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- Highs Modernized interior, enjoyable handling, fantastic fuel economy.
- Lows Not as powerful as the previous generation, S3 drives even better, goofy toggle shift lever.
- Verdict The remodeled A3 brings new and more upscale touches to its entry-luxury package and retains the fun-loving character we appreciated in the last version.
The well-respected last-generation A3 sedan has been replaced by an all-new 2022 model which has been modernized in every fashion but retains the fun-to-drive nature that endeared us to the previous model. German rivals such as the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe and the Mercedes-Benz A-class are fueling consumers' appetites for small, premium sedans so it's no wonder Audi is doubling down on its compact car and giving it a richer interior, advanced technology, and razor-sharp looks. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine is standard, all-wheel drive is optional, and a host of driver-assistance features are on hand, which make the A3 a desirable choice and one of our 2022 Editors' Choice picks.
What's New for 2022?
After skipping the 2021 model year, Audi's entry-level car is all-new for 2022 and features sharper styling and modernized interior tech. The A3 will be sold exclusively in sedan form in North America, while the hatchback Sportback model will be sold in Europe and other global markets.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The A3 is offered in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims like that of other Audis currently on sale. We recommend the mid-range Premium Plus model, which offers the best mix of features and price. Going with the Premium Plus adds niceties such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, memory settings for the driver, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and passive keyless entry.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Even though European models offer a variety of powertrains, the A3 that's earmarked for North America is powered by a 201-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 48-volt hybrid system; the powertrain is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. Audi has mentioned a plug-in hybrid model, probably sporting the e-tron name, may be made available later on. On a brief test drive of the new model, we were happy to find that the playful handling that made the last generation model so entertaining was preserved in the makeover. The turbocharged four-cylinder feels perky and eager, even if its horsepower rating isn't as high as the outgoing car's optional 228-hp powerplant. Those who want more power should consider the also-new S3, which we review separately. When we get a chance to take the A3 to our test track, we'll update this story with test results.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates that the 2022 A3 should deliver 29 mpg city and 38 mpg highway when equipped with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive models are rated for 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. When we get the chance to put the new A3 through our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route we'll update this story with results. For more information about the A3's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside the 2022 A3, Audi's designers have taken the more staid styling of the larger A4 sedan and dialed in more personality. Two large air vents flank the car's gauge display, and a stitched panel lines the top of the dashboard. The available sport seats feature faux-suede upholstery and quilted seating surfaces. Small-car cargo space isn't usually particularly generous but we're expecting the A3's trunk to provide enough space for an average grocery-store haul or a weekend's worth of luggage for road tripping.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The A3 features a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen on all models. Mercifully, the A3 forgoes the brand's new dual-screen setup that makes climate controls and vehicle driving-mode switches a digital affair. Instead, those secondary controls are handled here by good old-fashioned buttons. A 10.3-inch digital gauge display is also standard but can be upgraded to a larger 12.3-inch unit as part of the Technology package on the Premium Plus trim and is automatically included if you choose the Prestige model. This reconfigurable screen is a popular feature across the rest of the Audi lineup and can display a large map in the center of the instrument cluster as well as other vehicle information, along with standard gauges for speed and rpm.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Driver-assistance technology is featured heavily on the new A3, with basics such as automated emergency braking being standard and more advanced tech coming with option packages. For more information about the A3's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi's standard warranty package is nothing special and both its limited and powertrain warranties match those offered by BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Rivals such as the Cadillac CT4 will offer more value here with longer powertrain coverage; the BMW 2-series offers three years or 36,000 miles of complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2022 Audi A3
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 201 hp, 221 lb-ft
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Wheelbase: 103.5–103.6 in
Length: 176.9–177.3 in
Width: 71.5 in
Height: 55.7–56.2 in
Passenger Volume: 88 ft3
Trunk Volume: 8–11 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 3350–3550 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 6.2 sec
100 mph: 15.0 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.7 sec
Top Speed: 130 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 32/29/38 mpg