Independent, impartial advice for car buyers and car owners

Find an Expert Rating: 
Expert Rating

Audi A3 (2013 to 2020)

Our unique Expert Rating Index combines scores from 35 of the top UK motoring websites to give you a definitive rating on every new car

Expert Rating

Audi A3 (2013 to 2020)

Not a current model


    The third-generation Audi A3 first arrived in the UK as a three-door hatchback in early 2013, before the range was expanded to include the four-door saloon and five-door ‘Sportback’ hatchback. it was sold here in the UK until eaarly 2020, when it was replaced by the current, fourth-generation, A3 range.

    The range included a plug-in hybrid, called the ‘Sportback e-tron’. More performance-focused S3 models were also available in all three body styles, while the hottest of hot hatches was the RS 3 model, which is not covered here. There was also a convertible version, called the A3 Cabriolet, which is covered on a separate page.

    The A3 range was given a mid-life facelift in early 2016, which included various cosmetic changes and tech upgrades inside and out, but no major alterations.

    Popular throughout its tenure, the third-generation Audi A3 received global acclaim from the outset, being crowned World Car of the Year in 2014. Reviewers continued to give the A3 range high marks after its mid-life facelift – Auto Trader concluded, “the Audi A3 is one of the best cars of its type, and well worthy of anyone’s consideration.”

    Most motoring outlets were impressed by the A3’s premium-feel interior trim and the generous levels of equipment included as standard, as well as the car’s post-facelift exterior styling, its agile driving dynamics and the range of efficient engines available. Many reviewers who were given a test drive in the Sportback model also praised the five-door version’s improved practicality when compared to the original three-door model.

    Facing off against upmarket rivals like the BMW 1 Series, the third-generation A3 received one consistent criticism during its lifespan – that the range was too expensive. Although entry-level models were reasonably affordable when new, top-spec models were much more expensive, leading to a few journalists wondering if paying the Audi premium was worth it. “A Volkswagen Golf does almost everything just as well for less money”, Carbuyer explained, “but the A3’s upmarket image will appeal to plenty of potential buyers.”

    No longer in production, the third-generation Audi A3 holds an Expert Rating of 76%, based on 46 reviews published by the British motoring media.

    A3 highlights

    • Comfortable and refined cabin
    • Quality range of engines
    • Attractive exterior styling
    • Plenty of on-board tech as standard
    • Low running costs

    A3 lowlights

    • Strong brand image inflates used model price
    • Rivals offer more value-for-money
    • Reliability of the automatic gearbox is questionable
    • Larger alloys mean a firmer ride
    • BMW 1 Series has more driver’s appeal

    Key specifications

    Body style: Medium hatchback and saloon
    Engines: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid
    Price when new: From £19,365 on-road

    Launched: Winter 2012/13
    Last updated: Spring 2016
    Replaced: Spring 2020

    Media reviews

    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

    The Car Expert


    Auto Express


    Auto Trader






    Car Keys






    Company Car Today


    Daily Mirror








    Green Car Guide




    Honest John


    Motoring Research






    The Sun


    The Sunday Times


    The Telegraph


    Top Gear


    What Car?




    Safety rating

    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    Overall score: 5 stars
    Date tested: August 2012
    Read the full Euro NCAP review

    Adult protection: 95%
    Child protection: 87%
    Vulnerable road users: 74%
    Safety assist: 86%

    Notes on safety rating

    The Audi A3 was originally crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2012 and awarded a five-star rating. However, this rating expired in January 2018 and is no longer valid as the car no longer meets the standards required for such a rating. This is normal practice, as Euro NCAP reviews its ratings on most cars annually with most ratings expiring after about six or seven years.

    However, if you are comparing a used Audi A3 to vehicles of similar age, whose ratings will have probably also expired, its safety rating score is still useful.

    Eco rating

    Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

    No eco rating

    The third-generation Audi A3 was not lab tested by Green NCAP during its production life.

    Reliability rating

    MotorEasy logo 600x167

    Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

    All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

    As of October 2022, the Audi A3 has a slightly better-than-average reliability rating of 56%, according to warranty data provided exclusively to us by our commercial partner, MotorEasy. This score applies to both this generation A3 and also to both newer (2020 onwards) and previous (pre-2013) generations.

    The average repair bill for claims is fairly standard at about £620, which is still more than the cost of a used car warranty so that’s certainly worth considering if you are looking at a used A3.

