Audi A3 (2012 – 2020) Review
Audi A3 (2012 – 2020) At A Glance
Comfortable and high quality premium hatchback, low emissions diesel engines including economical 1.6 TDI, very refined at speed yet handles well in corners.
Top models are close to £30k new.
The A3 has been one of Audi's most successful models but this replacement for the 2008 version was a long time coming. It’s a superb alternative to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series, although its strong image means second-hand models are holding onto their values very well. If you need more space, consider the five-door Audi A3 Sportback, while the saloon offers an executive image and a bigger boot. There’s a convertible, too - while hot S3 and RS3 models offer performance car thrills in the body of a family hatchback.
With the popularity of the BMW 1 Series there were big expectations for the A3 which faced more competition than ever before. The good news is that it didn’t disappoint.
The styling is familiar. Audi was not especially daring with the design but it echoes other Audi models and is a neat and unfussy design. Elsewhere, on a new Volkswagen Group platform, this A3 is very different from the model it replaces.
It's similar in length but a longer wheelbase means better interior space and a larger boot. The interior design is impressive too. This is no scaled up version of the A1, instead the A3 got its own unique interior with some nice design touches and a real touch of finesse.
The engine line up majored on efficiency - for both petrols and diesels. There's a 1.4 TFSI which was later joined by an impressive 1.0 TFSI - an engine also used in the A1. It may seem too small for the A3 but it's surprisingly good, especially if you're spending most of your time away from motorways.
Volkswagen Group’s 1.5-litre petrol was added to the range in 2017, with a choice of 130 or 150PS.
The 2.0 TDI was popular among long distance drivers and it made the A3 a great long distance car thanks to plenty of low down torque. It was also available with quattro four-wheel drive for added traction and more security in slippery conditions.
For outright economy the 1.6 TDI is best and according to the official NEDC figures returned more than 70mpg. In the real-world, it’s good for around 53mpg.
Proof of how good this A3 is comes from driving it. It feels better than the older model in every way from the steering, to the front end grip to refinement at high speeds. It’s not as fun to drive as the BMW 1 Series, but it does a very good job of taking the bind out of day-to-day driving.
It's a great all round car and it's often easy to think you are driving a larger car such is it's poise and composure. As a second-hand purchase, the A3 leads the way when it comes to premium hatchbacks thanks to its generous levels of standard equipment and high quality finish.
Reviews for Audi A3 (2012 – 2020)'s top 3 rivals
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On the inside of an Audi A3 (2012 – 2020)
When the third-generation Audi A3 was launched in 2012, it boasted a 23mm longer wheelbase than its predecessor, meaning there was more room inside for passengers.
Of course, being the three-door model, getting into the back of the A3 isn’t that straightforward. Once you’re there, it’s surprisingly comfortable with a reasonable amount of head and legroom. If you’re looking to carry rear passengers, you should consider the five-door A3 Sportback or a rival like the BMW 1 Series or Mercedes-Benz A-Class - both of which are slightly roomier in the back.
Up front, the A3’s driving position is spot on with plenty of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel, meaning you won’t feel uncomfortable on even the longest of journeys.
The A3’s 365-litre boot is comparable to rivals and fairly easy to access, although there is a bit of a lip for hoisting bulky items over. If luggage space is important, avoid Quattro models - these have a smaller boot thanks to the space required for the four-wheel-drive system.
According to Audi, the interior designers were charged with essentially creating an interior similar to the luxury A8 but scaled down to fit in the A3. It has a similar upmarket feel to it and feels a cut above others, with more finesse and style than the interior of the BMW 1 Series. Small luxuries like having an electric parking brake rather than a conventional handbrake add to the overall feeling of quality. This also means there's no handbrake to bash against the centre armrest as in the old A3.
Impressively, all models got an ultra thin colour display that electrically slides out of the top of the dash. Higher spec trim levels feature a MMI (Multi Media Interface) system with a central dial for controlling all the main functions like the stereo, navigation and Bluetooth.
Top models even get MMI Navigation Plus which was first seen on the luxury A8. This includes a touchpad that allows you to actually write out letters and numbers with your finger which the sat nav will recognise. It can also be upgraded to include a WLAN hotspot which means passengers can access the internet on the move. Other options include a Bang & Olufsen stereo.
Later in the A3’s lifespan, a tech pack was offered. This included Audi’s clever Virtual Cockpit - a digital display in place of conventional dials.
Car seat chooser
Child seats that fit a Audi A3 (2012 – 2020)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.
