Audi A3 Hatchback Review - Audi Reviews South Africa
The A3 shares many of its parts and engines with the cheaper VW Golf, which is a mixed blessing. It means crisp handling and some fine engines, but you’ve got to question where all your extra money is going, since neither brand performs particularly well in our reliability or satisfaction surveys.
The entry-level petrol and diesel models are comparatively cheap to buy and own, but they’re short on power and refinement. The 1.4 TFSI petrol and 2.0 TDI engines are a better bet; both supply plenty of overtaking punch but are clean and frugal.
Entry-level trim supplies the basics, but if you’re paying this much, you may as well upgrade to SE, which adds some the kind of niceties you expect at this level. Sport and S line models have lowered suspension that makes the ride firm, so make sure that you’re happy to trade sporty looks for comfort. Sportback five-door models give a little extra practicality over three-door cars, but neither is particularly spacious.
Pro's and Con's
Pro: The A3 is a desirable, high-quality car and its strong residual values reflect this. It handles well and there are some fine engines available.
Con: Prices are high and entry-level models have rather meagre kit. The smallest engines are short on power and refinement, and S line versions have a fidgety ride.