    Most repair bills to date seem to be pretty average in terms of cost. Gearbox problems are the most expensive to fix, which is not unusual, so make sure any used car warranty you purchase covers you for this.


    Trophies, prizes and awards that the Audi A3 received


    • What Car? Used Car Awards – Used Car of the Year


    • Business Car Awards – Best Compact Premium Car
    • Fleet News Awards – Best Compact Premium Car
    • What Car? Awards – Best Family Car (Sportback) + Best Executive Car between £25k-£30k (saloon)


    • SME Company Car Awards – Best Green Car (Sportback e-tron)


    • Business Car Awards – Best Mainstream Segment Car
    • Carbuyer Awards – Best Small Luxury Car (Sportback)
    • What Car? AwardsBest Electrified Car (Sportback e-tron)


    • World Car AwardsWorld Car of the Year + Best Small Hatchback
    • carwow Awards – Best Hybrid (Sportback e-tron)
    • What Car? AwardsBest Executive Car (saloon)


    • iF Design Awards – Gold Award
    • Scottish Car of the Year Awards – Best Executive Car (saloon)
    • What Car? AwardsCar of the Year + Best Small Family Car (Sportback)

    Similar cars

    If you’re looking at the Audi A3, you might also be interested in these alternatives

    Alfa Romeo Giulietta | BMW 1 Series | Citroën C4 | Fiat Tipo | Ford Focus | Honda Civic | Hyundai i30 | Kia Ceed | Mazda 3 | Mercedes-Benz A-Class | Mini Countryman | Peugeot 308 | Renault Megane | SEAT Leon | Skoda Scala | Skoda Octavia | Toyota Corolla | Vauxhall Astra | Volkswagen Golf

    Buy a used Audi A3

    If you’re looking to buy an Audi A3, The Car Expert’s partners can help you find the right car

    Carwow logo 600x300

    Discover great deals available on both new and used cars. Find out more

    Auto Trader logo 600x300

    Search for your next new or used car with Auto Trader. Find out more

    Cazoo 600x300

    Buy a car online from your sofa.
    We’ll deliver it. Find out more

    Motors 600x300

    Search less, live more. We make finding the right car simple. Find out more

    The UK’s automotive search engine. All the cars in one place. Find out more

    Motorpoint logo 600x300

    Finding your next car is easy at Motorpoint. Find out more

    Car subscriptions

    If you’re interested in a car subscription, The Car Expert’s partners can help (PS: What’s a car subscription?)

    Mycardirect subscriptions – 600x300

    Car subscriptions from Mycardirect.
    Find out more

    Wagonex logo 2022

    Car subscriptions from Wagonex.
    Find out more

    Elmo logo 2022

    Electric car subscriptions from Elmo.
    Find out more

    Used car finance

    Looking for an alternative to dealer finance? The Car Expert's partners can help
    We Finance Any Car 400x200

    Used car finance from We Finance Any Car.
    Find out more

    Blue Motor Finance

    Used car finance from Blue Motor Finance.
    Find out more

    Happy Motor Finance 600x300

    Used car finance from Happy Motor Finance.
    Find out more

    Quick Car Finance logo 800x400

    Used car finance from Quick Car Finance.
    Find out more

    Sell your car

    Do you have a car to sell? The Car Expert's partners can offer you a great price
    Motorway 600x300

    Get a free valuation in seconds from Motorway.
    Find out more

    Cazoo 600x300

    Get a free and instant offer for your car from Cazoo.
    Find out more

    Carwow logo 600x300

    The free, easy way to get 3,000+ dealers all over the UK bidding on your car.
    Find out more

    Auto Trader logo 600x300

    Get a cash offer for your car in minutes from Auto Trader.
    Find out more

    This page last updated:

    This page contains links to some of our commercial partners. If you click on any of those links, we may receive a commission.

    Best car rankings

    The top cars in every category

    The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 30 of the top UK motoring websites. We're adding more cars and more lists all the time, so keep checking back for the latest results.

    Best car rankings

    The top cars in every category

    The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 30 of the top UK motoring websites. We'll be adding more cars and more lists all the time, so keep checking back for the latest results.

    Available as a hatchback and saloon, the third-generation Audi A3 (2013 to 2020) was praised for its comfortable cabin and efficient engines.Audi A3 (2013 to 2020)