Audi A3 Sportback: Models, Years, Specifications & More

The Audi A3 Sportback is a compact car that has been in production by German automaker Audi since 1996. It was first introduced as a three-door hatchback before expanding to include a five-door “Sportback” version starting in 2003. The Audi A3 Sportback has gone through three generations so far.

The first generation A3 Sportback (internal model code 8P) was introduced in 2003 and was produced until 2013. This generation introduced the five-door hatchback body style. The second generation model (8V) debuted in 2012 and featured an updated exterior design and new engine options. It was produced until 2020. The current third generation A3 Sportback (8Y) launched in 2020 with a fully redesigned body and interior. It features the latest technology and engines from Audi.

Over its history, the Audi A3 Sportback has been known for its upscale interior, sporty driving dynamics, and versatility as a practical hatchback. It competes with other premium compact cars like the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The Sportback provides an alternative to the A3 sedan and cabriolet models with its large cargo area and additional rear doors.

First Generation (8P; 2003-2013)

The first generation Audi A3 (type 8P) was produced from 2003 to 2013. It was available as a three or five-door Sportback, four-door Saloon, and two-door Cabriolet body styles.

Engine options included:

  • 1.6 L I4 (101 hp)
  • 2.0 L I4 (150 hp)
  • 1.8 L I4 turbo (163 hp)
  • 2.0 L I4 turbo (197 hp)
  • 2.0 L TDI I4 (140 hp)

Transmission options were either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic.

Performance specs for the 2013 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI:

  • 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds
  • Top speed of 130 mph

Key features included:

  • Aluminum construction for reduced weight
  • Multi Media Interface system
  • Panoramic sunroof option
  • Xenon headlights
  • Front and rear parking sensors


Second Generation (8V; 2012-2020)

The second generation Audi A3 (8V) was produced from 2012 to 2020. It was available as a 5-door Sportback, 4-door Sedan, and 2-door Cabriolet body styles. The A3 8V featured a variety of engine options including:

  • 1.2L TFSI turbocharged inline-4 (122 hp)
  • 1.4L TFSI turbocharged inline-4 (150 hp)
  • 2.0L TFSI turbocharged inline-4 (220 hp)
  • 2.0L TDI turbodiesel inline-4 (150 hp)

Transmission choices included a 6-speed manual or 6-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic. Quattro all-wheel drive was optional on most models.

Performance specs for the 2013 A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI with 150 hp and front-wheel drive:

  • 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds
  • Top speed of 130 mph
  • Curb weight of 3,527 lbs

Key features of the 8V generation included:

  • Revised exterior styling
  • Upgraded interior materials and technology
  • Faster acceleration and improved fuel economy
  • Enhanced safety features

Compared to the previous 8P generation, the 8V offered sleeker styling, more interior space, and advanced infotainment systems including MMI touch.

Third Generation (8Y; 2020-present)

The third generation Audi A3 debuted in 2020 and is currently in production. This generation is offered as a 5-door Sportback or 4-door Sedan. The 8Y generation rides on an updated version of the Volkswagen Group MQB platform and has a slightly longer wheelbase than the previous generation.

The engines available in the 8Y A3 consist of:

  • 1.5L 4-cylinder TFSI (150 hp)
  • 2.0L 4-cylinder TFSI (190 hp)
  • 2.0L 4-cylinder TDI (150 hp)

Transmission options include a 6-speed manual or 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic. Quattro all-wheel drive is available on select models.

Performance and fuel economy have improved over the previous generation. The 190 hp TFSI engine delivers a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds. Fuel economy ranges from 29-36 mpg combined depending on engine and drivetrain configuration.

Key features of the 8Y A3 include:

  • Redesigned exterior with hexagonal Singleframe grille
  • Upgraded interior with 10.1″ touchscreen display
  • Standard LED headlights and taillights
  • Available virtual cockpit and head-up display
  • Standard Audi smartphone interface
  • Available matrix-design LED headlights
  • Improved noise insulation for quieter cabin

Overall, the 8Y generation brings the A3 into alignment with Audi’s latest styling and technology while improving upon performance and efficiency. It continues to be a top contender in the competitive small luxury sedan and hatchback categories.

Trim Levels

The Audi A3 is available in several different trim levels that offer varying levels of features, performance, and luxury appointments. The trim levels have evolved over the A3’s generations but generally include:

  • Base – The most affordable A3 trim with standard features.
  • Premium – Adds more tech features like Audi virtual cockpit, parking assist, and leatherette seats.
  • Premium Plus – Top trim for features like navigation, heated front seats, and premium audio.
  • S Line – Sport styling trim with aggressive exterior styling and interior accents.
  • Black Edition – Based on S line with blacked out exterior trim and wheels.
  • Prestige – Only for third gen A3, more luxury features like heated rear seats.

The first generation 8P A3 from 2003-2013 offered Base, Premium, S Line and S3 trims. The 8V second generation from 2012-2020 had Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims. The current third generation 8Y A3 returned to the Premium and Premium Plus trims when introduced for the 2020 model year.


In terms of acceleration, the Audi A3 Sportback offers lively performance across its range of engine options. The entry-level front-wheel-drive models with the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder can sprint from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, while the Quattro all-wheel-drive version knocks that down to 5.8 seconds (

The S3 model truly stands out, rocketing from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds thanks to its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 288 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque ( Audi’s signature Quattro all-wheel-drive system provides tenacious grip and handling capabilities in all weather conditions.

In terms of top speed, the A3 is electronically limited to 130 mph in base trim, while the S3 can reach up to 155 mph before the limiter kicks in. Reviewers consistently praise the A3’s composed handling and eagerness to tackle curvy backroads ( The available adaptive dampers and progressive steering on higher trims provide even sharper reflexes.

Fuel Economy & MPG

The Audi A3 offers good fuel economy for the luxury compact segment. According to data from the EPA, the 2022 Audi A3 gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined (27 mpg city/34 mpg highway) with the front-wheel drive and standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With the available quattro all-wheel drive, it gets 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city/32 mpg highway).

The A3’s fuel economy is comparable to rivals like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (30 mpg combined) and Mercedes-Benz CLA (30 mpg combined), while beating the Acura ILX (28 mpg combined). Real-world fuel economy testing from shows the Audi A3 averaging about 25-27 mpg in combined driving.

Choosing the optional S tronic 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission over the standard 6-speed manual adds 1-2 mpg across the board. Opting for the available 40 TFSI e plug-in hybrid model significantly increases fuel efficiency to 117 MPGe combined.

Safety & Technology

The Audi A3 comes equipped with a host of cutting-edge safety and driver assistance technology features. Standard safety features on all models include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane assist, side assist blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert [1].

Higher trim levels offer additional safety equipment like adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and traffic jam assist. Audi also offers a parking assistance package with a surround view camera system and self-parking technology [2].

When it comes to crash safety, the A3 has performed well in independent testing by the IIHS and NHTSA, earning high scores and a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS in 2022 [1].

On the infotainment front, the A3 comes standard with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, natural voice recognition, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, and multiple USB ports. The available Audi virtual cockpit upgrades the digital gauge cluster to a fully configurable 12.3-inch display [3].

Pricing & Availability

The 2024 Audi A3 has a starting MSRP of $35,400 for the base Premium model according to U.S. News. The top S line trim with Quattro all-wheel drive starts at $43,600 MSRP.

Used Audi A3 models can be found for as low as $15,000 for older, high mileage examples according to Edmunds. More recent model years with lower miles tend to range from $25,000 to $35,000.

The Audi A3 is available at Audi dealerships across the United States. Both new and used inventory can also be found through major third-party sites like Autotrader,, and TrueCar.

Key Competitors

The Audi A3 faces stiff competition in the premium compact segment. Some of its key competitors include:

  • BMW 2 Series – The 2 Series competes directly with the A3 and offers a fun, sporty driving experience. However, it has less cargo space and tech features compared to the Audi. The 2 Series starts at a similar price point as the A3. (Source)
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class – The A-Class provides a more luxurious interior and Smoother ride than the A3. However, it lacks the A3’s sharp handling dynamics. The A-Class has slightly higher starting prices than the Audi. (Source)
  • Volkswagen Golf – The Golf offers similar luxury and refinement as the A3 at a lower price point. However, the Golf lacks the Audi’s upscale interior materials and brand cachet. The Golf is aimed more at mainstream buyers versus luxury shoppers. (Source)

While the Audi A3 has stiff competition, it stands out for its combination of sporty driving dynamics, upscale interior, advanced tech features, and Audi prestige. The A3 manages to be both fun-to-drive yet refined and comfortable at the same time. This broad set of strengths makes it a strong competitor in the premium compact segment.

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