05 October 2022

Best Audi A3 Alternatives in 2022

Audi is renowned for showcasing sleek styling, high-tech features and luxury aesthetics, and the A3 is no exception. While it’s one of their smaller models, its striking exterior still offers the road presence you expect from the badge.

However, as the car sector is still somewhat playing catch-up from the pandemic and other economic interruptions, it might be harder than expected to get your hands on the Audi A3. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives in the market.

Below, we delve into a range of models that compare in drivability, fuel economy and performance – giving you more choice when purchasing a new car.

View Audi A3 Lease Deals

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen is often seen as a natural contender to Audi’s hatchback. It has a similar appeal and the much-loved VW badge. As part of the same manufacturing group, you can expect the same level of attention to detail too.

Its exterior boasts sleek lines and unique front-end styling, with the latest model taking on a slightly more edgy look.

Inside, there’s a lot to love – from its comfortable and spacious seating and headroom to the large touchscreen up front. You also get ample room in the boot for luggage and shopping.

Performance comparison

The VW Golf is available in various engine sizes. Its entry-level model has a modest 1.0-litre TSI engine. There’s also the choice of the popular 1.5-litre with 130 or 150hp options. At the top end, VW’s punchy 2.0-litre diesel is great for more pep behind the wheel but also boasts excellent fuel economy. These engines are unsurprisingly similar to Audi’s offering. Alongside this, the Golf comes in hybrid and all-electric e-Golf models.

Economy comparison

All Golf models provide impressive fuel economy. Diesel tops the list at around 63 to 68mpg – ideal if you’re always driving long distances. Petrol models aren’t far behind, averaging 49 to 52mpg. Where you’ll save more money with both Audi and VW is with the plug-in hybrid. You get around 30 miles on an all-electric range before it switches over – perfect if you only make shorter journeys.

Price comparison

While these models have similar engines and striking road presence, the Golf comes out cheaper than the A3, depending on the model. For example, at entry-level, monthly deals at Leasing Options start at £283.99 for the Golf and £338.99 for the A3.

View Volkswagen Golf Lease Deals

Mercedes A Class

If you’re looking for a similar comparison luxury-wise, Mercedes is a strong contender. Much like the A3, this model has striking looks that give a subtle sporty and luxurious elegance.

In the cabin area, a similar aesthetic goes up against the Audi for a classy appeal. It also boasts design features such as mood lighting, turbine-styled air vents and brushed metal finishes for a futuristic look. While the A3 is slightly more spacious, the A-Class is still pretty roomy, with ample passenger space and adjustable driving position for a comfortable ride. On the dashboard, the ultramodern look is continued with two high-res digital screens that blend seamlessly into their surroundings.

Performance comparison

There’s a choice of petrol and diesel models, plus a plug-in hybrid. The base models offer a 1.3-litre engine, which – while it sounds small – packs good performance for its size. In addition, its 2.0-litre petrol takes everything up a few notches. But, of course, if you’re looking for a commuter, then a diesel is the ideal mile-muncher.

Economy comparison

Each model is pretty good on mpg unless you’re opting for the larger petrol engines, which naturally bring the average down a little. Mercedes claim to reach into the 50s on mpg in the diesel models. However, if you’re looking for even more out of the car, the plug-in hybrid provides excellent fuel economy with around 45 miles of all-electric power before the engine cuts in.

Price comparison

As you’d expect from the luxury car maker, prices are slightly higher than the Audi. With its looks and star appeal on the inside, it’s not hard to see why it commands a bigger price tag. That said – it’s not a far cry from the A3, with prices starting at £381.99 per month.

View Mercedes A Class Lease Deals

BMW 1 Series

Another model similar to the likes of Audi and Mercedes is the BMW 1 Series. This compact yet practical hatchback has bags of style and space despite its size.

Its exterior has sporty lines and a shorter bonnet compared to the previous generation. It compares well against the A3, but Audi may just have that edge with its sharper detailing. Inside, the cabin is minimal, but the tech makes up for it with a 9-inch infotainment screen and all the mod cons such as optional gesture controls, Apple CarPlay etc.

Performance comparison

BMW is renowned for refined engineering, and the engine choices in the 1 Series are no exception. The popular entry-level 1.5-litre petrol is ideal for everyday driving. Want a fuel-efficient model? BMW’s diesel versions are a top choice.

Of course, no BMW range would be complete without its sporty models. So, if you’re looking for a compact hatchback that packs a punch as soon as you put your foot down, the M135i is your new best friend. With 0-60mph in less than five seconds, it’ll certainly put a smile on your face.

Economy comparison

There’s no doubt BMW tops the list when choosing fuel-efficient cars, especially its diesel model. However, compared to the A3, it’s on an even par with petrol models offering around 40-45mpg and diesel at 50-60mpg.

Price comparison

Both the Audi and BMW sit around a similar price point depending on the model you choose. However, BMW’s entry-level engine is punchier than its counterpart for a comparable price, so this could be a decider. The BMW 1 series starts at £342.99 per month.

View BMW 1 Series Lease Deals

Ford Focus

While the Ford Focus doesn’t flex its luxury credentials as much as the Audi, but it’s still a firm contender as an alternative in this class. In addition, the new Focus model is good-looking and is packed with tons of tech. Another bonus is the price, which will undoubtedly catch your attention.

Its exterior, while on the slightly more plain side compared to the Audi A3, still gives a striking look, and more so when you opt for the range-topping models. Inside is where the Focus comes to life. Here you get a range of updated systems and an 8-inch touchscreen. Albeit it’s not as intuitive as the A3 – there’s plenty to get your teeth into, such as Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition technology and phone pairing. Space is ample too, with passengers having plenty of head and legroom. The boot is larger than the Audi’s too.

Performance comparison

Ford offers a choice of engines from 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre to 2.0-litre diesel. Each is great for fuel economy. However, if you’re looking for a lively ride, then the larger engines give you extra oomph, especially the renowned ST models.

Economy comparison

The Focus fares well against the Audi A3 for fuel economy. Again the diesel model is your best bet for motorway miles, but the petrol models also provide around 40-50 mpg depending on the journey.

Price comparison

Ok, so the Ford Focus might not have the same luxury vibe as the Audi. However, the price difference might convince you otherwise. This model still provides plenty of tech, space and road appeal like its counterpart. So, its monthly cost starting from £272.99 might open up more choices for your budget.

View Ford Focus Lease Deals

At a glance




Price (monthly cost through Leasing Options)

Audi A3

0-62mph: 7.6 – 9.7 seconds

Top speed: 130.5 – 144mph

48 - 61mpg

From £338.99

Volkswagen Golf

0-62mph: 8.5 – 10.2 seconds

Top speed - 126 – 139mph

Up to 68.8mpg (depending on model)

From £283.99

Mercedes A Class

0-62mph: 8 seconds (A200 model)

Top speed: 126 – 167mph

31 – 280mpg combined)

From £381.99

BMW 1 Series

0-62mph: 4.8 – 10.3 seconds

Top speed: 124 – 155mph

34.4 – 61.4mpg

From £342.99

Ford Focus

0-62mph: 4.7 – 10.2 seconds

Top speed: 115 – 155mph

52 – 62mpg

From £272.99

*prices subject to change

*Performance and economy figures shown are averages and are subject to several factors, including vehicle model, driving conditions, speed and optimum charge rates (electric and hybrid cars).

The Audi A3 is a stylish and compact family hatchback with striking features and innovative tech. However, if you’re looking for a great alternative, various models give you similar rides and luxury features for comparable prices.

To find out more about leasing deals for the Audi A3 and its alternatives, contact us on 0161 516 2430.

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