Audi A3 (2012 – 2020) Value
As the 2012 Audi A3 neared the end of production, it started from around £20,000 for a basic SE model with the 1.0-litre TFSI engine. A Sport model with the same engine would set you back around £22,000, while the 1.5 petrol started from around £22,500.
This sort of money would also get you a 1.6 TDI in SE trim, while the 2.0-litre diesel started from a little more than £24,000. It was surprisingly easy to spend more than £30,000 on an Audi A3, with Black Edition models of the 2.0 TDI Quattro exceeding £33,000.
Many A3 buyers will favour the A3 Sportback for its extra practicality however, if you don’t need five doors, a three-door A3 might be slightly cheaper as there’s less demand. A three-year-old example with average miles will start from around £11,000 for a 1.0-litre SE, increasing to upwards of £20,000 for desirable Black Edition models with diesel engines.
At the lower end of the market, an early third-generation A3 from 2012 starts from around £4000 at the time of writing.
Despite its premium badge, the Audi A3 shouldn’t cost much more to run than a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus.
Our Real MPG data suggests you can expect to see around 75 per cent of its official NEDC fuel economy. Readers report that, depending on factors like your driving style, you can expect to see around 45mpg in the real-world from the 1.4 TFSI petrol, while the 1.5 is slightly less efficient - returning early-40s MPG.
Diesels are, of course, the most efficient in the real world. The 1.6 TDI Ultra models, introduced in 2016, are the most frugal of the bunch, with owners telling us they see around 64mpg.
While an Audi A3 might be marginally more to insure than a mainstream rival, especially if you’re a young or inexperienced driver, it shouldn’t cost a fortune to insure. Insurance groups range from 14 to 39, but shop around for quotes if you’re concerned.
In terms of reliability, a few common issues have emerged with the A3 over the years. The seven-speed S tronic automatic gearboxes can be particularly troublesome as the car gets older, so we’d recommend regular oil changes to prevent issues. The 1.5 TSI launched in the A3 range towards the end of its life suffered from hesitation issues (especially when paired with the manual gearbox), however an update is meant to have cured these.
If you’re concerned about reliability, the A3’s standard three-year/60,000 mile warranty can be extended for up to five years/90,000 miles for a cost.
Real MPG average for a Audi A3 (2012 – 2020)
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.
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.
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Driving Audi A3 (2012 – 2020)
- Engines range from 1.0 TFSI to 2.0 TFSI 190 quattro S tronic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 27–76 mpg
Both the ride and handling are much improved thanks to new suspension and a stiffer body.
There's better grip, better steering and a more compliant ride, even on the Sport and S line models which get sports suspension, a lower ride height (15mm lower on Sport and 25mm lower on S line) plus bigger alloys. Of course if you don't want the sports suspension, you can have the standard suspension fitted as a no cost option.
All this combines to make the A3 feel like a bigger car all round and it corners incredibly well with great body control and a nice weight to the steering. Like the smaller A1, the A3 is a very enjoyable and easy car to drive, while still remaining comfortable.
The A3’s comprehensive engine line-up might seem confusing at first, but there’s an engine to suit every buyer. Entry-level models are powered by a three-cylinder 1.0-litre TFSI petrol engine which, although it might sound small for the A3, is perfectly up to the job.
The four-cylinder 1.4 TFSI is a better option if you’d prefer a little more power for overtaking or motorway driving, while this was replaced by the very similar 1.5 in 2017.
Around half of all A3 hatchbacks on the second-hand market are diesel-powered. Don’t be tempted by their extra frugality unless you cover high miles - they don’t respond well to short journeys or urban use, so reliability could become an issue. They’re more expensive to buy, too.
That said, if you cover a lot of motorway miles, a diesel A3 makes perfect sense. The 1.6 (badged 30 TDI in later years) is the extra frugal one, although the extra performance makes the 2.0-litre models more tempting, unless you really need ultra low running costs. Available in 35 and 40 TDI guises, the 2.0-litre A3s made excellent long distance cars thanks to their huge amount of low down torque.
As well as the engine, another decision to make is whether to look for one with a manual or automatic gearbox. While the S tronic transmissions suit the A3 well, they can be troublesome as the car gets older - so we’d suggest sticking with the six-speed manual ’box.
As you’d expect from a modern Audi, the A3 is a very safe car for transporting your family in. Euro NCAP awarded it a maximum five stars when it was tested in 2012, achieving an impressive 95 per cent for adult occupants and 87 per cent for children.
