Audi A3 Sportback Review

Overall Rating:

Audi A3 Sportback

The Audi A3 Sportback combines an exuberant driving experience with a luxurious cabin. It's packed with cutting-edge tech and a roomy cabin to please the whole family.


  • Spacious interior - makes for a great family car

  • Engine options are excellent


  • Boot space could be better

  • Expensive compared to competitors



Driving Experience






Running Costs


Our Rating:

Overall Verdict

The Audi A3 Sportback is an excellent car. It competes well with premium rivals, like the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes A-Class Saloon. It's a classy looking car, inside and out, with very high-quality interior materials. Size-wise, the Sportback is large enough to be practical but small enough to feel agile on the road.

The tech in this Audi A3 is fantastic, and while the higher trims available all offer a huge amount of useful tech and luxurious extras, the most basic trim offers everything most drivers will need. The MMI infotainment system is particularly impressive, and easily competes with the BMW and Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems. 

Performance is important to Audi, and the A3 delivers. The four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines perform well, offering plenty of power while still netting a decent fuel economy; keeping running costs fairly low, particularly if you opt for the seven-speed automatic gearbox. Opting for Audi's four-wheel-drive quattro system adds power to the A3, but fuel economy takes a hit. While the three-door A3 Cabriolet is probably more fun, it's not half as usable as the Sportback. 

Indeed, there's plenty of practicality, thanks to the clever five-door Sportback body style. The rear seats offer plenty of headroom and legroom, and there's enough boot space for day-to-day life. The A3 has a five star Euro NCAP rating, so you can feel safe with your kids in the back. 

Comfortable and fantastic looking, and with efficient engines to boot, the Audi A3 Sportback is a great premium family hatchback option and is definitely the most practical choice in the A3 range! In fact, it's about as practical as you can hope for without opting for an SUV. 

Available Trims

SE Techink

The cheapest trim, the SE Technik comes with a decent range of features, like 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control and Xenon headlights.


The Sport option (shockingly) offers a more sporty appearance than the SE.  This trim comes with bigger 17-inch alloy wheels, aluminum surrounds, as well as classic sports suspension - perfect for those who like that low driving position.

S Line

The S line just screams performance, with angular front and rear bumpers, side sills and a rear spoiler.  It also comes with 18-inch alloy wheels. The S line also comes with sporty seats with S Line logo.

Black Edition

The Black Edition offers everything the S line does, but with an improved 180w stereo sound system. It also comes with a black styling pack, which adds black exterior headlights on the grille as well as tinted windows and some titanium-style 18-inch alloy wheels.

For more information on pricing head over to our Audi A3 Sportback deals page to see how much you can save on your next lease.


Our Rating:

The Audi A3 Sportback is an incredible looking car from the outside. With a sleek five-door design and much-appreciated elegant touches (like the angled headlights), the A3 is likely to appeal to the vast majority of drivers. 

The Sportback body style (hatchback to everyone but Audi!) offers much more practicality than the A3 Cabriolet, but also gives the A3 a more angular look. For a sportier, and slightly smaller body, you may want to consider the A1. You can see how they compare in detail in our A3 vs A1 post.

The A3 Sportback is available in 5 different colours: Glacier White, Cosmos Blue, Tango Red, Brilliant Black, and Vegas Yellow.

Driving Experience

Our Rating:

There are a huge range of engine options available for the Audi A3 Sportback, including manuals, automatics, diesels and petrols! 

For an entry level model, we’re big fans of the 1.0-litre 30 TFSI, which has 114 bhp and a 0-62 of 9.9 seconds. This efficient petrol engine nets you 50 mpg. Opting for the Technik trim gives you the best bang for your buck, with features like Sat-Nav and Xenon headlights included. 

If you’re after a diesel, we love the Black Edition 35 TDI 2.0-litre diesel engine. It has 150 bhp, goes from 0-62 in 8.1 seconds and nets you 55 mpg.

For the fastest engine, you need to go with the S Line trim and opt for the 40 TFSI Quattro S Tronic. This turbocharged engine packs an incredible 190bhp and goes from 0-62 in just 6.2 seconds. Of course, your fuel economy will suffer, with an mpg of 38 - but even that isn’t too bad for hot hatch performance!

Driving Position

The steering wheel and drivers seat are both highly adjustable, so you’re bound to find a comfortable driving position for you. With smartly shaped windows and barely any blind spots, it’s really easy to drive around a busy town.


The Audi A3 hits a nice balance - it’s fun enough to drive around country roads with a grin, but it’s safe enough to feel confident doing so with your family in the back! The car handles really nicely around corners, and you always feel like you’re glued to the road. While not as smooth and comfortable as the A3 Saloon, it’s definitely more fun.


The A3 Sportback suspension effectively handles those (all too common!) bumps in the road with ease. It’s a really comfortable car to sit in, and is nice and quiet on the motorway.

Audi A3 Sportback Interior

Our Rating:

The Audi engineers have struck again. The A3 Sportback's interior cabin is sophisticated and elegant with intuitive tech and premium materials everywhere you look.


