Audi A3 - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Audi A3 offers usable practicality with premium levels of comfort
With no three-door or convertible models available, the Audi A3 range consists of the more practical five-door Sportback and the four-door Saloon versions that’ll fit better with family life.
The Audi A3 has always provided premium levels of comfort. The seats are comfortable, and all versions come with four-way electrically adjustable lumbar support in order to fine tune the driving position. The cabin is well insulated from road noise, making the A3 a particularly refined place to be on longer trips.
The lack of wind noise and impressive mpg figures have been helped by the introduction of movable air inlets and a smoother underbody, which help to improve the airflow and reduce fuel-sapping aerodynamic drag.
Specifying a car in Sport trim or above brings a useful split-folding rear bench seat – folding fully, or in a 40:20:40 configuration. It also includes a centre armrest with cup holders.
The A3 is 4,343mm long, 1,984mm wide (including mirrors) and stands 1,425 tall. The Mercedes A-Class is a little longer at 4,445mm, slightly wider at 1,992mm, but has a lower roofline with an overall height of 1,412mm.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The fourth-generation A3 is slightly longer and wider than its predecessor, and this brings the advantages of increased head and legroom throughout the cabin. Four passengers can sit comfortably, with the rear middle seat best used for shorter journeys.
Two ISOFIX points are provided on the rear bench's outer positions, and you can add another child seat anchor point on the front passenger seat for free.
Storage space for the A3 is pretty decent – the Sportback model offers 380 litres of load capacity with all the seats in place, while the boot is well-designed with a wide opening and no awkward lip to get luggage over. This does reduce to 280 litres if you choose either of the plug-in hybrid models, because the boot floor has had to be raised to accommodate the battery pack.
The A3 Saloon has a 425-litre boot, which is five litres up on the four-door A-Class.
The A3 30 TFSI petrol model has a maximum trailer weight limit of 1,300kg (at 12 per cent gradient), while the 35 TFSI has a 1,500kg limit. The 35 TDI diesel is rated to tow 1,600kg (at a 12 per cent gradient).
In this review
- 1Audi A3 reviewSubtle exterior design and a tech-laden interior help the Audi A3 maintain its position as a premium family hatchback
- 2Engines, performance and driveAudi offers petrol, diesel and plug-in power for the A3, with powerful S3 and RS 3 models heading up the range
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsThe Audi A3 has strong, efficient petrol and diesel engines, while plug-in hybrid power is an efficient option
- 4Interior, design and technologyUnderstated on the outside, cutting-edge on the inside, the Audi A3 is a classy, tech-filled family hatchback
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Audi A3 offers usable practicality with premium levels of comfort
- 6Reliability and safetyThe Audi brand has a disappointing Driver Power rating; safety shouldn’t be a worry due to a high Euro NCAP score