The A3 features clever safety technology that first made its debut on bigger, more expensive models in the range. There’s a clever pre-sense system which prepares the car in the event of a crash (ahead of its time when the A3 was launched in 2012), while a comprehensive options list includes useful features like adaptive cruise control.
While you might think the Audi A3 is a bit small to use as a tow car, torquey diesel engines and an optional Quattro four-wheel-drive system means it punches above its weight. The 40 TDI Quattro is the ultimate A3 tow car, with a kerb weight of around 1450kg (depending on specification) and an official braked towing capacity of 1800kg. Inexperienced drivers are advised not to tow more than 85 per cent of the car’s kerb weight, which is around 1250kg. That’s the weight of a small two- or four-berth caravan.
|1.0 TFSI||63 mpg||9.7 s||104–107 g/km|
|1.0 TFSI S tronic||63 mpg||9.7 s||104–107 g/km|
|1.2 TFSI||57–58 mpg||9.9 s||114–117 g/km|
|1.2 TFSI S tronic||57–59 mpg||9.9 s||110–116 g/km|
|1.4 TFSI||52–55 mpg||9.2 s||117–124 g/km|
|1.4 TFSI CoD||59–63 mpg||8.1 s||105–111 g/km|
|1.4 TFSI CoD S tronic||58–60 mpg||8.1 s||109–113 g/km|
|1.4 TFSI S tronic||55–59 mpg||9.1 s||114–117 g/km|
|1.5 TFSI 150||58 mpg||8.1 s||112–116 g/km|
|1.5 TFSI 150 S tronic||60 mpg||8.1 s||108–112 g/km|
|1.6 TDI||69–74 mpg||10.1–10.5 s||99–109 g/km|
|1.6 TDI S tronic||69–74 mpg||10.1–10.5 s||102–107 g/km|
|1.6 TDI Ultra||83 mpg||10.5 s||89 g/km|
|1.8 TFSI||42–49 mpg||7.1–8.2 s||135–156 g/km|
|1.8 TFSI S tronic||43–50 mpg||6.7–7.2 s||129–153 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150||61–71 mpg||8.5 s||105–120 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 quattro||58–59 mpg||8.2 s||125–127 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 150 S tronic||61–67 mpg||8.0–8.2 s||109–121 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184||63–67 mpg||7.3 s||112–118 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184 quattro S tronic||58–59 mpg||6.7–6.8 s||127–129 g/km|
|2.0 TDI 184 S tronic||59 mpg||6.7 s||127–128 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 190||49–50 mpg||6.7–6.8 s||129–130 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 190 quattro S tronic||48–49 mpg||6.1 s||133–134 g/km|
|2.0 TFSI 190 S tronic||50 mpg||6.7 s||129–130 g/km|
Audi A3 (2012 – 2020) Models and Specs
All Audi A3 models are comprehensively equipped, with entry-level SE models featuring 16-inch alloy wheels, the pop-up 5.8-inch MMI infotainment screen, cloth upholstery and a space-saver spare wheel. As you’d expect, Sport models look a bit sportier, with 17-inch wheels and sports suspension lowered by 15mm. They also get Audi’s Drive select drive modes and two-zone climate control. The S line models are the blingiest of the lot, with 18-inch wheels, xenon headlights, bespoke body styling and part-leather seats.
