Audi A3 2017 on test (2023)

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roberto margaret

00:11November 16, 2016


Audi's A3 has long been the segment leader in its class. With an extended range and a refresh update that's more than skin deep, can the A3 retain its place at the top of the pecking order?

what we love
  • The new 1.0 three-cylinder will definitely attract new buyers to the brand
  • The new 2.0-liter engine is responsive and wants to be satisfied
  • The new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is a joy to work with.
  • improved standard equipment and the beautiful minimalist interior
what we don't do
  • Surprisingly intrusive street noise
  • The upholstery of the seats was considered inadequate
  • no standard CD player (but really, who listens to CDs these days?)
Audi A3 2017 on test (11)

Somewhere in Ingolstadt there's an Audi product planner who probably has an "Employee of the Month" badge on his desk in one of the hundreds of cubicles that no doubt make up Audi product planning. This product planner invented a new segment for cars as early as 1996: the "Premium A", a segment that Audi has dominated ever since with its A3 model.

for three generations,audi a3It became the brand's go-to car for buyers who want the luxury of a German-built car without the high price tag. Of courseaudi a1It's smaller and more affordable, but its microcar size appeals to a smaller demographic, allowing the A3 to maintain its position as the volume seller for the business. And Australia hasn't been immune to the lure of affordable luxury, with the top three cars in the $40,000-plus subcompact category coming from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In fact, the Audi A3 is the brand's best-selling model in Australia.

introduce theAudi A3 2017, supposedly a facelift from the previous generation, but also introducing a new entry-level model in an expanded lineup. The new Audi A3 range was unveiled to local media in Melbourne last week, and judging by first impressions, potential buyers are spoiled for choice.

With three body styles and three engine options to mix and match across the lineup, potential buyers have 10 variants to choose from. And leading the way is the new entry-level A3 1.0 TFSI Sportback, which will arrive in dealerships this week with elevated prices that could attract even more buyers to an already competitive segment.

Starting at just $35,900 plus road costs, the1,0 TFSIIt features Audi's first three-cylinder engine mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, delivering 85 kW and 200 Nm of torque while consuming 4.8 l/100 km of fuel. As there is unfortunately only one car available for testing,car tipsunfortunately I couldn't get behind the wheel, but you can read our first impressions of the carinternational starts here.

With the 1.0 TFSI being as popular as the office lollipop (which it is), we settled for a bit of drive time on two higher-spec variants from the A3 range.

First we handle themA3 1.4 TFSI BACALAO Sportback, and our first impression was good. With a 1.4 turbo four-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 110 kW and 250 Nm between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm, the old two-cylinder A3 is a confident little car. In pursuit of efficiency, the four-cylinder engine shuts down the second and third cylinders under certain conditions, allowing it to get the job done with just two pots.

Basically, the Cylinder on Demand (COD) system deactivates both cylinders at torque loads up to 100Nm and at deceleration, as long as the engine speed is between 1400 and 4000rpm. This technology certainly helps the 1.4 TFSI to achieve the advertised fuel consumption of 5.0l/100km, although we did see a figure of 6.8l/100km during a fast drive on some of the most attractive roads in Yarra. Valley.

I tried to recognize how intrusive the COD system is and so tried to steer towards the parameters that would trigger the active cylinders to drop. There wasn't a noticeable difference in the slowdown experience, though I did notice a slight delay in acceleration when the two idle potentiometers came back up. But it is by no means a deal breaker.

The seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the front wheels is completely new to this range, and Audi has designed the gear ratios to work more efficiently. Short, low range ratios will get the car up to third quickly, while higher ratios are longer and offer more oomph when acceleration is needed. The lower gears are ideal for city driving, as they keep revs low and fuel consumption is minimal.

If you like to work the gears while revving the engine, you can override the standard ratio setting using the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters that are standard on this model.

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Audi A3 2017 on test (12)

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Regardless of your driving style, the 1.4 TFSI sits confidently on the road and handles potholes and small potholes with ease. That the car calms down well after hitting potholes and rolling the body around turns, let's say, excited, it is noticeable, but it is acceptable. One minor complaint, however, is road noise in the cabin, especially with the 18-inch alloy wheels, sported by our tester. It's far from noisy, but it's a bit noisier than comparable models we've driven, and it does detract from the cabin ambiance a bit.

A shame, because the newly designed interior of the A3 series is a statement in terms of minimalism. From the uncluttered center console to the easily accessible instrument panel cleverly integrated into the dash, the interior offers an understated, premium feel. A simple rotary dial cycles through the infotainment functions and it's reasonably intuitive to use.

