Reasonable-sized three-door hatchbacks seem to be dying out. C-segment stalwarts like the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Opel/Vauxhall Astra have all dropped their three-door body styles in recent years, and even smaller hatches like the Seat Ibiza and Renault Clio come only in five-door form.
By 2019, it looks like there’ll be another casualty to add to the list: the Audi A3. Autocar reports that Audi is “likely” to drop the three-door option when the next-generation A3 arrives. The five-door car may hand its ‘Sportback’ moniker over to a new, sleeker liftback model, while the saloon will grow to make its rear seat passengers a little less cramped and moody.
The reason for the death of the three-door version? No one wants it. When given a choice, it seems the modern car buyer would rather have the extra practicality of an extra set of doors, and it’s no different with prospective A3 owners, leaving demand for the entry-level three-door car low.
With Audi there’s also the added pressure of streamlining and cost-cutting in the continuing financial wake of VW Group’s emissions scandal, making culling the three-door version the obvious choice.