|Kerb Weight||1150–1425 kg|
|Boot Space||260–1100 L|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Standard||Space-saving spare wheel / Tyre-repair kit|
|Road Tax Bands||A–G|
|Official MPG||42.2–83.1 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Safety Ratings|
On sale until April 2019
On sale until October 2017
|1.4 TFSI Cod 150 Black Edition 3dr||£27,165||60.1 mpg||-|
|1.4 TFSI Cod 150 S Line 3dr||£25,815||60.1 mpg||-|
|1.4 TFSI Cod 150 S Line S tronic 3dr||£27,385||57.6 mpg||-|
|1.4 TFSI Cod 150 SE 3dr||£22,115||62.8 mpg||-|
|1.4 TFSI Cod 150 SE S tronic 3dr||£23,665||60.1 mpg||-|
|1.4 TFSI Cod 150 Sport 3dr||£23,665||61.4 mpg||-|
|1.4 TFSI Cod 150 Sport S tronic 3dr||£25,235||58.9 mpg||-|
|1.4TFSI Cod 150 Black Edition S tronic 3dr||£28,735||57.6 mpg||-|
|2.0 TDI 150 Black Edition S tronic 7speed 3dr||£30,585||67.3 mpg||8.0 s|
|2.0 TDI 150 S Line S tronic 7speed 3dr||£29,235||67.3 mpg||8.0 s|
|2.0 TDI 150 SE S tronic 7speed 3dr||£25,515||67.3 mpg||8.0 s|
|2.0 TDI 150 Sport S tronic 7speed 3dr||£27,085||67.3 mpg||8.0 s|
|2.0 TDI Quattro Black Edition S tronic 7speed 3dr||£33,285||58.9 mpg||6.7 s|
|2.0TDI 150 SE Tchnk S tronic 7speed 3dr||£25,910||67.3 mpg||8.0 s|
|2.0TDI Quattro 184 S Line S tronic 7speed 3dr||£31,935||58.9 mpg||6.7 s|
|2.0TDI Quattro 184 Sport S tronic 7speed 3dr||£29,785||58.9 mpg||6.7 s|
On sale until April 2017
On sale until March 2017
|1.6 TDI 110 Black Edition 3dr||£26,665||68.9 mpg||10.1 s|
|1.6 TDI 110 Black Edition S tronic 3dr||£28,215||70.6 mpg||10.1 s|
On sale until June 2016
|1.6 TDI 110 S Line 3dr||£25,315||68.9 mpg||-|
|1.6 TDI 110 S Line S tronic 3dr||£26,865||70.6 mpg||-|
|1.6 TDI 110 SE 3dr||£21,615||72.4 mpg||10.5 s|
|1.6 TDI 110 SE S tronic 3dr||£23,165||74.3 mpg||10.5 s|
|1.6 TDI 110 SE Technik 3dr||£22,110||72.4 mpg||10.5 s|
|1.6 TDI 110 SE Technik S tronic 3dr||£23,660||74.3 mpg||10.5 s|
|1.6 TDI 110 Sport 3dr||£23,165||70.6 mpg||-|
|1.6 TDI 110 Sport S tronic 3dr||£24,715||72.4 mpg||-|
|2.0 TDI 150 Quattro S Line 3dr||£28,095||57.6 mpg||-|
|2.0 TDI 150 Quattro Sport 3dr||£25,945||58.9 mpg||-|
|2.0 TDI 150 S Line 3dr||£26,665||65.7 mpg||-|
|2.0 TDI 150 S Line S tronic 3dr||£28,215||61.4 mpg||-|
|2.0 TDI 150 SE 3dr||£22,965||70.6 mpg||8.5 s|
|2.0 TDI 150 SE S tronic 3dr||£24,515||64.2 mpg||8.2 s|
|2.0 TDI 150 SE Technik 3dr||£23,460||70.6 mpg||8.5 s|
|2.0 TDI 150 SE Technik S tronic 3dr||£25,010||64.2 mpg||8.2 s|
|2.0 TDI 150 Sport 3dr||£24,515||67.3 mpg||-|
|2.0 TDI 150 Sport S tronic 3dr||£26,065||62.8 mpg||-|
On sale until May 2016
On sale until February 2016
|1.6 TDI Ultra 110 SE 3dr||£21,115||83.1 mpg||10.5 s|
|1.6 TDI Ultra 110 SE Technik 3dr||£21,865||83.1 mpg||10.5 s|
On sale until October 2015
On sale until April 2015
|1.2 TFSI S line 110 3dr||£22,125||57.6 mpg||9.9 s|
|1.2 TFSI S line 110 S tronic Auto 3dr||£23,605||58.9 mpg||9.9 s|
|1.6 TDI SE 110 3dr||£20,825||74.3 mpg||10.5 s|
|1.6 TDI SE Technik 110 3dr||£21,575||74.3 mpg||10.5 s|
|1.8 TFSI quattro Sport 180 S tronic Auto 3dr||£26,830||43.5 mpg||6.7 s|
|1.8 TFSI S line 180 3dr||£26,055||48.7 mpg||7.1 s|
|1.8 TFSI S line 180 S tronic Auto 3dr||£27,405||50.4 mpg||7.2 s|
|1.8 TFSI Sport 180 3dr||£23,905||48.7 mpg||7.1 s|
|1.8 TFSI Sport 180 S tronic Auto 3dr||£25,255||50.4 mpg||7.2 s|
On sale until September 2013
|1.8 TFSI 2dr||£24,350||42.2 mpg||8.2 s|
- A3 awarded five star Euro NCAP rating, scoring 95% rating for adult occupants, 87% for child occupants, 74% for pedestrians and 86% for safety assist systems.
- Audi A3 voted the Best Small Hatch at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2014.
