Impressive safety. The 2020 Audi A3 earned good crash test scores from both the IIHS and NHTSA. In the IIHS’ testing, the A3 did well enough to be named a Top Safety Pick, but only in Premium Plus trim with its LED headlights. The NHTSA gave the A3 a five-star overall safety rating.
The A3 also comes standard with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and Audi Pre Sense Basic, which prepares the vehicle for a collision by shutting the windows and sunroof, tightening the seat belts, and activating the hazard lights.
Peppy performance. There are two available engines for the A3. The base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque and comes with front-wheel drive.
All-wheel drive and S Line A3 models have a more powerful version of the four-cylinder that produces 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Opt for the base engine and the A3 gets excellent fuel economy. The EPA rates the vehicle at up to 30 miles per gallon combined. Adding all-wheel drive and the more powerful engine into the equation lowers fuel economy to 25 mpg combined.
Well-equipped base trim. With a starting price tag of $34,295, the base A3 Premium trim comes well equipped. Standard features include a 7-inch display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 10-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, xenon headlights, and LED taillights.
Stepping up to the Premium Plus brings even more high-end features, including a 14-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, full LED headlights, and wireless smartphone charging. Even that trim, which starts at $37,295, represents good value.
Tight on space. With its subcompact footprint, the A3 has a cozy cabin. Things are tight on the inside and the rear seats are usable, but not by tall passengers. The tight interior translates over to the trunk, too, where the sedan only offers 12 cubic feet of space. AWD models have even smaller trunks with just 10 cubic feet of cargo space.
While the A3 doesn’t have a lot of space, the model does come with high-end materials that are surprising to see for the class. The soft-touch surfaces, upscale trim pieces, and leather upholstery are fantastic.
Final thoughts. Despite its age, the 2020 Audi A3 continues to be a well-rounded option in the compact luxury segment. It’s handsome, and has a good list of standard equipment, lively engines, and great crash test scores. For consumers looking to get luxury on a budget, the A3 fits the bill.
If Audi could improve the amount of interior space, especially in the rear seats, the vehicle would be more impressive. The A3’s tiny trunk might be a no-go for a lot of consumers, too.
There are more competitors than ever, as more brands have started to expand their lineups with smaller options. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has a more upscale interior, more high-tech features, and is much newer. The A3, though, has more powerful engines.
BMW recently introduced the all-new 2-Series Gran Coupe. That model has a more powerful standard engine, more available tech features, and more space in the rear seats.
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