Audi Hatchback Buying Guide

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Audi Hatchback Buying Guide

The hatchback has proven, over the years, to be one of the most useful and versatile car styles available. Many of these vehicles are small enough that they can move easily through traffic and park in tight locations. At the same time, a hatchback usually offers more cargo space than a typical sedan, which is also easier to access. One of the most successful hatchbacks in the last few years is the Audi A3.

This particular hatchback offers the useful features of a standard hatchback with the solid platform and quality that Audi is known to offer. When looking for an Audi hatchback, it is helpful to be aware of the various differences between models, and what sorts of safety, comfort, and other features are available with each one. This type of researching can help make it easier to purchase the right car, regardless of whether it is bought in a traditional car dealership or if it is done online via websites like eBay.

Types of Audi Hatchbacks

For the most part, Audi has really only offered a few types of hatchback vehicles: the A3, the S3, and the A7. These vehicles have been largely similar to each other, and have even been built on generally the same platform.

The Audi A3

The A3 has been the primary Audi hatchback for the last several decades. The A3 was first released in 1996, and was one of the first smaller cars created by Audi after a long period during which they had focused on larger vehicles instead. The first generation A3 was very similar and shared the same platform with the Volkswagen Golf. Initially, the only option for those who wanted an A3 was a 3-door hatchback model. This changed, however in 1999 when a 5-door model was introduced. From the beginning, there was the option of selecting either an automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission. Even the early models of the A3 had a number of luxury features such as leather steering wheels and exclusive trim.

The Second Generation A3

In 2004, a newer version of the A3 was released with a significant overhaul in mind. The new A3 had a new platform, and had a fully revamped interior. The new interior featured a lot more space than the previous version. There was also a marked improvement in fuel efficiency, which was prompted by the addition of Fuel Stratified Injection. More improvements included a new suspension, electro-mechanical steering, and a different kind of gearbox. The second generation of the A3 came to an end in 2013. Then, a new model A3 was introduced for 2014 that was not a hatchback. The hatchback design would be relegated to a 'sportback' model.

The Audi S3

The Audi S3 is essentially the sport version of the A3. It was first introduced in 1999 and had a number of features that the initial A3 did not have. This included a 4-wheel drive system and a more powerful engine. The creation of the S3 marked the first time that Audi had placed a 4-cylinder engine into one of their S series cars. There is a marked difference in the exterior appearance between the 1999 and 2000 models of the S3. This is because there were new front wings, and some new headlight and rear light designs. For the most part, the features found in the S3 were more luxurious than those found in the A3. This included leather seats, a more elaborate sound system, and heated seats.

The Second Generation S3

Like the A3, the S3 also went through a major overhaul in 2004. As was the case with the A3, there was an increase in interior space and increased fuel efficiency. This was all mainly due to a shift in platform.

The Audi Sportback

Audi also offers versions of the A3 that are known as the 'sportback' The sportback is similar to a hatchback, although the rear of the vehicle more closely resembles a traditional boot. When the boot is opened, the entire rear of the car opens, more like a hatchback. The A3 sportback was introduced in 2004 and is somewhat longer than the hatchback A3. In 2010, a new sportback, the A7, was introduced, which is longer and more luxurious than the either version of the A3.

Audi Hatchback Engines

As is the case with most Audi cars, the various hatchback and sportback models have a number of engine options. For the most part, these engines are the same as those used by compatible Volkswagen cars. There have been a number of engine types available over the years. Most of them are traditional petrol engines, although there is also the option of diesel engines available in some models. There were, however, certain models that stood out, namely the FSi engine and the turbo-diesel engine. These engines are only available in models made after 2004.

Fuel Efficiency

For the most part, Audi hatchbacks are fairly fuel efficient. Their small size and somewhat lighter frame as opposed to most sedans means that engines do not need to use as much power to move them forward. The diesel engine options are also more fuel efficient than petrol options.

Engine Type

Fuel Efficiency

Turbo Diesel

5.7 L/100 km

2 L FSi (Petrol)

7.7 L/100 km

1.6 L

8.1 L/100 km

Diesel tends to be more expensive per litre than petrol, but the improved efficiency more than makes up for it. It should be noted that some testing organisations occasionally produce different results than others.

Safety Features

From the very beginning, the A3 was equipped with dual front airbags. Some models later added side airbags, which made them safer than many other cars make by competing companies. From the first generation on, Audi hatchbacks had ABS brakes and the second generation would add ESP stability control and traction control. Some second generation vehicles had additional electronic features that are further designed to prevent crashes and other types of accidents.

What to Look for When Buying a Used Audi Hatchback

When buying a used car, there are always certain red flags to look for. One of the most important warning flags found in researching used cars are signs of rust. If there are any signs of rust on a car, it is likely that much of the interior is compromised as well. This is particularly a problem with cars that have been keep in coastal areas where salt in the air adds to corrosion. For the first generation A3 and S3, experts recommend investigating the rate at which oil is consumed, and how the brakes function. The most commonly reported issues are with oil leaks and brake wear.

When buying a car online at helpful websites like eBay, it is often difficult to have a mechanic check it out prior to purchase, for this reason it is helpful to procure service records by contacting the seller. It is also recommended to perform a vehicle check, which usually just requires the VIN number found on every car. This vehicle check provides information about a car's history and can mention how many owners a car has had and where it has been located.

Buying an Audi Hatchback on eBay

For many car buyers, eBay is often a popular choice as they can compare prices and vehicles from sellers located in a number of different locations. Many potential buyers also take advantage of eBay's constantly updated inventory in order to find the exact car that they need. In order to find a specific car on eBay, the best choice is to use the search bar found on every eBay web page. This search bar can be used with broad search terms, like 'Audi hatchback', or even more specific terms like '2003 Audi S3'.

Be Thorough

Since it is important to know everything about a used car before making a purchase, it is helpful to know where to find information. Each item sold on eBay is accompanied by a product description that should contain information about a car's history, as well as a mention of any possible damage to the vehicle. It is also possible to communicate directly with a seller using email via eBay in order to ask questions or get additional information that helps in making in the final decision.


The hatchback has, over the years, been acknowledged as a helpful type of vehicle to have. This is particularly true in urban areas, where parking is at a premium and small cars are the best fit for getting around. Hatchbacks combine the size and fuel efficiency of a small car with a larger and more easily accessible cargo area.

Audi has made a name for itself in the world of hatchbacks with the A3 and the S3, two cars with a number of popular features. Although hatchbacks used to be considered cars for those who could not afford a more expensive car, Audi has proved this idea wrong. Audi hatchbacks contain the same features found in other Audi cars, which are considered higher-end vehicles. Along with pleasant and appealing interiors, Audi hatchbacks also feature solid construction and reliable engines made with efficient engineering. Learning about the different models of hatchback available from Audi can make it easier to make a purchase when the time comes.

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