VW Golf or Audi A3? What’s the best?
If you are looking at leasing a family hatchback, chances are you have the VW Golf on your short list. And with good reason. It’s been one of the best choices for families for many years for a reason. This is because it manages to do just about everything right. As well having a good amount of space inside, it stylish and very practical. All in all, it’s a top choice for you and your family.
Did you know there is a rival car that uses some of the same parts as the Golf? Yes, you heard right. The car in question is the Audi A3 and it’s actually a big rival for the Golf. But what’s the better car? The VW Golf or the Audi A3?
It sparked quite a bit of debate here in the office. To be honest, there’s mixed thoughts on the subject. Some of us love Audi cars, whilst others will only drive a VW. To try and end the debate, myself and a co writer decided to do a comparison showdown. It’s the Audi A3 (in the left corner) vs VW Golf (in the right corner). We compare their engines, looks, drive and lease deals.
Cheapest Lease Deals Audi A3 vs VW Golf
It was hard to decide which to compare first, but we decided to go for price. Like it or not, it ends up being the biggest factor for most people. So it’s as good as any place to start. The Golf is obviously the cheaper of the two cars when it comes to leasing. The main reason for this is that the Audi has a bit more prestige and badge value. Although, depending on current lease deals, you can end up getting an A3 really cheaply. However, as a rule of thumb, the VW will usually save you more money per month.
We split the price test into two parts. For the first part we used a well known car leasing comparison site to compare deals. This made it easy to search multiple brokers quickly. For the second part we used a well known car leasing broker. We feel this provides the best overview on what’s currently on offer deal wise.
Unlike other VW Golf vs Audi A3 comparisons are not showing cars with matching engines sizes. We set the filters to the cheapest price a month. This shows what you can get for your money with either car.
Car Leasing Comparison Price
The cheapest lease deal we could find for the Audi A3 Sportback on the lease comparison site was £197.58.
That was for the Audi A3 Sportback 30 TFSI 116 SE Technik 5 door.
The best lease price we could find for the VW Golf on the comparison site was £197.20.
That was for the Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 115 5 door.
So literally 38p in it monthly. Wow, closer than we thought it would be. Both deals were 4 year contracts with 8000 miles per year and 9 payments in advance. All prices inc VAT.
Car Leasing Broker Price
Moving on to the broker next. It’s worth pointing out that neither the Golf or A3 was on offer when we looked. So prices were much higher than the comparison site. It’s always best to wait for a car to be on offer with a broker to save money.
The price for the Audi A3 Sportback on the broker site was £273.99 a month.
Again, that was for the 30 TFSI 116 SE Technik 5 door.
The price for the VW Golf on the broker site was £219.99 a month.
Same as before, the 1.0 TSI 115 5 door.
There is a much bigger difference with prices using the broker. If either car would have been on a deal it would have been much close like the first test. £54 a month is quite a big deal for some. The personal deals listed were all on 4 year contracts, but this time with 10000 miles a year. Both had 9 monthly payments upfront. Both inc VAT.
We have a bit of a split decision here, but we’re going to call this a draw. If you look enough you will always find these cars on some sort of offer. Just like result one shows. There was pennies in it per month, so a draw is the right outcome.
Practicality, Dimensions & Boot Space
You will not feel to cramped in either of these cars. They both provide a decent amount of space in the front and back. Myself and my co writer sat in the back of both cars and didn’t have any issues. I’m 5 foot 11 and he is 6 foot 1 by the way. There’s not much in it when it comes down to boot space either. The Golf edges it slightly though. It’s a dead heat with front head room, but the Golf edges in front when it comes to rear headroom. The Audi is longer than the Golf, but not as wide.
|Dimensions & Boot Space||Audi A3 Sportback||New VW Golf|
|Boot Space (Seats Up)||370 Litres||380 Litres|
|Boot Space (Seats Folded)||1220 Litres||1270|
|Width (No Mirrors)||1765mm||1790mm|
|Head Room (Front)||1018||1018|
|Head Room (Back)||955mm||967mm|
It was really close again and nearly too close to call. However, as the Golf has a bit more rear headroom and boot space, we’ll make it the winner. Not by much though. 1 nil to the Golf.
The Golf is a really smart looking motor that has a sort of understated feel to it. In comparison, the Audi A3 has that little something more to it in the looks department. We think it has more class, better style and is just downright more fancy. If there’s a price difference when you come to lease one, the A3’s style may be worth paying more for. We’re giving the A3 the nod in the style showdown. As a result, it’s 1 all in the score.
Let’s move on to one of the most important things for us drivers, the interior. You will be over the moon with either of these cars in this respect. Both are leaders in their class with high quality finishing. There are differences however. We think the cabin in the Golf is more practical, whilst the cabin in the A3 feels and looks better. Dare we say it, it feels more special and more worthy of its price. The cabin in the Golf is also a bit more busy. If you like a more minimal feel, you’ll love the A3. Before it starts sounding like a sure fire victory for the A3, we’d want to mention the infotainment systems. We think the Gold edges it here. The system looks better than the A3, but the A3’s is easier to use.
This one may come down to personal taste. Both myself and my co writer loved being in both cars, but the Audi A3 gets the nod here. The cabin has that extra something about it and just looks nicer. Considering how long we sit in our cars, things like interior are really important. The A3 goes 2-1 up and into the lead!
Here we go, moving on to the most important part. Is the Audi A3 or VW Golf better to drive? We found driving nice and easy. This is probably due to the balanced steering which is not too heavy or too light. In addition, it’s comfy to drive and you don’t really feel the bumps in the road. In addition, the A3 is good on corners as well.
Moving on to the Golf. We found it really similar to drive as the A3. Although there is one main difference. Lower engine models such as 1.0 petrol come with bog standard rear suspension. We definitely felt the bumps in the road more with the Golf. It is worth pointing out that the better models of the Golf come with better rear suspension. That however, will push up the monthly price of your lease car. The A3’s suspension comes as standard on all versions.
If we had driven one of the more expensive Golf’s and not the cheaper version, this may have been close. But from our time driving both cars, the A3 was better. As a result, the A3 wins this round and goes 3-1 up.
Moving on to the final comparison, the engines. Looking at the models used in our lease deals comparison, there’s not much in this one. Both the Golf and the A3 are quite nippy and the engines are smooth. When it comes to the cheaper versions, the Golf edges things. It’s a little bit more smoother and a little more economical. Both cars have a range of high quality engines in their respective lines. You cannot go wrong with either. We think it’s worth paying more on your lease for a better engine.
We’re going to give the final test to the Golf. The lead is cut down to one. 3-2 to the A3!
The Final Verdict
Well done if you have managed to make it to the end of our 1500 word comparison battle. The Audi A3 pipped its rival to the title (well it’s not a real title is it?). Although the A3 come out ahead, we think everyone will see this differently. It will come down to price and what deals you manage to find. You honestly cannot go wrong with either of these fine cars. If you’re looking for cheap VW Golf lease deals, take a look at our guide for the best prices.
Prices in this article are right as of 04/04/2019. Due to deals changing all the time, they might not be the same when you look.
Thanks for reading our Audi A3 vs VW Golf Comparison Showdown!