10 Best & Worst Audi A3 Years [Facts & Figures]

Source: YouTube / Aircar

Is an Audi A3 something you’re considering getting for your garage? If that’s the case, you can risk getting a car ruined by someone else by purchasing the wrong year. Consumers liked purchasing the Audi A3 for nearly twenty years due to its subcompact executive/small family nature. Throughout its history, it has achieved numerous triumphs and endured numerous setbacks.

The worst years to avoid the Audi A3 are 2006, 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016. The best years to buy the Audi A3 are 2013, 2019, 2020, 2022, and 2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmunds, J.D. Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Worst Audi A3 Years To Avoid

The Audi A3 has a lot of good options, but it also has some bad ones. Audi A3 years that are considered to be the worst are these:

  • 2006 Audi A3
  • 2009 Audi A3
  • 2010 Audi A3
  • 2015 Audi A3
  • 2016 Audi A3

5. Worst Year: 2009 Audi A3 (3.83 Rating)

Source: autocar.co.uk

The last on the list of worst years to avoid is the 2009 Audi A3 years. There have been numerous reports regarding the fuel system of the car. For instance, you could notice that the car stalls or hesitates, as if the engine weren’t firing correctly.

Several owners have reported issues with the headlights dimming or even going out altogether, even when the vehicle is in the drive. Moreover, the frontal airbag inflator may rupture is another concern. Several issues, including high oil consumption and sudden power outages, plagued this model year.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2010 Audi A3 (3.78 Rating)

Source: top speed

Next, we have the 2010 Audi A3, a model that had many problems. The biggest concern for this model is its fuel system and drivetrain. You probably don’t want to get a vehicle with problematic airbags since it can be hazardous in the event of accidents.

Out of 50 complaints, 13 NHTSA complaints were filed for defective airbags. Even two cars were recalled for this problem. The other commonly reported problems with this model include mechatronics stopped working, electrical short/fire, and excessive oil consumption.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2006 Audi A3 (3.63 Rating)

Source: caradisiac

For the 2006 Audi A3, powertrain issues were most severe. A major issue surfaced was the sporadic lighting of the dash gear position indicator, which led to accidental movements to neutral. This was quite dangerous and interfered with driving.

People who own the vehicle have complained about problems like power loss, hesitancy sometimes, shifting into neutral while driving, and shifting that doesn’t work. Pulling out into traffic from a halt was the most prevalent and deadly problem owners had to deal with. This model was also recalled because of the Takata airbags that could explode and release shrapnel.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2016 Audi A3 (3.54 Rating)

Source: carmagazine.co.uk

The 2016 A3 suffered from many airbag-related issues, similar to the 2015 model year. Many owners had issues with the passenger occupant detection system (PODS), and the company addressed these issues through recall efforts. A PODS is a weight-sensing device that usually sits beneath the passenger seat cushion and notifies the driver or passenger that someone is in the seat.

Sadly, multiple reports showed that a lack of replacement components left many customers waiting endlessly. Many people complain that while driving, they face hesitation and jerking once the car hits 8,000 miles (12874.75 km). Water leaking into the cabin and defective headlights are other common problems.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2015 Audi A3 (2.95 Rating)

Source: autobild.es

2015 Audi A3, the worst year of the A3 series, got the most recalls, complaints, and low possible ratings. Let us explain why this model year is one you should avoid. The 2015 Audi A3’s electrical system and engine were the primary points of failure.

Most complaints about the airbag light not turning on at all times came from owners who had problems with the Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS). Thermostat (water pump) fluid leaks were another persistent problem that plagued several cars. Excessive oil consumption, fractured differential crown wheels, and dying while driving are prevalent issues with this model.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Most Reliable Audi A3 Years to Buy Used

The Audi A3 has been around longer than most of Audi’s other models, making it a true classic that any family can enjoy. To help you choose the most reliable year of the Audi A3, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite models from the lineup.

The most successful years of the Audi A3 thus far are these:

  • 2013 Audi A3
  • 2019 Audi A3
  • 2020 Audi A3
  • 2022 Audi A3
  • 2023 Audi A3

5. Best Year: 2022 Audi A3 (3.85 Rating)

Source: guideautoweb

If you’re looking for a small, luxurious sedan, the 2022 A3 is an excellent option. Criticism from both owners and the automotive media has been unanimously positive for this model.

It is the first model of the third generation A3 and continues the tradition of excellent value, outstanding performance, and elegance. The EPA estimates the fuel efficiency to be 29 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg when combined. 

