The Audi A3 is one of the most well-established premium hatchbacks on the market, having been in production for almost two decades. However, it now has a new competitor from a brand that’s quite new to the segment of front-wheel drive premium hatchbacks — the BMW 1 Series. So which one is better? Rory Reid breaks it down in this new video.
Being that there’s a bit of a Coronavirus outbreak going on, he can’t exactly test both cars out in the real world. Instead, Reid breaks down their specs, their cost and what they’re like to drive, using his pre-existing knowledge of both cars.
The two cars are obviously very similar in terms of spec, power, performance and cost. To make it as even as possible though, Reid looks at the BMW 118i and the A3 35 TFSI. That gives them both 1.5 liter engines, manual gearboxes and low price tags. Using those specs, the Audi A3 is the slightly more powerful, every-so-slightly faster car. Yet, it’s also the most economical. While its fuel-burning advantage is small, it’s significant in that its engine is also more powerful.
However, the BMW 1 Series fights back with better options, a lower price tag for a well-equipped model and, in Reid’s opinion, better looks. It’s a tough decision as they’re both good cars but, as Reid mentions, the choice will come down to brand preference and cost.
I’ve personally driven neither, so I can’t judge on which is better to drive (though, I have driven the 2 Series Gran Coupe and that’s mechanically identical to the 1 Series). However, if i had to choose purely from a sheet of paper, it’d probably be the Audi, to be honest. I think it looks better, has a cooler interior, is a touch faster and more economical and Audi has been doing front-wheel drive for longer. So, to me, it seems like the A3 is the better choice. Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me if the 1 Series turned out to be the much better driving car, as A3s have never been particularly thrilling.