What to watch out for
14-5-2015: Report of A3 1.4TSI 140 ACT running at above normal idle revs after returning from a service.
1-5-2016: Report of fully Audi serviced September 2012 Audi A3 1.8 TFSI auto coming to a sudden stop at 38,000 miles. Towed to dealer who replaced the wiring loom. No further explanation.
4-9-2016: Complaint of extremely notchy and particularly difficult 6-speed manual gearbox in November 2013 Audi A3 1.4 TSI Sportback. Sometimes impossible to engage reverse. May be connected to transmission problems in 2011 - 2015 Passat.
27-10-2016: Report of underbonnet fire breaking out in September 2013 Audi A4 1.4TSI 140 ACT. Appears that turbo bearing oil seal or oil feed and return pipes broke, spilling oil onto the hot exhaust. When bonnet was opened the heat shield was on fire.
13-12-2016: Report of tyres of November 2014 Audi A3 perishing at the wheel rims despite just 8,000 miles use and 7.5mm of tread depth left. Audi dealer and Audi refused any liability citing 'wear and tear'. Owner advised to take the matter to Small Claims.
25-6-2017: Report of Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Sport manual, leased new in December 2016, suffering loss of drive.
18-8-2017: Report of MMI unit of 2014 Audi A3 failing just out of warranty and Audi dealer quoting £1,900 to replace it.
9-9-2017: Report of hazard lights not working on new Audi A3 delivered 1-9-2017. Delay in obtaining a new switch. Owner given a loan car in the meantime.
13-9-2017: Report of excessive oil consumption from 2014 Audi A3 1.4TFSI 140 ACT. Between April and August 2017 it had used the oil from the top mark of the Dipstick to the bottom mark over about 2,500 miles. It has been to the local Audi garage for part 1 of the oil consumption test and currently owner is nearing the 620 miles. He have been asked to drive before it goes back for part 2 of the test.
29-3-2018: Report of premature failure of clutch of 2016 Audi A3 1.4TSI. Audi dealer initially quoted £2,200, later reduced to £1,100.
18-4-2018: Another report of a clutch failure on a leased 2017 Audi A3. This one at 6 months old.
22-7-2018: Report of clutch pack failure on 2016 Audi A3 1.4TFSI S tronic at 15,000 miles.
30-7-2018: Report of noises from DQ200 7-speed dry clutch S tronic transmission of 2015 Audi A3 1.4TSI at 20,000 miles.
21-8-2018: Complaint that small leak from a "water valve" of an (unspecified) 2013 Audi A3 (bought used outside the Audi network) affected the wiring loom preventing the car from starting. Audi dealer quoted £3,206 to replace the wiring loom because the engine had to come out to gain access.
30-8-2018: Report of 3 year old leased 2015 Audi A3 spontaneously combusting on driver's driveway, destroying personal contents such as child seat and buggy.
7-9-2018: Report of Audi A3 1.5TSI Evo "jumping in first gear when you set off".
12-9-2018: Report of "whirring or ringing noise from the engine compartment" of a 2015 Audi A3 S line 1.4TFSI now at 16,000 miles.
13-9-2018: Report of electrical control panel of 2014/64 Audi A3 1.4TSI failing at 26,000 miles. Dealer quoted £680 to replace it.
2-11-2018: Report of failure of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch S tronic DSG on 2013 Audi A3 1.6TDI at 62,500 miles.
25-11-2018: Report of failure of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch S tronic in 2013 Audi A3 1.8TFSI Sportback in 2017 at 18,000 miles, which Audi repaired with a 2 Year warranty which expires in July 2019. Owner worried it might happen again.
24-1-2019: Report of failure of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch S tronic in 2013 Audi A4 1.4TSI at 57,000 miles. The engine started OK but when put into gear it would not engage and the car would not move. During the last 12 months owner has already spent £1,200 on repairs.
24-2-2019: Report of driver's seat fabric of 2014 Audi A3 starting to disintegrate at 53,000 miles. Driver not overweight, doesn't carry tools in his back pockets.
7-3-2019: Report of failure of DAB tuner in 2015 Audi A3. Audi dealer said fault was with the head unit and wanted £2,900 to replace it. We advised owner to take it to an independent car infotainment specialist.
22-3-2019: Report of failure of DQ200 7-speed dry clutch S tronic in 2013 Audi 1.4TSI. Audi dealer quoted £7,000 to replace it. (Car bought 'used-approved' from an Audi dealer in 2017.)
10-8-2019: Report of MMI system of 2014 Audi A3 Sportback going "bonkers". Dealer says it needs a completely new module costing £2,500.
