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If you know Audi then you will know what it
is like when it comes to refreshing models…well you will know that when it does refresh a
model you can never really tell the difference – and that goes for the new Audi A3 hatchback
as well. Now that’s not to say it isn’t a great looking car, in fact it is one of
the best looking family hatch’s out there, it just looks very similar to the previous
model – but that’s just Audi for you. If you do look really closely or you are an
avid Audi fan then you will probably notice a few of the aesthetic changes, but the real
changes are a bit more technical – in fact, this iteration of the A3 is actually built
on a whole new chassis than the previous model and has shed 80kg in weight.
What I love about the Audi A3 is that even though you know it is a hatchback it still
feels like an Audi inside, it has that distinct German quality about it with a well built
dashboard and luxury feel materials. There is also a surprising amount of space and plenty
of storage compartments. One of the main features of the Audi A3’s
dash is its pop-up LCD infotainment system, which rises from the dash by the push of a
button. Another cool feature is the voice control system which acts a bit like Ford’s
SYNC technology. You basically give the car common a demand like and it does it for you.
This voice activation and infotainment system is standard as well, along with air con, steering
wheel mounted controls and MP3 connectivity. In the back there is as much space you could
possibly need for a hatchback. However, the head room can be a bit awkward, especially
for someone as tall as me. The Sportback version of the A3 fixes this. The Sportback also adds
two more doors to make it a bit more practical when getting in and out.
Thanks to the new chassis, the Audi A3’s boot is bigger than ever, with a nice wide
opening as well as a handy removable boot base. The seats also fold down to allow an
almost completely flat loading area. The Audi A3 offers a great range of engines,
many of which have been revamped since the previous range. A 2.0-litre diesel unit is
one of these reworked engines and the changes are definitely noticeable as it delivers quite
a hefty power output of 141bhp and can return up to around 70mpg.
Audi has re-jigged the suspension on the new A3 and it is now less firm than the previous
model, which actually makes it a bit more fun to drive. It also delivers great grip
and allows the car to have a bit more of a sportier feel.
As with many Audi’s there is a sports suspension available, but to be honest
I think
the sports suspension is a step back compared to the standard – so I suggest you go with
the standard instead. In terms of fun factor, the Audi
is a joy to drive – but, like always, the
reputation and downright ability of the BMW range dawns on it – and I think the BMW
1 Series comes out on top if I am honest. Audi is a desired brand, and the A3 is a particularly
nice car, so resale should be on your side. New, you are looking at around £20,000, which
is around 3 or 4 grand more expensive than the VW Golf. However, the A3 is cheap to run
and quite fun to drive. We give the Audi A3 four out of 5 stars.
Audi’s famed style is of course one of the selling points of the A3 – and when coupled
with its luxury interior, it makes for a very desirable car. We give its appeal 4 out of
five stars. Loads of room for rear passengers and plenty
of space in the boot. The Audi A3’s practicality far surpasses it hatchback label. We give
its practicality 4 out of five stars. The A3 offers a great choice of engines, some
with economy in mind and others with performance. This can be hard to find in some hatchbacks.
We give its performance 4 out of five stars. A new suspension means the A3 is as agile
and reliable as ever on the road, so much in fact that a sports suspension isn’t even
necessary to really enjoy yourself out on the road. We give its ride and handling 4
out of five stars. With economical engine options on offer and
the prestigious badge of the Audi brand, the A3 is both relatively cheap to run and will
retain its residual value very well. We give its ownership 4 out of five stars.
So, with all of its luxurious credentials it’s hard to believe that the Audi A3 is
actually a hatchback. But when it does come to being a hatchback, the A3 pulls it off
with flying colours. We give the Audi A3 an overall rating of 4 out of five stars.

52 thoughts on “Audi A3 2013 review – Car Keys

  1. I've always been a fan of the A3. If I was to go hatchback again I think it would be a close run between and S3 and a VW GTi. I see a lot of the A3 on the road, but more and more 1 Series hatch backs. Are the beamers starting to steal more of the limelight?

  2. BMW has always had a slight advantage over Audi when it comes to saloons and I do think that is expanding to hatchback's as well – the 1 Series being a perfect example.

  3. BMWs are renowned for being more fun to drive than Audis, but I think they suffer a visual disadvantage over most other cars, because a lot of them are rather ugly, like the 'angry birds pig'-esque 1 Series.

  4. What do you think about Audi's design identity though? Many people say all the cars look the same, what do you think?

  5. Haha, good analogy. I think BMW do more with its designs than Audi, they are more willing to try new things out I think.