Plus, there's a sometimes frustrating feature where you can enter your navigation options, such as your destination, simply by typing your finger across the top of the dial, similar to a mouse pad. My first attempt at typing "Airport" ended with the A3's navigation system trying to send me to Airlie Beach. However, I suspect this has more to do with my pathetically inadequate handwriting, at best, than an inherent flaw in the system.

The seats in the A3 are good, if not amazing. Our test car featured leather seating, with a leather-trimmed Alcantara seat and back. They are comfortable with a decent attendance, although a lack of attendance was noted in some eager corners.

The Audi A3 1.4 TFSI COD S tronic starts at $39,900 plus road cost, though our test car came with Tango Red metallic paint (a $1,150 option) and the Styling Package ($2,400) including headlamps including lights LED taillights with dynamic turn signals (a clean evolution), 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension, and Titanium Gray-painted interior trim.

Our tester also touted the Technology Package ($2,900) which adds MMI plus navigation, Audi Virtual Cockpit, a flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel and paddle shifters, while the Audi sound system adds another $500 to the results. Step out of the Audi sound system and your music needs are taken care of via Bluetooth streaming via an eight-speaker MMI audio system or, if you still use those things, a CD player cleverly tucked away in the glove box.

Overall, the added options brought our test car to $46,850 plus highway, at which point buyers might want to consider the more powerful one.A3 2.0 TFSI quattroS tronic sedan, starting at $51,100 plus travel.

We tested the 2.0 TFSI sedan at Audi's Yarra Valley test track and found it to be just as attractive as its smaller 1.4-litre brother. This new turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine replaces the previous 1.8-litre engine and offers more power and torque (140 kW and 320 Nm between 1,500 and 4,200 rpm) than its smaller A3/h equivalents with only 6.2 seconds. while consuming only 6.1 l/100 km of 98 RON fuel. We saw 7.7L/100km on our test track, which mixed urban and country driving.

The seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox offers an engaging driving experience, especially when using the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, which allow you to extend the revs beyond the range of the slightly roaring 2.0-litre turbo. But even on its own, most of the time the S tronic transmission knew exactly what was being asked of it. During our time behind the wheel and navigating a twisty, hilly 10km route, it never left me wanting, instead offering the perfect ratio for each specific stretch of road. To be honest with myself, he probably knew better than I what equipment would work optimally.

With its sportier claim, the 2.0 TFSI offered a successful handling package without coming across as overzealous. The suspension (separate front and rear four-link spring/shock absorber), together with Audi's excellent permanent all-wheel drive system, once again offers the best of both worlds, remaining soft and supple on smoother urban roads, ensuring that the car keep its wheels steady. planted in our most dynamic rural circuit.

Road noise remained an issue, albeit a minor one, but again it was enough to spoil the ambiance of the beautifully designed cabin, which came with the S-Line Sport package (a $4,200 option).

In fact, our tester came with several option packages that brought the price up to $62,650 (plus highway). Our Tango Red metallic paint finish is a $1,150 option, while the Assist Package adds adaptive cruise control that includes Audi Pre-Sense, Active Lane Assist, Side Assist, High Beam Assist, and Hill Start Assist ($1,500). Gloss black exterior trim is $900, while matte brushed aluminum inlays on the interior are another $500. Again, the Audi sound system is an extra $500.

The S-Line Sport Package is the biggest option ticket for this reviewer and is worth every penny of its $4,200, S-Line exterior accents, S-Line Sport Interior Package, Alcantara/leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy sport suspension, and leather upholstery adds a flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters. Our test vehicle was also equipped with the technology package described above for another $2,900.

Audi offers a three-year unlimited-mileage warranty on the entire A3 range, with service intervals and costs varying from model to model. We will definitely explain this in detail as we go through the entire tipsgarage in the coming weeks and months.

We scored a lot with the new A3 seriesAfter its international launch earlier this year and having tested part of the range in Australian conditions, I see no reason to adjust this rating. The A3 is a safe car that offers premium German quality and an immersive driving experience at a relatively affordable price. It's the segment leader in Australia and this new update should ensure it retains its place at the top of the pecking order.

And somewhere in Ingolstadt, an Audi product planner will look back with pride at the "Employee of the Month" badge in recognition of good work.