11-9-2019: Report of problems with DQ200 7-speed dry clutch S tronic of 2014 Audi A3 1.4TSI 125PS.
27-9-2019: Report of Emission light on recently bought 2014/64 Audi A3 Sport 1.6TDI (which should be an EA288, not an EA189 that was subject to the NOx emissions fix).
8-10-2019: Report of failure of MMI system in 2015 Audi A3. Audi dealer diagnosed electronic problem and quoted £2,888.17 to fix it.
14-10-2019: Report of two clutch failure in rapid succession in 2014 Audi A3 sport 1.4 TFSI first registered in 1/8/2014, bought used from an Audi dealer in October 2017 at 11,866 miles. The first clutch (+DMF?) failed in June 2019 at 22,301 miles, replaced at a cost of £1,804.57 by a different Audi dealer. Then, in September 2019 at 23,146 miles the clutch failed again and was replaced agan by dealer 2 at a cost of £1,157.48, blaming wear.
28-10-2019: Report of 2016 Audi A3 failing first MoT at 17,800 mines (while still under 3 year warranty) due to " Nearside Front Wheel bearing rough when rotated". Owner charged £350 for the repair and when she enquired if the fault would be covered by the warranty she was told "No, these things happen". It's possible that the bearing could have been damaged by a kerb or a pothole.
6-11-2019: Report of wiring loom fire in 2013 Audi A3. .
20-11-2019: Report of failed DQ200 7-speed dry clutch s-tronic in 2012 Audi A3 1.4TFSI.
25-11-2019: Report of DAB radio reception failing in a 2014 Audi A3 Sportback.
28-11-2019: Report of problems with "coasting stop/start" function in Audi A3 1.0TSI Sportback that led to a new clutch and dual mass flywheel needing to be fitted at a cost to the owner of more than £20,000.
3-12-2019: Report of turbo failing on 62 reg Audi A3 2.0TDI 140 Sportback, replaced under dealer warraty in 2018. Now new turbo has failed at 52k miles, probably because the turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes were not replaced and became blocked with carbon, restricting the oil flow to the turbo bearing.
29-12-2019: Report of failure without warning of 7-speed dry clutch DQ200 S Tronic transmission of 2013 Audi A3 FSI Sport 1.4 S at 34,125 mles in August 2019. Mechatronics were replaced with basic settings and adaptive driver re-coded at a cost of £2,400. Still had a hesitant, jerky pick up from a standing start on hill starts. Eventually car returned it to the Audi dealer whose engineer test drove it and immediately said it was the clutch pack. About 700 miles had been completed since the Mechatronics were replaced. Owner told the clutch pack needed replacing and shimming at a cost of around £1,700.
10-2-2020: Report of stains to headlining of 2015 Audi A3 later ascertained to be due to cracking of frame of sunroof, not due to blocked drains from the sunroof.
- March 2012: All-new A3 debuts
- May 2012
- June 2012: Specification grades announced
- Launch list prices
- February 2013: 1.2 TFSI upgraded
- August 2013
- May 2015: Audi A3 2016 model year improvements announced
- November 2016: A3 Black Edition launched
- May 2017
All-new A3 debuts
The third generation of the three-door model is the first to break cover in Switzerland, open for UK order in spring 2012 priced from approximately £19,000 ahead of first deliveries in September 2012.
4,237mm long by 1,777mm wide by 1,421mm high with a longer 2,601mm wheelbase.
Wheel and tyre sizes are:
16-inch wheels with 205/55 R16 (ideal);
17-inch wheels with 205/50 R17s or 225/45 R17s (better on the 205/50s)
18-inch wheels with 225/40 R18s (Not good for pock marked London roads)
CO2 emissions of as little as 99g/km in the new A3 have been made possible with the help of ‘Audi ultra’ lightweight technology, which has enabled it to tip the scales an impressive 80 kg lighter than its predecessor. The aluminium front wings and bonnet help in this regard, and contribute to a class-beating kerb weight of just 1,175kg for the 1.4 TFSI model. In dimensions, the new A3 is virtually identical to its predecessor:
Single-frame Audi radiator grille dominates the look of the front end, and in higher specification models it is flanked by xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps. These will also be optional for other models, and wherever they are fitted the tail lights will also be equipped with LEDs. Eventually, full LED headlights will also be available, and will be a first in the compact car segment.
