Auto Express tests Audi A3 vs Mercedes A-Class vs VW Golf

Small, premium hatchbacks are truly getting fantastic. If you live in a tight, urban, European city and can afford a premium hatchback to get around, you’re in luck. This new crop of cars is really impressive and it’s hard to pick a bad car. However, there are three that stand above the rest, the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Volkswagen Golf. The real question is, which is the best of them? Auto Express found out in this latest comparison test.

The Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf are quite similar, as they’re both based on the same MQB architecture and they both use a lot of the same technology. So the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the outlier but it’s also the newest car in the test by far, so it packs the newest tech of them all.


In this test, all three cars use four-cylinder engines with less than two liters of displacement and turbochargers. So the Mercedes gets a 1.3 liter turbo-four that makes 161 hp and get get from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds, While the Audi A3 gets a 1.5 liter turbo-four with 148 hp and gets to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. The Volkswagen Golf actually uses the same 1.5 liter engine as the Audi, with the same power, so it takes the same amount of time to sprint to 60.

We won’t tell you the final order placement of these three cars, as you should check out Auto Express’ test for yourself, but we can tell you that the Audi A3 comes last. While it’s based on the Volkswagen Golf and uses the same engine, the Audi A3 doesn’t drive as sweetly and it’s quite a bit more expensive. It’s still great to drive, looks better and comes with great tech, so if you can afford it, it’s worth it. However, if you don’t want to spend the extra money, you’ll be just as happy, if not happier, with the VW Golf.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.