On introduction, A3 prices started at ú14,220, with ABS and alloy wheels standard. What buyers also got was an aspirational, stylish car that was great to drive. Two years later, the starter 1.6-litre model goes on the road at ú15,230 and the rest of the pack rises through standard, Sport and SE trims, with 1.6 and 1.8 petrol engines and a 1.9 diesel, to ú27,150 for the S3 quattro. Designed by a Brit, Martin Smith, the A3 remains refreshingly different from the A4 inside and out and, unlike the BMW Compact which borrows heavily from the 3-series saloon parts bin, uses no common body panels.
Audi A3 1.8T Sport
CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.