now the newer turbo has blown. The car has no warranty and has done 52,000 miles. Should this have happened? Do you think I should take it back to the garage and complain?"
The reason it will have failed will be that the turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes were not replaced, carbon will have built up in them and that will have restricted the oil flow to the bearing of the new turbo. Bad work by the garage that fitted the new turbo.
Answered by Honest John
Are there any three-door hatchbacks to replace my old Audi A3 with?
"I have an old three-door Audi A3. I was thinking of buying a three-door Volkswagen Gold but understand these are discontinued so I'm concerned that three-door hatchbacks are becoming rare. I want another three-door of similar size as this is the easiest for a dog to get in and out of; a much gentler gradient onto the back seat and wider area in the footwell with the front seat folded forward. What do you suggest?"
I don't think you'll find a new three-door car the same size as your A3, I'm afraid. The three-door Golf is being discontinued but some dealers still have pre-registered examples in as-new condition in stock, so that might be your best option if you act quickly. You could also consider nearly-new examples of the outgoing BMW 1 Series.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Why has the timing chain snapped on my 2011 Audi A3 after only 45,000 miles?
"I have a 2011 Audi A3 1.8 TFSI, which has done less than 45,000 miles. It went into limp mode and I've just been informed by the Audi garage that the timing chain has snapped. As a result, I need to pay for a new timing belt, tensioner and cylinder plus associated parts. This will cost me £4900 and the local dealership will give me 30 per cent as a goodwill gesture. Please could you provide any clarity as to why this would happen on such a low mileage car?"
The quality of the timing chains in EA211 1.2 TSI and 1.4 TSI engines was variable. The reason was that Volkswagen Group cut the price it was prepared to pay the manufacturer of the chains. So the chain manufacturer extended the working life of its link stamping tools. The result was that if you got a chain with links stamped out late in the life of the stamping tool it could be prone to early failure. Since it's completely unpredictable whether you get a good chain or a bad one these engine are a lottery. Volkswagen Group then abandoned chains and switched the engines over to belts, which happened gradually between 2012 and 2015.
Answered by Honest John
We were charged £750 for a new EGR on an Audi A3 we'd owned for seven months - is this fair?
"My daughter recently bought an 2010 Audi A3 TDI. It cost £6500 and she had it for seven months when the EGR valve needed replacing. We took it back to the dealers and they charged her £750 to replace it. It also broke down two weeks after she bought it. The dealer said at the time it was a fuel filter issue,which they replaced as the three month warranty was in place. Surely if you pay £6500 for a used car it should last a bit longer than seven months before you have to spend another £750? I asked the dealer if he would wave some of the labour charge as she hadn't owned the car very long, but he refused."
There's a little bit more to this. Whether it's a 1.6 TDI or a 2.0 TDI, it will have an EA189 engine and will therefore have been subject to the Volkswagen Audi Group NOx emissions recall. Subsequently, VAG has sent letters to owners of these cars stating that any issue that could be consequential of the NOx emissions fix would be repaired free of cost for up to two years from the fix and for up to 160,000 miles total. So you are entitled to demand your £750 back for the EGR, if not from this particular dealer, from Audi itself.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Audi A3 (2008 – 2012) cost?

Buy new from £20,700 (list price from £23,625)