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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Audi A3

Overall verdict
The definitive example of rock-solid, sensible, impeccable German engineering.


Advanced chassis, breadth of abilities


Looks just like the old one, myriad options will baffle you


What is it?

If you’re thinking the latest Audi A3 looks just like the very long-running model it replaced a few years back, then join the club. This is Audi doing what Audi always does: design evolution rather than revolution. It’s a very purist way of doing things, which relies on people having the patience to give it time. Then, the crisper appearance becomes clear. A frequent entrant in the UK top 10 best-seller charts, this facelifted Audi A3 reviewed here is sure to build on its predecessors successes.

Following the Vorsprung Durch Technik mantra, the interesting stuff is hidden beneath the surface. This third generation A3 debuts the new Volkswagen Group MQB platform, upon which around 10 million cars a year will be built. It’s clever, highly flexible and features some technical jewels that help make the A3 much more premium-feel than before. They don’t come cheap but do help distinguish the A3 from mainstream alternatives. This flexibility also means Audi’s been able to offer a new variant, the A3 Saloon, and others: there’s now an A3 e-tron hybrid, and A3 quattro versions are available too. For those who think the A4 has become too big (or miss the Vauxhall Astra Belmont?)

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
S3 TFSI Quattro 3dr S Tronic
4.5s 146g/km 44.1 310 £34,500
The cheapest
1.0 TFSI SE 3dr
9.7s 104g/km 62.8 115 £20,170
The greenest
1.4 TFSI e-tron 5dr S Tronic
7.6s 38g/km 166.2 150 £36,400
Continue: Driving

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