Review: Audi A3 + S3 (2008 – 2012)


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.

Golf with Audi cachet. Doesn't handle as well as some other premium hatchbacks. All diesels remain belt cam.

Recently Added To This Review

12 October 2019

Report of falure of EGR of 2012 (2008 - 2012 model) Audi A3 1.6TDI at 33,500 miles. Car serviced every year and NOx emissions fix carried out in March 2017. Unfortunately this puts it outside the 2 year... Read more

5 January 2019

Report of timing chain failure of 2009 Audi A3 1.8T TFSI (EA888) at 60k miles in 2017. M echanic fixed it and all sweet until xmas eve 2018 when exactly the same thing happened at around 75mph: a bump... Read more

30 November 2018

Shards of metal found in reconditioned engine of 2009 Audi A3 1.8T (EA888 engine). Probably from the timing chain tensioner breaking up. Read more

Audi A3 + S3 (2008 – 2012): At A Glance

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

What does a Audi A3 + S3 (2008 – 2012) cost?

List Price from £35,810
Buy new from £29,521
Contract hire from £363.73 per month
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Real MPG average for a Audi A3 + S3 (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

20–71 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.

What have we been asked about the Audi A3 + S3 (2008 – 2012)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

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
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What Cars Are Similar To The Audi A3 + S3 (2008 – 2012)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Economical and Small family.

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What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 17%
  • 4 star 33%
  • 3 star 33%
  • 2 star 17%
  • 1 star

See all owners' reviews