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Audi A3 Sportback Car Review 2021

Sportback is the name given to the five-door variant of Audi’s compact hatchback. The Audi A3 Sportback is a family hatchback that starts at £22,190   According to Audi the sharp and expressive lines give the Audi A3 Sportback a dynamic look. Whichever model you choose, the Audi A3 is very safe – it got a five-star rating when Euro NCAP tested it back in 2012, and it’s available with lots of the latest safety equipment.

Overall Verdict

Car Wow 8/10

Top Gear 7/10   

Car Buyer 4/5  

What Car 4/5

“If you prefer your family hatchback to have a touch of class, then the Audi A3 Sportback will wow you with its interior.”  Car Wow

“The definitive example of rock-solid, sensible, impeccable German engineering” Top Gear

“The Audi A3 Sportback is practical and luxurious family hatchback that – despite the relatively high price tag – is easy to recommend” Car Buyer

“From the inside it’s not just a cut above its rivals in this family car class: when you’re sat behind the wheel you could quite easily imagine you’re in something considerably more expensive.”  Whatcar

Audi A3 Sportback Driving

The Audi A3 Sportback is a great all-rounder. It’s comfortable, yet handles safely and securely on fast country roads, but some other family cars are more fun to drive, if that’s your thing – check out the BMW 1 Series, for a sportier example. Car Wow
Because the Audi A3 has been engineered to use lightweight parts, particularly up front, it has a lithe lightness on the road that the old A3 never had. Top Gear
The Audi A3 Sportback delivers a mature blend of predictable handling, a comfortable and quiet ride, plus smooth and effortless performance. Car Buyer
Regardless of which suspension you choose, the A3’s steering is precise and pleasingly weighted — providing you don’t hit the sport mode, which adds too much heft. Four-wheel-drive quattro versions feel sure-footed whatever the weather but, unless you live in an area where it snows regularly, we’d stick to front-wheel drive. What Car

Audi A3 Sportback Interior

Inside, the materials and build quality surpass that of a BMW 1 Series or Mercedes A-Class. The highlight of the cabin is the optional Virtual Cockpit that replaces the old-fashioned speedo and rev-counter dials with a customisable digital screen that can show the satellite-navigation map, your Spotify playlist or just how fast you’re going. All versions of the Audi A3 Sportback come with a seven-inch infotainment screen. This system might not be the most advanced and doesn’t include satellite navigation, but operates smoothly and easily using a rotating knob on the centre console that you can push and twist to navigate the menus. Because it’s easy to find and use this knob while driving you can keep your eyes on the road more of the time while using the infotainment system, unlike when you’re using a touchscreen system such as that in a Volkswagen Golf. Car Wow

All versions of the Audi A3 share one thing: an absolutely gorgeous interior, with top-level, class-defining fit and finish. The old A3 was, despite its age, at the top of its game in this area: the new one simply extends this leadership further, while bringing new features to the table too. These include on-board internet, fingertip recognition sat nav entry and Audi drive select. As for practicality, the hatchback ones are more flexible but the saloon has a huge boot. Top Gear

At 380 litres, the Audi A3’s boot has almost exactly the same amount of space as the Mercedes A-Class, so unsurprisingly, both can fit up to six carry-on suitcases. While that’s pretty decent for the class, it’s miles away from the class champion, which is the Skoda Octavia at eleven. What Car

In the front, the A3 Sportback is a perfectly roomy car. Behind, there’s more space than before, but in truth it’s only suitable for two adult passengers – three will be a bit of a squeeze. Wide-opening rear doors mean a child seat can be installed easily. However, the Sportback sits quite low, so you have to bend down awkwardly to lean in, while only the two outer seats have ISOFIX child-seat fixings. Storage space includes a decent-sized glovebox, a cubbyhole under the front armrest and deep door bins. Car Buyer

audi a3 sportback rear seats

Audi A3 Sportback Running Cost

In terms of engines, the best pick is the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol with 150hp. It’s more than quick enough, is quiet and smooth, and returns a claimed 59mpg – although you can expect closer to 45mpg in day-to-day driving. Clever technology can also turn half the engine’s cylinders off when you’re cruising to save fuel. Car Wow

All the lightweight engineering that goes into the new Audi A3 pays dividends for fuel economy, too. The 2.0 diesel emits just 108g/km CO2, ensuring tax bills for the most popular model will be low. There’s lots of tech to make everyday life easier, too, with adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, rear cross-traffic assist and park assist helping to stop you from crashing, whether in traffic or while putting the car in a space. Top Gear

Our favourite is the 148bhp 2.0-litre 35 TDI diesel. It offers claimed fuel economy of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 117g/km for the same 31% BiK rating as the 1.6-litre. However, we believe the convenience of the extra power is worth the move to the more expensive engine. Car Buyer

Audi has used aluminium and high-strength steel to help keep weight down. These measures ensure that the A3’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions are comparable to those of its best rivals. Our favourite engine, the 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol (35 TFSI), can manage up to 43.5 mpg and 121g/km, while the 114bhp 1.0-litre can hit nearly 50mpg and emits as little as 114g/km. The 1.6-litre diesel is the most economical engine, but, if you’re a company car user, don’t forget you’ll end up paying a four per cent surcharge on your benefit-in-kind tax. What Car

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