Depending on which engine and transmission you choose, the fuel consumption of your A3 can be as poor as 42.8mpg (and there’s a Porsche Panamera that does better than that). Or it can be as good as 74.3mpg (and most Smart ForTwos don’t do that well) meaning your tax disc can cost anything from nothing to £175.

In reality these figures bear little relation to the truth, but don’t blame Audi but the entirely unrealistic way in which the EU requires it to calculate them.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Chief tester
The best residual prospects can probably be delivered via S-line trim

What can be said is that relative to its key rivals, the A3 is a frugal car making it cheap to run either as a private or company car. Experience with the core 2-litre TDI suggests owners should routinely expect to return over 50mpg which, given the performance and sophistication of the product is a magnificent result.

However it is to be remembered that Audi offers a mere three year warranty as standard, which can only be extended to four or five years (and still with limited mileages) for hefty additional fees.

Any Hyundai will give you five years for free and with no mileage cap.

Top 5 Premium hatches

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Audi range

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI 4Motion front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    Latest Passat Alltrack is one of the best examples of that most inoffensive of things, the all-seasons estate
  • 2017 Hyundai i30 1.0 T-GDi 120 SE Nav front view
    First Drive
    17 February 2017
    A UK drive in the Hyundai i30 reveals a rounded and capable hatchback, but not one to challenge the class best
  • Peugeot 5008
    First Drive
    16 February 2017
    Handsome seven-seater offers a smart interior with certain key practicality benefits, but it’s a slightly mixed bag to drive.
  • Car review
    15 February 2017
    The fifth-gen Discovery is simply one of the world's most capable cars, even with the addition of a 2.0-litre engine
  • Tesla Model X
    Car review
    15 February 2017
    The electric propulsion pioneer takes aim at the seven-seat SUV market