The 2018 Audi A3 comes across as something you would expect in an Audi, albeit in a compact and tidy package. Available in both the sedan and convertible body types, this entry-level sedan from the German automaker has carved a niche for itself. It is priced between $31,950 and $43,700, and is available in 3 trims namely Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. A 2.0 liter I-4 engine is standard, which is available in 2 power delivery options. While Premium and Premium Plus have FWD configuration, Prestige trim gets an option of AWD. The question is, it any better than its rivals? Read ahead to find out.
-> Perfect combination of composed ride and sporty handling
-> Engine refinement
-> Stylish and Sporty interior
-> Limited rear seat space
-> Small trunk limits practicality, more so in AWD
The A3 is often termed as baby version of A6, solely because of exterior appearances. The front end is typical Audi-ish, thanks to the family design language. The side gets subtle character lines, and the car looks a bit larger in person as compared to pictures, and the 18” rims give the car a very planted stance.The rear is elegant to look at. Overall, the exterior design is likeable and feels timeless, giving a sense that the car will age well.
Just like the exterior design, interior design too, is minimalist. The all-black cabin adds sporty character to this sedan, with a well laid out dashboard. The seats are firm and supportive, and that coupled with good all-round visibility ensures maneuvering this car isn’t tiresome. The major reason to complain however, is the lack of space in the rear bench. It isn’t very tight, but isn’t accommodating either, and seating 3 passengers abreast is going to be challenging. The large windows and massive panoramic sunroof lets a lot of light enter the cabin and prevents things from getting claustrophobic. All in all, the interior are sporty and apart from limited space in the rear, there isn’t much to complain.
Considering the 2018 Audi A3 review the car is powered by a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine, which is available in two power options. The FWD variants get 186 hp tune, which develops 221 lb.-ft. of torque, which is paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The top of the line Prestige trim with AWD get 220 hp tune, which produces 258 lb.-ft. of torque, and is paired with a 6 speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Power delivery is smooth and linear, with gearbox offering lightning fast shifts. The engine and gearbox combo is known for offering plenty of power with good efficiency. The motor offers a lot of grunt, and will keep most of the enthusiasts shopping in this segment happy. What’s impressive though is the way this car handles. The well calibrated steering and superb engineering, the car is a very capable handler by its segment standards, and the well-tuned suspension is very confidence inspiring. Braking performance is on par with rivals, the only gripe is the spongy brake pedal which lacks initial bite. With such superb dynamics, the car delivers a combined fuel efficiency of 28 mpg, which is really impressive considering the power that is on offer here.
The Audi A3 received a 5-star rating from NHTSA, which acts as a major booster for someone who is looking for performance and safety in this segment. Standard safety features include multiple airbags, a rearview camera and Xenon headlights. Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and lane keep control
For someone who’s looking for performance and safety with top-notch features, the Audi A3 is a worthy contender. It is agile, competent, handles well, rides well and offers lots of safety tech. Surely, the limited trunk space and lack of rear bench space is disappointing, but with its supreme power and ride and handling balance, Audi A3 manages to cleverly mask them.