Interior design style is excellent. The dashboard is simplistic and classy, being both easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. The materials in the cabin are solid, and feel high quality. The switches and knobs on the dash feel well-made and durable. You won’t find any cheap plastics in the Audi A3 Sportback.


A 7-inch infotainment screen comes as standard on all models. This standard infotainment is okay - it lacks satellite navigation which is disappointing on such a premium car. The Audi A3 comes with DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The A3 Sportback fares well against rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz models, with the Audi A3 more than matching their tech options.

To get the most out of the A3 Sportback though, you’ll need to pay up. There’s two upgrade options on the tech side.

The £1000 MMI Navigation Plus pack adds sat-nav, displaying maps from a 3D perspective, making it really easy to get around town. It also has some unique features, like spelling out a postcode by using your finger on the control dial!

The £1400 Audi Technology Pack Advanced includes Audi's Virtual Cockpit. This replaces all traditional speedo and rev counters with a vibrant 12.3-inch screen. You can customise this, either to have all the driving information you want, or even use the screen for sat-nav, with speed information on top!


Our Rating:

The A3 Sportback is the most spacious body style in the A3 model range. With 5 seats and a long body, the Sportback makes the most of the space it offers.


4,311-4,313 mm L x 1,785 mm W x 1,426 mm H

Boot Size

Seats up - 340-380 litres. The A3 Sportback's boot is pretty good, offering plenty of space for a few suitcases on the way to the airport. 

Seats down - 1180-1220 litres. With seats down, the A3 Sportback offers a truck-load of space, so the next trip to Ikea doesn’t have to end in you throwing a hissy fit. 

Other storage - The A3 Sportback has plenty of storage. The glovebox is sizeable, there’s four cup holders (two at the front in the centre console, and two at the back in the armrest next to the rear seats). The door bins are plenty spacious too, and can easily fit a two-litre bottle (is it even a car review if this isn’t tested?!). The armrest on the centre console offers even more storage, as well as charging points to your phone. 

Audi A3 Boot Space

Passenger Room

Headroom - There’s plenty of headroom in the five-door sportback, with 1,021mm in the front and 955mm in the back. 

Legroom - In the front, there’s plenty of legroom, so it's a great car for tall people. It’s very easy to find a great driving position. In the rear seats, there’s plenty of legroom to keep passengers comfortable. Unfortunately, the middle seat is fairly small, so 3 adults won’t be massively comfortable on long journeys.

Audi A3 Sportback Rear Seats

Safety Features

The Audi A3 Sportback received a five star rating from Euro NCAP, so there’s definitely no complaints there.

In addition to this shining score, the Audi A3 Sportback has plenty of other safety features. Head and knee airbags are all standard, as well as front seatbelt pretensioners (which react to an impending collision). Also, there’s an adaptive brake light that automatically flashes during an emergency stop to warn drivers behind you! 

Running Costs

Our Rating:

All things considered, the Audi A3 Sportback is a relatively affordable car.


The Audi A3 is surprisingly efficient, with a real-world average mpg of 48.5 for most A3 models. If you opt for a diesel option, like the 2.0-litre diesel with 150hp, you can get as much as 66mpg. 

CO2 Emissions

From 89g/km for most efficient models, the Audi A3 sportback has some excellent emissions, beating rivals like the BMW 1 Series.

Insurance Group

The insurance group varies depending on what engine you opt for. For the entry level 1.2 TFSI, you’ll be in group 17. If you fancy a performance model, like the S3 Sportback you’ll be in insurance group 39. 

Compared to some Audi A3 alternatives, like the Volkswagen Golf or Skoda Octavia, your insurance premium will be quite high. The Golf, for example, can be found with an insurance group as low as 4. Of course, you can’t expect an Audi to be cheap! 

Cheapest Trim Lowest Insurance Group RRP


Although there's no official reliability index for the specific Audi A3 Sportback model, Audi reliability for the A3 range marks a score of 139 with average repair costs of £447.

Similarly priced alternatives like the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class have a slightly more reliable reputation. The BMW 1 Series scored a reliability index of 136, while the Mercedes A-Class scored 132.

In terms of average repair costs, the Audi A3's are the cheapest on offer.


Audi warranty covers you for 3 years /60,000 miles. With brands like Kia offering huge 7 year warranties, this is nothing special. Audi’s German rivals BMW also offer a better warranty - offering 3 years with no mileage limit. 


For those who drive short distances and in town a lot, Audi recommends a fixed service schedule - every 9,000 miles or 1 year. For those who are typically driving long distances on the motorway, they recommend flexible - up to 19,000 miles or every 2 years. 

If you want a low-stress option, consider the ‘Audi Complete Plan’. This lets you pay monthly instalments for 3 types of scheduled maintenance. The 3 types are: 

  • Service - all services for the first 3 years.

  • Service and maintenance - same as above but with engine, suspension, gearbox, and brake components cover. Also, you get three years breakdown cover added in!

  • Service, maintenance, tyres - All of the above but covers any issues with tyres, including replacement as needed (fair wear and tear applies).