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In-depth reviews

Audi A3 - Interior, design and technology

Understated on the outside, cutting-edge on the inside, the Audi A3 is a classy, tech-filled family hatchback

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

3.7 out of 5

Price
£28,055 to £50,330
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Following the success of the previous third-generation model, Audi hasn’t sought to conjure up a radically different exterior for the A3. Instead, the design progresses the Audi family look with the large honeycomb front grille, alongside more aggressive side vents and angular LED headlights. 

There are prominent crease lines set low along the doors, and the rear end is totally new – but the overall effect is still unmistakably an A3.

It’s inside the cabin of the A3 where Audi has clearly focused much of its attention. The dash is full of angles and is not so conservative as in the previous model, while the fascia is now trimmed in faux aluminium – still of typical Audi quality, but a definite change in stylistic direction.

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Standard equipment levels are good, with entry-level Sport specification bringing 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, a 10.1-inch central touchscreen with sat-nav, cruise control, and rear parking sensors.

Moving further up the range brings progressively larger wheels, sports seats, enhanced leather upholstery, privacy glass and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, as well as a black styling pack.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

There has been a far-reaching swing to a more digital driving environment in the A3. Every version now gets a standard 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel, along with a 10.1-inch central touchscreen.

The infotainment system is a known quantity, given its application across most of the Audi line-up. It’s a little slow to load when you start up, but it is pinpoint sharp in presentation and feature-packed, while standard wired Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay allow you to use apps from your phone. It’s a real slice of big-car tech in a compact hatchback. Our only bugbear is that it relies solely on touch inputs, with no MMI rotary dial or other controls for ease of use on the move.

The standard audio system is a six-speaker set-up, but those wanting a richer sound experience should look at the Technology Pack. It adds an excellent 680-watt, 15-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system and provides you with a wireless phone charging pad.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    30 TFSI Technik 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £25,140

Most Economical

  • Name
    35 TDI Technik 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £27,580

Fastest

  • Name
    S3 TFSI Quattro 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £39,045
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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