Completely redesigned interior. Minimalist ‘floating’ dashboard with round air vents, climate control panel and redesigned instrument cluster is a highlight, as are optional 3D colour display for the Driver’s Information System, the ultra-thin electrically retractable MMI monitor and an electromechanical parking brake which liberates space in the centre console for the optional MMI operating system terminal. In its most sophisticated form – MMI navigation plus with MMI touch – the upper side of the rotary pushbutton in the terminal is designed as a touchpad – another ergonomic innovation. Drivers can input letters and numbers by finger motion as they can in larger Audi models.
Driver assistance systems range from radar-assisted adaptive cruise control to Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, traffic sign detection, park assist and the Audi pre sense basic safety system.
Infotainment area features new optional A3-specific Bang & Olufsen audio system, MMI navigation plus and mobile phone preparation with online services, which brings new ‘real time’ online traffic information and, through a WLAN hotspot, gives passengers access to the Internet while travelling.
New Audi A3 launched with three four-cylinder engines, all of which are essentially new developments. The 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre TFSI engines and the 2.0-litre TDI have outputs of 122PS, 180PS and 143PS respectively. Compared with the previous A3, they offer fuel economy improvements averaging 12 per cent.
The 1.8-litre TFSI is linked as standard to a seven-speed S-tronic twin-dry-clutch transmission; the 1.4-litre TFSI and 2.0-litre TDI are paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. All engines in this first phase drive the front wheels; quattro permanent all-wheel drive – and further engines, including a 1.4-litre TFSI with innovative cylinder on demand technology – will follow later in 2012.
The completely new A3 chassis has been designed with an optimum balance between comfort, composure and driver appeal in mind. It works with a finely-tuned power steering system with a highly efficient electromechanical drive and an Electronic Stability Program integrating an electronic limited slip differential which makes handling even more fluid and safe at performance limits.
Optional Audi drive select system lets the driver vary the operating characteristics of key components, namely the steering weighting, the throttle response and the transmission shift points (where S tronic is fitted). It can also be upgraded to incorporate control of the optional Audi magnetic ride system with its magnetorheological fluid-filled dampers.
At September 2012 launch new 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine is the entry-level power unit. There will also be new 1.8 TFSI and 2.0-litre TDI turbodiesel units. CO2 emissions are down to 120g/km for the petrol engines and 99g/km for the diesel. In time, 1.2-litre petrol, 1.6-litre diesel, high-performance 'S' and electric models will be added.
Specification grades announced
The entry level SE model features 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres, air conditioning, the acclaimed MMI radio with its 11 millimetre-thin electrically folding screen, preparation for SD card navigation, Audi Music Interface iPod connection, a Driver Information System, the Bluetooth mobile phone interface and a multi-function steering wheel. It also offers voice control for many of its telephone and audio system functions.
Sport models upgrade to 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres and, for the first time at this level, feature the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system. This enables the driver to choose from five modes which dictate the car's driving characteristics - Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual. They influence the weighting of the steering, the sensitivity of the throttle pedal, the shift points of the S tronic transmission if this is fitted and the parameters used by the optional adaptive cruise control system. Additional Sport features also include two-zone climate control, sports seats, sports steering wheel and aluminium detailing inside and out.
Highlights of the top S line specification include 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 R18 tyres, S line body styling, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lamps, an S line sports steering wheel and part-leather-upholstered sports seats embossed with the S line logo.
Suspension options across the three specification levels are more interchangeable in the latest A3. As standard, SE models feature more comfort-oriented standard suspension, while Sport and S line versions move to a firmer sport setting which in S line models can be taken to an even more overtly handling-focused level with the no-cost option of dedicated S line sports suspension. A3 Sport and S line customers can now, however, also take the opposite approach by combining the attractions of Sport and S line specification with the optimum comfort of standard suspension.
Launch list prices
1.4 TFSI - £19,205
1.6 TDI - £20,155
2.0 TDI - £21,505
1.4 TFSI - £20,430
1.8 TFSI - £24,410
1.6 TDI - £21,380
2.0 TDI - £22,730
1.4 TFSI - £22,580
1.8 TFSI - £26,560
1.6TDI - £23,530
2.0 TDI - £24,880
1.4 TFSI, 1.8 TFSI, 1.6 TDI on sale from September 2012; 1.6vTDI on sale from November 2012.
1.2 TFSI upgraded
Reworked belt cam 1.2 TFSI engine with 105PS and 57.6 mpg capability announced, priced £17,905 to £22,760 OTR. 0-62mph 10.0 seconds. 175Nm torque.