  6. I love the look of Audi, they may all look a bit the same but they look the same in the right way.
    Crisp well chiseled face and they change headlamp and led design enough to make each new model look different enough

  7. Oh yes they're a lot braver with design, I'll give them that 🙂

    *Insert cliched 'bravery = foolishness' quote here*.

  8. I guess if you find a great design language then why deviate from it. I think that is what Audi has done, and BMW to a certain extent. VW has even done it with its Golf model – people love the no-nonsense boxy design of it, so why change!

  9. The boot should have an adjustable floor that would make the load bay flush with the flat seats. I don't know why your model didn't have that…

  10. …..and it is said there are not many differences? Its taken over 4 min just to explain differences in new vs. old interior, and that’s in a quick review too. There are many recognizable differences between old vs. new model in and out, I would most definitely say! Nice review.

  11. Greetings MotorTorqueUK, Yes I currently drive past version of Audi A3 Phantom Black, lights are obviously much different in the back front as well, the hatchback design cant change to another but it does have cleaner lines more like a business class car, interior is completely different to old I would say 95% including that of a bigger size, one thing is same its the speedometer area which is the same to old the moon shape dash board, the rest is weight reduction and engine choice.

  12. I have an Audi A3 S-line, 2.0 TDI…completely love it. I love it that much, I look for any excuse to drive it.  Even volunteering to pick my mother in law up…(I should say, I am joking, my mother in law is great…)

    So from me it is highly recommended….personally, I like it better than the VW Golf 2.0 TDI I had previously, which was nice but just boring to look at.  Admittedly, the Golf is  one of Europe's best selling cars, so this is like killing Bambi, but I want a bit more for my money than just 'nice'.  This is important, as these cars are not cheap and so you need to be totally happy with it. Do not spend £20K+ and then spend 3-4 years wishing you had bought something else.  If you have any doubts, wait until you find the right car for you.

    I got my car in a good deal so didn't have much choice with the specification.  I bought it from a dealer as an ex-demonstrator car, 6 months old with 6k miles on the clock. In return for this, I got the S-line body  kit , £5k off the car price based on what it would have cost new,  sat nav (worth a £1k) and heated seats.  

    What I liked about the Audi A3 was the attention to detail on the little things, so for example, the windscreen wipers are off-set slightly to the drivers side so they clean the entire windscreen in front of the driver, rather than leaving an arc of dirt. Perhaps a bad example and trivial to some  – but an indication of the thought that has gone into this car. It is well built throughout and looks great inside, with well set out dials etc. Everything you would expect from an Audi car.

    Perhaps, had I the choice, the 'boy-racer' in me  would have gone with the 180 bhp model rather than the 150 bhp,  however 150 bhp is still plenty for what I need and overall, very happy with the car and the deal.   Having had more than my fair share of speeding fines and penalty points  – maybe it is better to have the 150 bhp rather than the 180 bhp model !  Keeps me out of trouble.

    I am not particularly experienced in buying cars, and so what follows is for those readers similar to me.  

    What I found, is that there were no 'free lunches' in the UK car market.  So for example, you can buy one cheaper if you were happy to have 20k miles on the clock rather than 5k….an obvious statement I accept, but not everybody is an experienced car buyer, so I am just mentioning what I found.  I was constantly trading off, one advantage against a dis-advantage, until I found the right car at the right price.  In summary, I did not have an unlimited budget, so I had to 'give a bit, to get a bit' .

    For that reason, I think it helps to know what you want and then just wait until you find the right car, which meets your requirements.

  13. I Got my Audi A3 S line S Tronic Quattro 2.0 TDI 184bhp about a week ago!!! :)…. Best Buy I've ever done, I got the top spec model hatchback with the Bang + Ofluson sounds system.
    I test drove the A class Mercedes and the 1 series BMW and they had nothing on the A3. I paid £36,950 for my new A3 and it is worth every penny!!! Congrats to who ever is getting one 🙂

  14. In finance the A3 s line is about £60 more per month, is the s line worth it compared to the se, and give reason to your opinion too! 😀

  15. Even the 1.2 TFSI is a solid little engine. Torquey and willing to accelerate. Plenty of power to get you out of trouble and it returns over 45MPG combined.

  16. it totally sucks that we don't have the hatch in the United States! ugh!!! I want a hatchback so badly but we don't have that many options. the Jetta Golf is nice looking on the outside but that inside is so plain that I just can't do it! hell no the mini cooper and I just can't waste my money on a Ford!

  17. The A3 is a class car and has been since its inception. Only poor reviews are received from oversized reviewers who complain about room and space when the problem is actually themselves.

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