Matthew Keegan
Contributing Editor - September 5, 2017

Expert Rating

4.0 (Excellent)
24 City / 32 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2018 Audi A3 OVERVIEW

The 2018 Audi A3 is the smallest and least costly model the brand's lineup, available in three body styles and offering a potent 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. But its tiny rear seat and trunk may be deal breakers for some, with the A4 and Q5 serving as better options.

What's New for 2018

Minor equipment changes mark the 2018 A3; the current-generation model is now in its fourth year. All models now have heated front seats and two USB ports. Blind-spot monitoring is standard with the mid-trim Premium Plus.

Audi A3

Choosing Your Audi A3

Audi offers the 2018 A3 in three grades: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The sedan and the soft-top convertible models have standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. Sedan cargo space comes in at 12.3 cubic feet, but the convertible is much slimmer, measuring just 9.9 cubic feet.

The A3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, regardless of body style or trim. In front-wheel drive models, this engine produces 186 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. In models equipped with Quattro all-wheel drive, Audi boosts output to 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive models have a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while all-wheel drive models lose a cog and have a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel drive adds $3,000 to each grade in the sedan and the convertible.

Most options come within specific grades, but there are notable exceptions. For example, the A3 Premium sedan has $900 Convenience (keyless entry and start, Audi music interface, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto) and $650 Sport (sport front seats, Audi drive select, and a sport steering wheel with shift paddles) packages, and charges $500 for heated front seats, $350 for rear side airbags, and $250 for a sporty suspension.

Premium Plus models offer a $3,000 Technology Package (Audi Connect, navigation, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a Audi Virtual Cockpit) a $1,050 LED Lighting Package (LED headlights and taillights), and a $950 Bang and Olufsen sound system. Similar package choices come with the convertible.

Audi also offers an A3 E-Tron Sportback that adds a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a versatile five-door body. This model is listed separately.


The standard A3 Premium sedan costs $32,175 (including a $975 destination charge). This grade includes xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, a 10-speaker audio system, two USB ports, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and a basic collision preparation system. The collision preparation system detects when a collision is likely, by automatically tightening seatbelts, raising windows, and closing the sunroof. It also aids in braking control when a collision is imminent.

Cabriolet models in the standard trim start at $38,575.

Premium Plus

Starting at $35,425, the A3 Premium Plus adds LED tail lights with rear fog lights, dual exhaust outlets, and S Line exterior appearance trim. This model also has 12-way power-operated and heated front seats, a smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, and a rear-view camera that includes front and rear parking sensors.

Cabriolet models in the Premium Plus trim start at $41,825.


With a beginning price of $41,125, the A3 Prestige includes power-folding side mirrors, navigation, and a 14-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system. Audi Virtual Cockpit – available on the Premium Plus – now comes standard, replacing the standard instrument cluster with a versatile, reconfigurable 12.3-inch display. Driver assist features include adaptive cruise control with stop/go functionality and lane-keeping assist.

Cabriolet models in the Prestige trim start at $47,475.

CarsDirect Tip

Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive system is hard to pass up, a $3,000 option that adds more sure-footed handling and extra power. We'd strongly recommend adding Audi Virtual Cockpit, but you can probably get by without going for the whole-hog Prestige.

Get your price on an Audi A3 »

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