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2013 Audi A3 Review

The 2013 Audi A3 has engaging road manners, a smooth ride, and excellent safety scores. However, its tight rear seats and unwieldy navigation system keep it from ranking higher than the middle of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Poised handling, strong brakes
  • Comfortable ride
  • Excellent safety scores
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Awkward available navigation system
  • TDI models weak on the highway




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Audi A3 Overview

Is the 2013 Audi A3 a Good Used Car?

A used 2013 Audi A3 is a good choice among luxury small cars. It’s fun to drive, and it has a comfortable ride and better crash test ratings than many of its rivals. However, Audi’s entry-level car is not for everyone. It has limited rear-seat space and cumbersome tech features. Also, Audi A3 TDI models struggle to keep up on the highway.

Used 2013 Audi A3 Performance and Interior

The A3 comes standard with a 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. A3 TDI models are equipped with a turbocharged diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower. TDI models were part of Audi’s emissions scandal, and they require modification to meet EPA standards. Shoppers looking for these models should be cautious, since the updates may alter performance or fuel economy. A six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission is available with either engine. Quattro all-wheel drive is available in non-TDI A3 models only.

All models have taut handling, strong brakes, and a compliant ride. The optional sport suspension limits body roll and gives the A3 better composure around turns. While the base engine has plenty of power in all situations, the turbodiesel struggles on the highway. A front-wheel-drive A3 with the base turbo-four engine and an automatic transmission returns 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which is a bit low for the class.

Read more about A3 performance »

The four-door Audi A3 hatchback has an upscale cabin with leather upholstery and seating for five. Some used models feature heated seats up front and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The front seats have plenty of room, but the rear seats are too cramped for most riders. There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the A3’s rear seats. The A3 has 19.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, expanding to 39 cubes with them folded down. That’s more room than most luxury small cars offer.

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio port and satellite radio. Available upgrades include a Bose stereo system, Bluetooth, and a six-disc CD player. There’s also an available navigation system, but its dash-mounted dial controller can be awkward to use while driving.

Read more about A3 interior »

Used 2013 Audi A3 Prices

The base price of a 2013 A3 is $13,800. Expect to pay about $17,200 for a model with an automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. The price you pay depends on the vehicle’s demand, features, condition, and mileage.

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We Did the Research for You: 117 Reviews Analyzed

We researched 117 Audi A3 reviews and included information on price, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a complete overview of the 2013 A3.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews unbiased, we refuse pricey gifts and trips from automakers, and a third party handles the ads on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Audi A3?

The 2013 A3 has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. While this is an average rating compared to all cars on the road, many luxury small cars have scores of four or better.

See A3 reliability scores »

How Safe Is the A3?

The 2013 A3 has top-notch safety scores. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the A3 the highest rating of Good in all four of its crash tests. Rear parking sensors are available, but a rearview camera is not.

See A3 safety scores »

Is the 2013 A3 the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 A3 is part of a generation that spans the 2006 through 2013 model years. There were no major changes between the 2011 and 2013 models. Consider a model that’s a few years older if you’re looking to save some money.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 A3 »

Which Used Audi A3 Is Right for Me?

The A3 comes in two trim levels: Premium and Premium Plus. The Premium Plus trim adds only a few features – xenon headlights, a power-adjustable front seat, and ambient interior lighting – so it’s not really worth the upgrade. Look for models with the Cold Weather package for heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and heated windshield washer nozzles. Premium Plus models offer a Convenience package that adds other desirable features, like a Bose stereo system, automatic headlights, and rear parking sensors.

You may want to consider purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle. Audi CPO vehicles receive the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, then enjoy an additional two-year/50,000-mile comprehensive warranty. The two warranties differ in important ways, and there may be additional services like roadside assistance, so read the Audi warranty page carefully. Audi CPO models must pass an inspection covering 300-plus points. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Audi certified pre-owned program »

2013 Audi A3 and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Audi A3 or 2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The A3 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class both offer balanced road manners and rich interiors. They also share weaknesses, like tight rear seats and infotainment issues. The A3 has more cargo space, standard leather upholstery, and a lower average price. But unlike the A3, the C-Class comes standard with a sunroof and Bluetooth. The Mercedes’ available engines are more powerful than anything in the A3 lineup. In the end, these luxury small cars are closely matched competitors.

Which Is Better: 2013 Audi A3 or 2013 Audi A4?

The Audi A4 doesn’t offer as much cargo space as its smaller sibling, but it’s a better choice overall. The A4 has engaging road manners like the A3 and an upscale cabin, though both are tight in the back. The Audi A4 boasts a standard sunroof, along with a higher reliability rating and more available safety tech than the A3, like a rearview camera and adaptive cruise control. We recommend the A4 over the A3 because it’s a better car with a similar price.

Which Is Better: 2013 Audi A3 or 2013 BMW 1 Series?

The two-door BMW 1 Series is available as a coupe or a convertible. The A3 and the 1 Series have much in common, like sharp handling and great ride comfort. Unfortunately, both models also lack adequate rear-seat room. The A3 has much more cargo space, but the 1 Series has a stronger engine lineup and excellent reliability, making it a better buy on the used market.

Compare the A3, C-Class, and 1-Series »


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