Audi A3 Saloon review - Reliability and Safety
The A3 gets good reliability feedback from owners, and Euro NCAP gave a glowing five star safety score
The A3 range is still fairly new, and our Driver Power 2015 satisfaction survey shows owners are impressed with the build quality and in-car tech. Decent performance and running costs, plus a great driving experience, helped the car finish 27th in our Top 200 cars, although it wasn’t the highest-placed Audi in the survey – the Q3 came 14th and the A5 Sportback was 26th.
For reliability, the A3 came in 36th overall, which isn’t a result to be sniffed at, and on that score only the Q3 did better – ranking 18th.
On the safety front, the tech that impresses owners includes some smart safety features which ensured the hatchback version of the A3 earned a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. As well as seven airbags and a host of electronic driver aids, the Audi gets a pedestrian-friendly active bonnet and driver-tiredness monitor as standard. Kit such as blind spot warning and a lane keeping aid is on the options list.
Although the A3 Saloon hasn’t been tested, you can be pretty confident that the EuroNCAP ratings for the hatchback model would translate into similar results for the saloon. The A3 hatchback’s 95 per cent safety rating for adults was particularly impressive – the Mercedes CLA scored 91 per cent – as was its 87 per cent rating for child safety.
The Audi’s three-year/60,000-mile warranty used to be par for the course, but it looks increasingly ungenerous in an era when budget brands such as Hyundai and Kia are offering five- and seven-year warranties. Audi’s premium rivals BMW and Mercedes both offer three years too, but at least they don’t put a mileage cap on cover.
The fixed cost is £159 for an interim service, or £309 for a full service - but you can opt for a variable service schedule based on the car's on-board monitors, instead of an annual routine.
Audi also offers a three-year maintainence plan for £16 per month, which private buyers can include with any finance deal.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Audi A3 Saloon is an excellent-handling and great-looking alternative to the Mercedes CLA
- 2Engines, performance and driveGreat engines and neat handling, but make sure you tick the options box for 'comfort' suspension
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsEfficient engines and decent depreciation rates make the A3 Saloon a sound economic performer
- 4Interior, design and technologyThere are few surprises inside or out, but the A3 Saloon still boasts a premium, high-quality feel
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe A3 Saloon's convincing big car pretensions are only hampered by its compact dimensions
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingThe A3 gets good reliability feedback from owners, and Euro NCAP gave a glowing five star safety score