Audi A3 Sportback (2020) Review

Audi A3 Sportback (2020) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
While the new Audi A3 isn't dramatically different from its predecessor, it remains a very classy little 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.

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, while a plug-in hybrid will follow. All models are generously equipped with the range made up of Technik, Sport and S line models. While the Audi A3 does represent good value for money, you do pay more for the higher quality finish compared to the Volkswagen Golf.

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

Just like the new Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia (all of which it shares a platform with), the biggest change 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 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 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 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: Technik, Sport and S line (Edition 1 and Vorsprung will follow). All models are well-equipped, with even the entry-level model getting rear parking sensors, cruise control and LED headlights.

Initially, the Audi A3 will be offered with two engines: a 1.5-litre (150PS) petrol combined with a six-speed manual gearbox, and a 2.0-litre (also 150PS) diesel 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.

More engines will soon be rolled out - including mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models as well as a lower-powered diesel and a hot S3 model.

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.

What does a Audi A3 Sportback (2020) cost?

Buy new from £20,610 (list price from £23,300)