2017 Audi A3 Sedan

Pros: Nimble, sporty handling with decent ride quality; upscale (if understated) cabin; available all-wheel drive; peppy acceleration

Cons: Limited passenger and cargo room; some drivers dislike Audi MMI infotainment system; premium-grade gasoline is required

CG Says: Audi A3 has revised styling, along with new safety and technology features for 2017. Audi pre-sense automatic front braking is now standard. Newly available features include: active lane assist; Audi’s virtual cockpit instrument and information display; and Audi connect with Wi-Fi hotspot. The A3 is available in 4-door-sedan or 2-door-convertible form. The S3 comes only as a sedan, and the e-Tron Sportback is available only as a 4-door hatchback. The e-Tron is front-drive only and is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for a total output of 204 horsepower. The e-Tron has an all-electric driving range of up to 17 miles (its electric motor puts out 102 hp on its own). The conventional A3’s engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four which makes 186 horsepower in the front-wheel-drive A3, 220 hp in all-wheel-drive A3 quattro, and 292 hp in the S3. The front-wheel-drive A3 has a new 7-speed automated manual transmission, while all-wheel-drive A3 and S3 have a 6-speed automated manual transmission. Both transmissions work much like an automatic. The A3 significantly undercuts the base prices of Audi larger A4 compact lineup and offers a similarly invigorating driving personality, albeit in a smaller, slightly less versatile package. If you can live with the cozy passenger- and cargo room, the A3 is an excellent premium compact. The S3 offers even zippier performance, but at a fairly steep price premium. The e-Tron Sportback offers the cargo-versatility benefits of a hatchback body style (which we hope Audi eventually sees fit to offer on the rest of the A3 line) and superior efficiency for a reasonable price premium and only minor sacrifices in all-around performance.

The Facts
Class Premium Compact Car
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan, 2-door convertible, 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5, 4
Drive Wheels front or all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Audi
Nation of Manufacture Germany, Hungary
Base Prices 2.0T Sedan: $31,200
AWD 2.0T Sedan: $34,200
2.0T Cabriolet: $37,600
AWD 2.0T Cabriolet: $40,300
AWD S3 Sedan: $42,900
e-Tron Sportback: $38,900

Base Engine
2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (A3)
Horsepower
186 (220 with all-wheel drive)
Std. Transmission
7-speed automated manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automated manual
EPA City Range (mpg)
24-26
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
30-35

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (S3)
Horsepower
292 total
Std. Transmission
6-speed automated manual
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
21
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
28

Optional Engine
turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder/electric (e-Tron)
Horsepower
204 total
Std. Transmission
6-speed automated manual
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA Combined Range (mpg)
34
EPA Combined Range (MPGe)
83

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2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet
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2017 Audi S3 Sedan
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2017 Audi A3 e-Tron Sportback