FURTHER:2017 Audi S3 Review
FURTHER:A3 news, reviews, comparisons and videos

FURTHER:all Audi news and test reports

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general evaluation

unit choice

Audi A3 Sportback 2017

8,0/ 10

8,0/ 10

Classification details

Audi A3 Sportback 2017


driving quality
Audi A3 Sportback 2017


driver technology
Audi A3 Sportback 2017


Interior comfort and packaging
Audi A3 Sportback 2017


Audi A3 Sportback 2017


Our reviews explained

roberto margaret

resource editor

Audi A3 2017 on test (80)Audi A3 2017 on test (81)

Rob Margeit has been an automotive journalist for over 20 years, covering both motorsports and the automotive industry. Rob joined CarAdvice in 2016 after a long career with Australian Consolidated Press. Rob reports on automotive news and analysis, as well as writing in-depth articles on historically important automobiles and automakers. He also loves discovering dark models and researching their origins and history.

Read more about Rob Margeit


How reliable is a 2017 Audi A3? ›

The 2017 Audi A3 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Is the Audi A3 a reliable car? ›

The 2023 Audi A3 has a predicted reliability score of 77 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average and 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.

Is it worth it to buy an Audi A3? ›

The Audi A3 is the lowest-priced car in Audi's lineup. Redesigned for the 2022 model year, it's also one of the newest. With attractive styling and good driving dynamics, it certainly plays the part of an Audi.

Is Audi A3 a fast car? ›

Quick Off the Line. Powered by a 201-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the A3 is quick to respond from a standstill, with plenty of grunt at lower speeds. Some of that eagerness is lost, however, once the A3 gets up to cruising speed.

Do Audi A3 hold their value? ›

The Audi A3, achieves 43% of its value at five years – which is a little below average – however, it holds to 31% at ten years, which is a very strong level.

Is Audi A3 engine good? ›

Best Audi A3 Sportback engine

Despite the availability of fuel-sipping diesels and high-tech plug-in hybrids, the best engine in the Audi A3 range is the straightforward 1.5-litre petrol one found in the 35 TFSI models, as even this is pretty good at the fuel pumps, offering claimed fuel consumption of nearly 50mpg.

Are Audi A3 expensive to repair? ›

That makes the average annual Audi repair cost comparatively high. That's partly down to the fact that they are luxury cars using speciality parts. It's exactly the high quality of these parts that make Audi parts more expensive than other makes.

Does Audi A3 need premium gas? ›

Any Audi equipped with an auto turbocharger needs to be fueled by Premium gas. However, there are some exceptions as some models like the TT are naturally aspirated and therefore require regular gasoline.

How long does a timing belt last on a Audi A3? ›

It is recommended that you change your cambelt every 40,000-60,000 miles. Alternatively, your handbook should tell you the suggested mileage from the manufacturer that you should change your cambelt.

Should I buy a second hand Audi A3? ›

The Audi A3 is a car we recommend to buy new, so we can recommend it on the used market, too. It's one of our favourite premium hatchbacks and, while it costs more to buy than some of its rivals, it looks great, is practical, is cheap to run and should prove pretty reliable, while its premium image will appeal to many.

What to look out for when buying an Audi A3? ›

Looking for an upmarket used car choice? Audi is a stylish brand, and the A3 offers a great image and sophisticated interior.
Exterior checks
  1. Rust (don't forget to check the underbody)
  2. Dents and scratches.
  3. Check windshield for chips or cracks.
  4. Tyre tread depth and wear.
  5. Panel gaps.
  6. Misaligned bodywork or mismatched paint.
Feb 4, 2022

What is Audi A3 comparable to? ›

Mercedes A Class

If you're looking for a similar comparison luxury-wise, Mercedes is a strong contender. Much like the A3, this model has striking looks that give a subtle sporty and luxurious elegance. In the cabin area, a similar aesthetic goes up against the Audi for a classy appeal.

Is the Audi A3 a smooth ride? ›

Driving the 2022 Audi A3 is a delight. The sedan's compact footprint combines with its willing suspension to deliver complete control while maintaining a comfortable ride. With Quattro AWD, traction and feel for the road are excellent.

What is the cheapest Audi A3? ›

The least-expensive 2023 Audi A3 is the 2023 Audi A3 Premium 4dr Sedan w/40 TFSI (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric mild hybrid 7AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $34,900.

Is Audi A3 quiet? ›

2022 Audi A3 & S3 First Drive Review: The Smallest Audi is a Lotta Car. Quiet, comfortable, fleet-footed and efficient, Audi's redesigned entry-level model is a winner—especially in 306-horsepower S3 form.

