When it comes to buying a safe, reliable and aesthetically pleasing vehicle - and one that will get you from A to B with ease while turning heads along the way - you won’t be short of choice. If family-friendly and spacious is what you need, weighing up the VW Golf vs Audi A3 is a good idea. This article will look at the similarities and differences between the two to help you make an informed decision.
Before delving into the details, it’s worth knowing that as Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group, both vehicles share a number of parts making them even harder to decide between. That said, there are also many features and qualities that set them apart.
Price is a key consideration for many buyers. If you’re on a budget, the VW Golf may seem more appealing due to its cheaper price tag, with an entry-level, 5-door typically coming in £3,000 cheaper than an Audi A3 alternative. For a comparatively lower price, you can expect a 1.0-litre engine with 85hp or splash out a little more cash for an 110hp alternative. Remember, many people buy used cars to keep costs down, and this is a great way to get the car of your dreams without breaking the bank.
As a premium brand, the Audi A3 is typically more expensive than the VW Golf. Audi A3 specs are similar, with a five-door entry level Audi Sportback boasting a 1.0-litre engine raising the game with prices fluctuating depending on the condition of the model in question. Although you can expect to pay more, you will get satellite navigation thrown into the mix as well as extras such as rear parking sensors, all designed to make your driving experience a little more refined.
Sometimes, the way a car looks from the outside is enough to seal the deal – after all, many car owners want a vehicle that knows how to get noticed out on the road. If looks are everything to you, the Audi A3 is notably superior in many ways thanks to its distinctive front grille, sharper silhouette, and swanky xenon headlights which are designed to make a statement. The Audi’s four-ring badge also oozes quality in comparison to the standard Volkswagen logo, and therefore has a slightly more ‘premium’ edge – hence the hiked price tag.
The VW Golf, however, is far from shabby. With a strong, confident stance, a distinctive profile and beautiful curves, it is by all means a head turner. If anything, the Audi A3 has just been crafted to be slightly upper market both inside and out.
With regards to VW Golf specs, you can expect the spacious, comfortable and well-designed interior to rate highly on any VW Golf review. The Golf is highly intuitive, boasting just enough buttons to make navigation a breeze, with the touchscreen infotainment system on newer models being a great addition.
In comparison, the Audi A3 is slightly more minimalistic. It too boasts a multifunctional infotainment system; however, this is controlled via the control wheel in the centre console which some might find easier to use than the VW Golf’s touchscreen.
In terms of space, both offer a surprising amount of head and legroom and have very similar dimensions. Both can sit two adults in the rear seats comfortably, with the Golf and the five-door Audi A3 offering the same 360 litres of boot space. That said, if you opt for the three-door Audi, the boot space automatically shrinks down to 325 litres. If you decide that the Audi Saloon is the car for you, this has a bigger boot coming in at 425 litres. Of course, all of these things need to be taking into consideration when making such a considerable purchase.
As previously discussed, both vehicles are available with a simple 1.0-litre engine, but there are other options available too. The 1.5-litre alternative is a great choice whether you’re opting for the VW Golf or have been blown away by Audi A3 reliability . This engine requires less revving in order to achieve your desired speed and is therefore somewhat more economical. It naturally complements the upper-class Audi A3 as it doesn’t groan at higher speeds and therefore has a more premium feel which is in keeping with the vehicle’s overall aesthetics.
Whether you want to hit the motorway, navigate winding country roads, or head into the city, the VW Golf won’t disappoint. Easy to handle, manoeuvre and park, it takes any challenge in its stride, offering a light and hassle-free driving experience. The steering is not at all heavy and, while the brakes are responsive, they are not sharp and grabby.
As you will read in a standard Audi A3 review, this model is also a delight to drive. Hopping behind the wheel of this premium ride is an enjoyable experience thanks to its light, responsive steering and superior suspension set-up. Truth be told, both vehicles feel just about the same when working their magic out on the road, with higher-powered Audi A3s perhaps offering the smoothest, most exciting drive.
Buying a car is a very personal decision, so be sure to check out each vehicle carefully and take both for a test drive to see which you prefer.
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