Audi A3

Front: 12
Side: 16
Pole: 2

Adult occupant protection
Head: Good, Neck: Good, Chest: Adequate, Upper leg right: Marginal, Upper leg left: Marginal, Lower leg right: Adequate, Lower leg left: Marginal, Right foot: Adequate, Left foot: Adequate
Frontal impact driver
Head: Good, Neck: Good, Chest: Adequate, Upper leg right: Good, Upper leg left: Good, Lower leg right: Adequate, Lower leg left: Adequate
Frontal impact passenger
Head: Good, Chest: Adequate, Abdomen: Good, Pelvis: Good
Side impact driver

Child restraints
18 month old ChildFair BimboFix Type II, rearward facing
3 year old ChildFair BimboFix Type II, forward facing
Pedestrian protection
No image car front available

Safety equipment
Front seatbelt pretensioners
Front seatbelt load limiters
Driver frontal airbag
Front passenger frontal airbag
Side body airbags
Side head airbags
Driver knee airbag
Car details
Hand of driveRHD
Tested modelAudi A3 1.6
Body typesmall family car
Year of publication2003
Kerb weight1340
VIN from which rating applies8P_4A062055

Front impact
The restraint system used single stage tethered airbags teamed with belts fitted with pre-tensioners and load limiters. These worked well although loads on the occupants’ chests were a little high. Unfortunately the driver risked knee injuries from hard points behind the fascia. The body proved very strong after the impact showing minimal distortion around the sill and screen pillar areas, while the footwell suffered only minor deformation. All rear seats have three-point belts. The centre belt had a safety device so that it would not unreel unless the foldable seat back was correctly latched.

Side impact
The seat-mounted thorax airbag and head curtain airbag worked well; the latter protecting the rear occupants as well as those in the front.

Child occupant
Both children used Fair Bimbo Fix Type II vehicle-specific ISOFIX restraints. The 18-month-old’s was rear-facing and the three-year-old’s was forward-facing. These protected their heads from hitting inside the car, but the 18-month child suffered higher chest loading. The labelling on the restraints was clear and permanent. There was inadequate warning against placing a rear-facing restraint on the front passenger seat opposite an airbag. Although there is a switch fitted to turn the airbag on and off, the danger of misuse and serious harm remains.

The A3 offered cushioning where an adult and child’s head would most likely strike but the car’s wings and front were ‘unfriendly’. The bumper and the leading edge of the bonnet offered no protection. A poor result for a new car.

The A3 has a very strong and stable passenger safety cage. As a measure of this, after the test the driver’s door could still be opened normally. The restraint systems and air bags protected the occupants and kept the driver’s chest and head away from the steering wheel. Side impact protection was also impressive. The child seats used two-point ISOFIX mountings and did well although loads fed through to the 18-month-old child’s chest proved to be a little high. Pedestrian protection was poor.