An efficient mild hybrid powertrain, a redesigned interior and exterior, and modernized in-car technology and driver aid systems are all hallmarks of this vehicle. Although it could be a bit diminutive for individuals who prioritize functionality, this model more than compensates with its incredibly lightweight, exceptional agility, and deft handling.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2013 Audi A3 (4.06 Rating)

Source: ausmotive

The 2013 A3 may look old-fashioned, but it’s a fantastic pick for people on a tighter budget. Until 2015, just the hatchback was offered. The sedan and convertible body types were later introduced.

A combination of adaptable interior space, pleasant driving dynamics, and a plush cabin characterize the 2013 Audi A3. Different trim levels are available: Premium, Premium Plus, TDI Premium, Premium Quattro, TDI Premium Plus, and Premium Plus Quattro.

There are two engine options: a two-liter diesel engine with 140 horsepower and a two-liter petrol engine with 200 horsepower. There is an abundance of high-tech gadgets and luxurious comforts as well. Moreover, this model was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick due to its excellent crashworthiness ratings.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2019 Audi A3 (4.17 Rating)

Source: fleetautonews

Despite its small size, the 2019 A3 delivers a lot of power in both sedan and convertible forms. Depending on the trim level, the model’s turbocharged 2-liter TFSI engine produces 184–228 horsepower.

A front-wheel-drive configuration and a 7-speed automatic manual transmission are included in the Premium base model. With 26 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined, the fuel estimates provided by the EPA are very impressive.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2020 Audi A3 (4.27 Rating)

Source: carpixel.net

If you are looking for a second-generation A3, the best option is the 2020 A3. Although it won’t be as feature-rich as recent versions, it will be less expensive. Its 2.0L turbocharged engine provides powerful acceleration, agile handling, and a plush ride.

The cabin was also highly praised for its exquisite craftsmanship, fashionable design, and refined amenities. Only the sedan variants will be available for 2020, as the cabriolet (convertible) was discontinued. Sport Premium, Premium S Line, Sport Premium Plus, and Premium Plus S Line are the four possible trim levels.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2023 Audi A3 (4.54 Rating)

Source: caranddriver

With its cutting-edge technology, the 2023 A3 stands out as a top-tier premium small automobile. With its lively yet frugal engine, user-friendly infotainment system, and enjoyable ride, this vehicle is a joy to drive.

Prices range from over $30,000 for the base Premium trim to over $40,000 for the top-of-the-line Premium Plus. This model’s updated features include wireless charging for compatible mobile devices, daytime running lights (DRLs), and full LED headlights.

Important safety features include the standard Pre Sense Front and Basic systems, as well as the optional Audi Side Assist with rear cross-traffic alert.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Common Audi A3 Problems

As with any Audi A3, a few common problems will crop up in different years. These are the most typical problems with Audi A3s:

  • Uneven front suspension noise
  • A screeching noise emanating from the wheel
  • Unpredictable breakdowns in air conditioning
  • Mechanical failed to function
  • Overconsumption of oil
  • Cooling system malfunctioning
  • Timing chain stretch
  • Loss of illumination from headlights
  • Electrical short, fire
  • Water seepage
  • Transmission failure

These problems might be occurred in the best or worst Audi A3 years. But the least reliable Audi A3 models are where you’ll find them most often.


Is the Audi A3 a reliable car to own?

The Audi A3 does not have a high-reliability reputation, as it gets a reliability score of 3.5/5 on repairpal.com. In general, experts have mixed feelings about the Audi A3’s reliability. You should exercise extreme caution while choosing a year from this vehicle.

How long will the Audi A3 last?

The typical lifespan of an Audi A3 is 150,000 miles (241401.6 km) – 200,000 miles (321868.8 km), after which it will require extensive maintenance, such as transmission or engine replacement. The current generation of Audi automobiles has a far longer lifespan than its predecessors. However, Maintaining your vehicle correctly will ensure it reaches 200,000 miles (321868.8 km) or more.

Is the Audi A3 expensive to maintain?

The average yearly maintenance cost for an Audi A3 is $741, as reported by repairpal.com. Compared to the average of $652 for all cars, this figure is lower than the average of $801 for luxury small vehicles. You won’t often have to take your Audi A3 for emergency repairs. However, To keep costs down, take care of your Audi A3 regularly.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, After looking over all of the Audi A3 generations, it’s easy to see that the ones from 2013, 2019, 2020, 2022, and 2023 are the best. You should choose the most recent top-rated Audi A3 years if you’re looking for value and reliability.

Which year of Audi A3 are you considering buying, or do you already own? How has it worked for you so far? Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience with an Audi A3.

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