2023 Audi A3 - Review by Larry Nutson
2023 Audi A3 Review
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
THE AUTO CHANNEL
Audi took a break for 2021 with its A3 sedan. But, the A3 is back. It returned for 2022 with a redesign that was a bit overdue but is now in harmony with its sibling A6 and A8 models.
The A3 is Audi’s entry-level model for the brand. The redesign brings a new architecture with a wider and bolder stance and a larger platform, new exterior styling, an all-new interior, a revised engine program, plus the addition of more technology.
The A3 is a subcompact. And, nicely so. I think it’s a great car for a single adult or a young couple. There’s plenty of room for two up front. With four doors, the rear seat area is convenient to access. And the trunk, although smallish, is perfect for a weekend road trip.
There are three very distinct models based in the A3 platform. Along with the A3, there are S3 and RS3 models.
The A3, the subject of this drive report, is powered by a 201-HP turbocharged 2.0-L 4-cylinder. The engine is augmented by a standard 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) system, a first for the model. The MHEV allows the A3 to automatically coast with the engine temporarily shut off in many driving situations.
The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission controlled by a toggle shifter. There’s a choice of either front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive. Both drive set-ups provide quick acceleration. It takes only 6.3 seconds for the A3 quattro to reach 60 mph from a stop. The front-drive A3 hits 60 mph in 6.6 seconds.
The A3 quattro has EPA-estimated ratings of 28 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined. The front-wheel drive model has EPA-estimated ratings of 29 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined.
The cabin now has a bit more room. Cabin materials are rich and high quality. The A3 has Audi’s most current in-car tech. The navigation system works well, with a map that can also be displayed in the instrument cluster. There’s an available head-up display. Bluetooth Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a wireless charging pad keep you connected.
The A3 is available with a complete contingent of collision warning, collision intervention, and driving control assistance features.
For this report my driving experience was with a 2022 A3 quattro equipped with the Premium Plus package. The 2023 model is technically the same. The base price for this 2022 model is $35,900 with the Premium Plus package adding $3,300. (2023 pricing is noted later in this report.) Glacier White metallic ($595), Black optic sport package that includes sport suspension ($850), 18-inch wheels with all-season tires ($800) plus the $1,045 destination charge brought the total to $42,490.
The compactness of the A3 at 176.9 inches long make it very maneuverable, easy to park, and nimble on its feet. Handling, especially with quattro is sporty and confident. The overall ride is comfortable and refined. Progressive steering is accurate and yet light.
There’s plenty of room up front. The leather upholstery is plush. The A3 has real buttons for HVAC control. Some controls are in the touchscreen but they’re intuitive and easy to use.
Following the introduction of the all-new A3 family for the 2022 model year, the 2023 A3 and S3 models see changes to trim levels and standard equipment. Full LED headlights and stitched door armrests in leatherette are now standard for the 2023 A3. The A3’s Premium Plus trim receives the addition of the LED interior lighting plus package, as well as an Agate gray fine grain birch wood inlay.
Adaptive cruise control is made available through Function on Demand as a one-time purchase for both A3 and S3 models in the base Premium trim. For the A3, the 18-inch 5-Y-spoke design wheels with bi-color finish and all-season tires are now included in the Black optic sport package. And finally, a wireless phone charging pad has been added to the Convenience package for both the A3 and S3.
2023 A3 base pricing is $35,400 for Premium trim and $38,800 for Premium Plus trim. A3 quattro is priced $2,000 higher for each trim. More details on the 2023 Audi A3 can be found at www.audiusa.com.
If you want something more sporty the S3 has a 306-HP 2.0-L 4-cylinder. Then there’s the high-performance RS3 with a 401-HP 2.5-liter 5-cylinder. Both use the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic and are equipped with quattro all-wheel drive.
The Future is electric! Meanwhile, happy motoring!
© 2022 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy