Audi has quite the reputation for making compact yet premium-feeling models.

These cars pack everything that people love about the brand into more user-friendly and easy-to-park body styles and, for a lot of drivers, they provide a perfect balance. 

Two such models are the A1 and larger A3. Though the latter has been a mainstay of Audi’s passenger car range for some time, the A1 is a more recent addition. Here, we’re taking a look at what they both offer. 


Both cars here are available with a wide variety of engines. In the Audi A3, you’ve got a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, as well as more powerful 1.5- and 2.0-litre engines for those who want a little extra grunt. Those who are doing long motorway miles will naturally lean towards the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine, while a new plug-in hybrid variant brings super-low emissions and the ability to run for around 40 miles on electric power alone.

Performance-orientated S3 and RS3 models, which bring a 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre engine respectively, are the go-to options for those people who want a huge amount of punch, too.

Things are a little more straightforward in the Audi A1. The vast majority of powertrains on offer surround a 1.0-litre turbocharged unit, which is available with a variety of powertrains and the option of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. There’s also a more powerful 1.5-litre turbocharged engine, as well as a punchy 2.0-litre with 204bhp - though this latter powertrain can only be selected on S line Competition-specification cars.


Each car here uses some of Audi’s latest technology, so screen junkies aren’t going to be disappointed by the cabin of either the A3 or the A1. Both cars benefit from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit too, which is accompanied by a 10.1-inch central display on the A3 and a similarly-sized one in the A1 - though entry-level A1 models don’t come with navigation as standard.

Elsewhere, we’ve got a wide variety of assistance systems to ensure that both cars keep their occupants as safe as possible.



If you’re after the most amount of boot space then you’ll naturally gravitate towards the larger A3. The latest version brings 380 litres of capacity as standard, rising to 1,200 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The latest generation added a little extra rear-seat legroom, too, so it’s a great option if you do need a car with some extra growing space.

When it comes to A1, things aren’t as compact as you might think. In fact, there’s a very respectable 335 litres back there with the seats in place, or an impressive 1,090 litres with them down. It goes to show that a compact car doesn’t have to offer a compact amount of luggage space.

Other body styles

Audi is no stranger to creating spin-off variants of its core models and that’s certainly the case with both the A1 and A3. The A1, for instance, can also be specified in rugged-looking Citycarver layout, which brings with it a series of chunky styling pieces and a slight lift in ride height. It adds a little extra presence to the A1, as well as beefing up its looks. 

The A3, meanwhile, is available in both traditional hatchback - or ‘Sportback’ - layout and as a dynamic-looking saloon. This latter version does away with the Sportback’s sloping rear and brings a sleeker, more aerodynamic look. It’s available on all models, too, right the way up to the tip-top RS3. 



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