Audi A3 - Used Car

Review

Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, front
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, side
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, rear, action
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, interior
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, rear seats
Audi A3 Sportback, 2020, boot

ALL Audi A3s are gems to drive whether three door hatch, five door Sportback, four door saloon or the beautiful cabriolet - one of the best looking soft tops on the market.

They're svelte and sophisticated if rather understated and the model built until 2020 has marvellous handling and roadholding with the standard suspension.

Lowered sports suspension was standard on Sport and S-Line models and optional on some others, but it adds little to the handling prowess and really spoils the comfort .

Good design and materials mean it weighs less than previous models, so it has better performance and economy plus lower emissions engine for engine.

It is still seen as the class leader of small family cars, with excellent build quality and refinement that other car makers might envy.

That said, these are cars that have high residual values, and will cost more than other makes year for year.

Even the base 1.0 and 1.2 TFSI petrol turbos are fun, and of course, as you go up the scale, performance only gets better.

The later 1.0-litre turbo has 115bhp and sprints to 60 from a standstill in just 9.4 seconds, while the 1.2 has 110bhp and covers the sprint in 9.6. Both are supposedly capable of around 60mpg, but in real driving, the very best is likely to be 45.

Next up the petrol scale is a 1.4 turbo with either 125, 140 or 150bhp. The 140bhp version sprints to 60 in 8 seconds and should also do 45-50mpg at best.

Latterly, this was replaced with a 1.5 that's slightly quicker and more economical.

At the top of the range - apart from the barnstorming S3 - is a 2.0-litre petrol with 187bhp. It covers the sprint in 6.6 seconds, and is rated at 50mpg - a figure it's most unlikely to reach on the road.

The majority available secondhand are likely to be ex-company cars with diesel power units. These start with the long standing and much up-dated 1.6, which has three different power outputs - 103, 110 and 116bhp. All cover the 60 sprint in around 10 sends and are capable of 60-70mpg.

The top diesel is a 2.0-litre with 150 or 184bhp, that makes 60 in 7.7 and 7.1 seconds respectively. They're also capable of high sixties economy.

The top petrol and diesel 2.0-litre engines are available with Audi's well-known quattro four wheel drive and most are available with automatic gearboxes.

Boot space in all models is very good, and all get folding rear seats to get longer items in or simply more luggage.

The interior and dashboard are excellent quality and beautifully designed with controls are all well to hand.

Rear legroom is better than in earlier models but as with all others, rear access is never elegant in the three door hatch and getting children into child seats is a backbreaker!

Base SE models have fair equipment, but miss out on items like parking sensors that come as standard in much cheaper cars.

Of course, most secondhand cars will have added spec from the wide and expensive extras list added by the original owner.

All get air con, DAB radio with the Audi Music Interface, voice control, stability control, heated mirrors, remote locking, alarm, very comfortable multi-adjustable seats and alloy wheels.

Pay about £8,700 for a '17 17-reg 1.2 TFSi SE three door hatch, or £16,850 for a '20 20-reg 1.0 TFSi turbo SE Technik five door Sportback.

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