The compact Audi A3 was part of a wave of small luxury-branded models for buyers who have one eye on their budget and the other on gas prices. Derived from the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 might lack the posh, roomy environment and long list of features found in true luxury cars, but it's a solid, agile and sophisticated sedan that's enjoyable to drive.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2016 Audi A3 has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04
05
06*
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15*
16
17
18
19
20
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Audi A3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen freezes up

"Screen locked in that permanently on function and had to be taken to the shop in order to be turned off or risk draining the entirety of the battery."

Anonymous, WI (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I've had a few cases where the display screen, which goes back and forth in the dash has frozen open and the only way to close it was to shut off the car. I've also had a few cases when the radio stops playing and it can't be turned back on except to shut off the car and start it again"

Anonymous, MO (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Nav system became inoperble"

Anonymous, NV (2016 Audi A3)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"It bis difficult to bring up selections on the navigation system, and then the directions that are given are not reliably accurate."

Anonymous, IA (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"update..unspecific"

Anonymous, NV (2016 Audi A3)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Head gasket

"The engine head was removed, resurfaced and replaced."

Anonymous, CO (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"Turbo always made a noise that we thought was normal. The noise got worse and the turbo broke up and was pulled into the engine. The car was towed and at the dealer for 6 weeks to have a new engine installed. We had a loaner car and compensation for lost vehicle time as part of our lease agreement."

Anonymous, VA (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Turbo failed completely - replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Turbo was not installed correctly at the factory. Turbo had to be replaced 60 days after purchasing the car"

Anonymous, LA (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"There is a roaring in the front driver reminiscent of a wheel bearing defect. Heard the same noise in the same new model loaner when I last had this vehicle serviced"

Anonymous, AL (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Electrical failure

"When getting into the car to back out it would not move even in gear. It too Audi a week or two to figure out and fix"

Anonymous, UT (2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"This plugin hybrid supposed to automatically switch from pure EV mode to gasoliine mode when the electric range is depleted. This process faied suddenly 2 months ago while on the road. The car came to a complete stop. Luckily no injury accident occurred. It has been at the shop in the dealership for 2 months. The problem has not been fixed. The Audi representatives working on this problem were very nice and cooperative, but this problem was very serious and potentially very dangerous."

Ignatius C., CA (2016 Audi A3 e-tron)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"CEL on - replaced evap purge regulator valve hose assembly."

Douglas C., CA (2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Fuel pump

"There was a recall issued for the fuel pump 6 weeks after purchasing the vehicle"

Anonymous, LA (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The check engine light came on, it was a minor fuel system code. They replaced the sensor (after checking everything else out) but the light came on again less than 3 days later. I am waiting for it to be checked again. The car is running fine."

Jay J., CA (2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"Would rev high in first gear and sometime rev high in second"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

"The car labors almost constantly in traffic. Audi tells me it's because they try to get the best MPG and their transmission computer is set to, for example be in 4th gear at 30 MPH, in 3rd gear at 20 MPH, etc. As a result the car is almost always over shifted at these lower type speeds"

Anonymous, MO (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"No A/C. Compressor not working"

Anonymous, VT (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Refrigerant leaks

"Small hole in coolant tube that took the dealership mechanic two days to find. Initially all computer diagnostics said nothing was wrong but the low coolant light kept coming on"

Anonymous, UT (2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"Thunking sound in the back over bumps. Audi replaced both strut bushings."

Charles D., OH (2016 Audi A3 S3)
Shocks or struts

"Factory recall of weak bushing in rear suspension. Fixed well under warranty. Slight inconvenience only."

Daniel B., CA (2016 Audi A3)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Wind noise

"Sounds like rear windows don't close tight"

Tom W., WA (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Lots of wind noise from drivers door took 3 trips and about 7 days to fix the problem. Turned out to be the side mirror"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Audi A3 S3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Chrome trim pieces on driver side front and rear windows has been replaced. The rear has been replaced twice"

Scott K., MI (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Side door trim was dinged when we bought the car. Took 2 trips to the dealer for them to fix it properly"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Audi A3 S3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The transmission experienced a total failure of internal parts requiring it's replacement."

Anonymous, CO (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"Periodically the brakes will be applied for no apparent reason"

Richard B., CA (2016 Audi A3 e-tron 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Have smelled antifreeze since new. Audi Dealership claimed it was a water pump issue and when I got it back I am still smelling the same thing"

Anonymous, AL (2016 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Convertible top

"Strap is hanging down from the top. Dealer has refused to repair under warranty saying that another service provider has worked on the top and caused the problem."

Anonymous, FL (2016 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

Compare 2016 Models

No Data Available
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS:SENSOR:OCCUPANT CLASSIFICATION
Jun 19 2019
A deactivated passenger air bag increases the risk of injury during a crash.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Audi) is recalling certain 2015-2016 Audi S3 Sedan, 2015-2019 A3 Sedan and A3 Cabriolet, 2016-2018 A3 e-tron, and 2017-2019 RS3 vehicles. An improper electrical contact may cause the Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) to falsely detect a malfunction and deactivate the passenger air bag.
What should you do:
Audi will notify owners, and dealers will replace the connector and reroute the cable, free of charge. The recall began September 12, 2019. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Audi's number for this recall is 69Z4.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V474000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 138896
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Sep 07 2016
As fuel accumulates in the EVAP system, it may leak out through the charcoal canister filter element. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source increases the risk of a fire.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2015-2016 Volkswagen Golf, Golf SportWagen, GTI, Audi A3 sedan and A3 Cabriolet vehicles. Due to a problem with the suction pump inside the fuel tank, fuel may flow into the evaporative emissions (EVAP) system.
What should you do:
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the suction pump, free of charge. The recall began November 2016. Volkswagen owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298, Audi owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen's numbers for this recall are 20Y6 and 20Y5.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V647000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 110042
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: SOFTWARE
Sep 06 2016
If the side marker lights do not illuminate, the vehicle may be less visible at night, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2016 TT roadster, A3 cabriolet, A3 sedan and A3 e-tron, 2016-2017 TT coupe, 2017 A4 sedan and Q7 and 2015-2017 Q3 vehicles. The affected vehicles may have been programmed with new software that inadvertently makes the side marker lights inoperative in conjunction with the parking lights or the headlights. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."
What should you do:
Audi will notify owners, and dealers will upload revised software to correct the issue, free of charge. This recall began November 2016. Owners may contact Audi customer service at 1-800-253-2834. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 97CB.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V642000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 79895
Check Vehicle for Unrepaired Recalls
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Change Vehicle