Why was the Audi A3 discontinued? ›

This fourth-generation Audi A3 is expected to stick around until 2027 but from then on the automotive climate may have dictated the direction in which it goes. We already know that the last ICE model introduction will happen in 2025. This could mark the transition to a full-electric design for the A3 model range.

What car brand loses the most value? ›

Vehicles that Depreciate the Most
Top 10 Vehicles With the Highest Depreciation – iSeeCars Study
RankVehicleAverage 5-Year Depreciation
1Nissan LEAF65.1%
2BMW i363.1%
3BMW 7 Series61.5%
8 more rows
Oct 30, 2021

How much is an A3 Audi worth? ›

2023 Audi A3 Pricing

Adding the quattro all-wheel-drive system is another $2,000. The more powerful 2023 S3 comes in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims, priced from $45,900 to $52,800. The RS 3 is an individual model starting at around $60K. With options, this top version could end up above $65K.

Which is the most reliable Audi A3? ›

For seven years, the third-generation A3 was an ideal compact hatchback (or small sedan) in the new and used vehicle market. This premium hatchback featured efficient engines, an impressively balanced chassis, a classy interior, and the latest gadgets. Also, it's the most reliable Audi you can buy.

Is Audi A3 engine is the same as VW Golf? ›

Performance and price

Kicking off the engine ranges in the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf are 1.0-litre petrol units. The good news is that they're adequate too, with a 110bhp and average 50mpg combined fuel economy meaning it's punchy and economical.

Which fuel is best Audi A3? ›

Why You Should Use Premium Gas in Your Audi Even if It's Not a Requirement. It's important to follow the recommended octane guidelines for your vehicle. With the appropriate octane rating, you can prevent damage to the engine and support optimum performance and efficiency.

What is the common problem with Audi A3? ›

However, while Audis are known for being high-quality machines, the A3 isn't perfect, and is known to suffer a few common problems. These include noisy front suspension, a grinding sound from the steering and air-conditioning that is prone to the odd failure.

What is cheaper to fix Audi or Mercedes? ›

Audi maintenance cost: Mercedes-Benz vehicles cost $12,900 to maintain, $500 more than Audi. Lexus vs. Audi maintenance cost: Lexus vehicles cost $7,000 to maintain, $5,400 less than Audi. Lexus is generally considered the least expensive luxury car to maintain.

Which is cheaper to fix BMW or Audi? ›

BMW models do tend to need oil changes more frequently, but this also depends on how you drive the car. When it comes to suspension and steering, Audi tends to be cheaper. However, Audi tends to be more costly for repairs to your gearbox. In general, Audi and BMW cars are somewhat more expensive cars to maintain.

Can I put 89 gas in my Audi A3? ›

A high-compression engine like the one found in the A3 requires premium gas to prevent engine knocking, as well as increase fuel efficiency.

How often do Audis need oil changes? ›

An oil change is one of the most dominant and basic services for your car. Rather than an oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles, Audi typically recommends getting your 2020 Audi A4 oil changed every 10,000 miles or once a year.

Can I put 89 gas in Audi? ›

Audi "recommends" using 91 octane gas but "requires" using no less than 87 octane.

Is a 2017 Audi reliable? ›

The 2017 Audi A4 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average for the industry.

Are Audi a3s reliable cars? ›

Audi A3 reliability

The A3 came 59th out of the top 75 models in our latest Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, with a below average score for reliability. Unsurprisingly, owners were most impressed with its build quality, practicality and its engine and gearbox.

Is the 2017 Audi S3 reliable? ›

This car looks great, has been pretty reliable and I have 45k miles on it now. Love the acceleration with very little turbo lag (mostly drive in sport mode - you will feel lag in comfort mode) B&O stereo has excellent sound.

Is it smart to buy a used Audi? ›

A used Audi will naturally have more miles and more wear and tear than a new vehicle. This means that it will likely need more expensive repairs sooner than a new vehicle of another make. However, you can mitigate these costs by choosing a Certified Pre-Owned Audi with its extended warranties.

Is Audi more reliable than BMW? ›

BMW often edges out Audi in handling, with their cars designed to offer the “ultimate driving experience.” Audi cars are slightly less agile than BMW because their overall stiffer suspension systems maximize a smooth, comfortable ride. For reliability, BMW consistently ranks higher.

Is BMW reliable than Audi? ›

For all new cars, Audi warranty lasts 3 years / 60,000 mile to put your mind at ease for a while. BMW has the edge when it comes to their reliability rating - but only just. They took 31st place (rolls off the tongue, eh?). Owners complain about electric problems, oil leaks and cooling system problems.


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