Thanks to ample 105PS and 175 Nm outputs, economy isn't the only string to their bow - the six-speed manual version reaches 62 mph from rest 0.7 seconds quicker than its predecessor at 10.3 seconds without compromising efficiency - CO2 output is now 13 g/km less than before at 114 g/km.
Customers can choose the A3 1.2 TFSI in SE, Sport and S line specification. Standard equipment common to all includes alloy wheels, air conditioning or climate control, the Audi Music Interface (AMI) linked to an electrically retracting colour MMI display screen, Bluetooth connectivity, a Driver's Information System and preparation for SD card-based satellite navigation. Sport models include larger alloy wheels, front sports seats, sports suspension, the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, additional aluminium interior elements and chrome body detailing.
The highest specification S line models benefit from 18-inch partly polished alloy wheels, Xenon Plus headlights with LED-daytime running lights, Biathlon cloth and leather upholstery with S line embossing and contrasting silver stitching, matt brushed aluminium inlays and a flat-bottomed S line steering wheel.
Prices start from £17,905 OTR for the A3 1.2 TFSI with six-speed manual transmission in SE specification and rise to £22,760 OTR for the range-topping S line model with optional S tronic twin-clutch transmission. Ordering is possible now for three-door versions, and will become available for five-door Sportback versions in the summer. First deliveries of three-door from May 2013.
A3 and A3 Sportback now offered with same 184PS 2.0 TDI as Leon and Golf. OTR prices from £24,375 to £30,055. Available in front-wheel-drive and quattro all-wheel-drive formats, and exclusively in conjunction with Sport or S line specification. First deliveries in September 2013. A3 2.0 TDI 184PS six-speed manual: 0-62mph in 7.3 secs, top speed 145mph, combined MPG 68.9, CO2 108g/km. LED headlights and black styling package now available at extra cost.
Audi A3 2016 model year improvements announced
A3 three-door and Sportback 1.6 TDI 110PS down to 89G/Km CO2 and named "Ultra'. A3 1.6 TDI ultra priced from £20,865 OTR, A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI ultra from £21,485 OTR. A3 1.6 TDI ultra six-speed manual – 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds, top speed 124mph, combined MPG 83.1, CO 2 89g/km
quattro all-wheel-drive becomes available with 1.6 TDI 110PS engines in Saloon and Sportback. A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI 110PS quattro priced from £22,915 OTR
2.0 TDI 150PS engine can now be combined with quattro drive in all body styles. A3 2.0 TDI quattro 150PS priced from £25,045 OTR. In three-door form the new A3 2.0 TDI quattro with 150PS and six-speed manual transmission can accelerate to 62mph in 8.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 133mph. Combined economy is 58.9mpg with the 17-inch wheel that forms part of the Sport specification, or 57.6mpg with the range-topping 18-inch S line wheel, resulting in CO 2 outputs of 125g/km and 127g/km respectively.
A3 1.6 TDI ultra SE (6-speed man, 110PS) £20,865
A3 1.6 TDI ultra SE Technik (6-speed man, 110PS) £21,615
A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI ultra SE (6-speed man, 110PS) £21,485
A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI ultra SE Technik (6-speed man, 110PS) £22,235
A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI quattro SE (6-speed man, 110PS) £22,915
A3 Sportback 1.6 TDI quattro Sport (6-speed man, 110PS) £24,315
A3 Saloon 1.6 TDI quattro Sport (6-speed man, 110PS) £24,865
A3 2.0 TDI quattro Sport (6-speed man, 150PS) £25,045
A3 2.0 TDI quattro 150PS S line (6-speed man, 150PS) £27,195
A3 Saloon 2.0 TDI quattro Sport (6-speed man, 150PS) £26,215
A3 Saloon 2.0 TDI quattro S line (6-speed man, 150PS) £28,365
A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI quattro Sport (6-speed man, 150PS) £25,665
A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI quattro S line (6-speed man, 150PS) £27,815
A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TDI quattro Sport (6-speed man, 150PS) £30,405
A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TDI quattro S line (6-speed man, 150PS) £32,685
A3 Black Edition launched
Black Edition specification is offered as a step up from the top S line trim. It brings special 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels with a matt titanium finish and darkened privacy glass extending from the B pillar rearwards, plus of course a distinctive black finish for the Single Frame grille surround, air inlets, window cappings and door mirrors. Inside, the ambiance is also enriched by a 10-speaker Audi Sound System with 180 watts of music power.
Production ended of Audi A3 with the 1.4 TSI engine and the cars are being switched to the new 1.5 TSI Evo engines with 130PS or 150PS.