Audi's entry-level sedan, the A3 delivers the brand’s trademark refinement and sensibility in a compact package that’s priced within reach of the average new car buyer. Even so, the A3 carries enough standard equipment to qualify as a true luxury ride.
What's New for 2017
All models receive a restyled nose that's more in tune with the rest of the Audi line. Last year's base 1.8-liter and optional turbodiesel engines have been dropped. Front-drive models get a new seven-speed automatic transmission. A collision mitigation system is now standard, and rear cross-traffic alert is available for the first time.
Choosing Your Audi A3
Last year's most powerful engine option is now standard across the board. Every A3 carries a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out a healthy 220 horsepower. Front-drive models run with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while Quattro all-wheel drive models retain a six-speed unit. The A3 returns an impressive 29 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, or 27 mpg with the Quattro system.
Audi also offers a soft-top convertible version known as the Cabriolet, which offers the same equipment and options as the sedan.
Both body styles are available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.
An optional $650 Sport Package adds more supportive front seats, selectable driving modes, and a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters. Selecting the Sport Package forces drivers to add the $250 Sport Suspension, which lowers the ride height slightly. The Premium Plus and Prestige can also add 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires.
The Premium comes standard with several features (like leather and a panoramic sunroof) that usually cost extra in the entry-level luxury class. That makes it the value leader of the line in our book. Another bargain is the nifty Sport package, which adds just $900—or a mere $250 if you just want the sportier suspension.