2020 Audi A3

#3
in Sedans
2020 MODEL
$33,300 - $36,500
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2020 Audi A3 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Swapnil Kulshrestha's image

Swapnil Kulshrestha Content Writer Updated on: November 23, 2019


Not all good things are expensive, and the Audi A3 sedan strands strong upon this fact. Being the cheapest Audi available in the states, the A3 might be perceived as a compromise on fineness for the sake of the brand name. However, one look at the cabin, and you’ll be introduced to the automaker’s biggest feat of keeping the A3 a budget yet a plush set of wheels. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Punchy Turbo Engine

Canonical Handling and Effortless Ride Quality

Enhanced Features on the Standard Trim 

Solid Build Quality

Cons

Cramped Up Rear Seats

Poor Boot Capacity

What's New?

Titanium and Prestige trim option no longer available for the A3 sedan

Interior storage package now a standard feature 

Sportier flat-bottom steering wheel


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$33300

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu.in.

horsepower

184 hp @ 4300 rpm

torque

221 lbs.-ft. @ 1600 rpm

transmission

7 speed auto shift manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

61.2/60.1

dimensions

wheelbase

103.8 in.

length

175.5 in.

width

70.7 in.

height

55.7 in.

curb weight

3197 lbs.

capacity

cargo volume

10 cu ft.

payload capacity

1102 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.1 sec.

zero to 100 mph

7.5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.5 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

27//36 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr. / unlimited


Pictures

Exterior
 2020 Audi A3 3 Quarter View  2020 Audi A3 Tail Lights  2020 Audi A3 Left Side View  2020 Audi A3 Front View  2020 Audi A3 3 Quarter View
Interior
 2020 Audi A3 Cargo Area  2020 Audi A3 Center Console  2020 Audi A3 Rear Seats  2020 Audi A3 Cockpit Area  2020 Audi A3 Rear Seats

Styles

 2020 Audi A3 in Brilliant Black color  2020 Audi A3 in Cosmos Blue Metallic color  2020 Audi A3 in Florett Silver Metallic color  2020 Audi A3 in Glacier White Metallic color
Brilliant Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Interior

9.0

8.7

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2020 Audi A3 Premium

Premium

power
184hp @ 4300 rpm
fuel
Gasoline
mpg
29 combined

$33,300


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2.0T Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 7AM) Starting at $33,300 MSRP (26/29/35) 184hp @ 4300 rpm, 2 L, I-4, Gasoline
7-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual front wheel drive 5

 2020 Audi A3 S Line Premium

S Line Premium

power
228hp @ 4500 rpm
fuel
Gasoline
mpg
25 combined

$36,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2.0T S Line Premium quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl 7AM) Starting at $36,500 MSRP (22/25/30) 228hp @ 4500 rpm, 2 L, I-4, Gasoline
7-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.7

Overall Rating


The A3 makes for a strong contender in the sub-compact executive sedan segment and goes against the likes of some seasoned players of the market such as the BMW 230i, and the Mercedes Benz CLA 250.

The Audi A3 sedan boasts a great set of driving dynamics, along with an uptown interior. The ride witnesses some major changes in its trim lineup for the year 2020. Many optional and upper trim features have now been standardized and with that economical price tag, the A3 simply rubs it in the face of its corrivals.

2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan

 
 
 

9.0/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2020 Audi A3 Features

The German-automaker, for the year 2020, has made some major trim lineup alterations for the A3 sedan. All Audi vehicles usually begin the bid with the entry-level Titanium trim and seal the deal with the fully-loaded Prestige variant. However, things have gone split ways for the 2020 Audi A3. The sedan is now on offer in only two trims, which are- Premium, and Premium Plus. These two variants do not carry any difference in their power figures, with both the variants churning out 184 hp, along with 222 lb.-ft. Of torque. The standard equipment has been beefed up for both the variants.

 The S line, which was earlier known as A3 sedan Quattro, gets a powerhouse, tuned to 45 TFSI, as compared to the 40 TFSI on the Non-S variants. The S variants fabricate 228 hp and 258 lb.-ft. Of torque, as compared to the stock power figures of 184 hp, and 222 lb.-ft. Of torque.

Model

2.0T Premium 

2.0T Premium Plus

2.0T S Line Premium

2.0T S Line Premium Plus

MSRP

$33,300

$36,300

$36,500

$39,500

Key Features

40 TFSI

40 TFSI

45 TFSI

45TFSI

 

184 hp; 222 lb.-ft. Of torque

184 hp; 222 lb.-ft. Of torque

228 hp; 258 lb.-ft. Of torque

228 hp; 258 lb.-ft. Of torque

 

Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights

Full LED headlights with all-weather light

High-gloss titanium black exterior finish

Full LED headlights with all-weather light and high beam assist

 

Audi smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto for compatible devices

Audi phone box (wireless charging and signal booster)

Audi Sound system with 10 speakers

Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 speakers and 705 watts

 

Audi advanced key—keyless start, stop and front door & trunk entry

Parking system plus (front and rear acoustic sensors)

S line exterior appearance—front and rear bumpers, body-colored side sills, S line fender badges

Cruise control with coast, resume and accelerate features

 

Audi pre sense front and Audi pre sense basic

Audi side assist with rear cross-traffic assist

Quattro All-Wheel Drive

Ambient LED interior lighting package

 

18" 5-double-spoke design bi-color finish wheels

18" 5-double-spoke design bi-color finish wheels

18" 5-arm-trapezoid design high-gloss black finish wheels

18" 5-arm-trapezoid design high-gloss black finish wheels

Trim to choose?

The 2.0T Premium Plus, with the stock 184 hp and 222 lb.-ft. Of torque, is considered the best deal for your bucks as you get features such as Audi side assist, Parking system plus, and a whole lot of active safety features, along with a number of convenience features. However, in case you do not find the 184 ponies, juicy enough to quench your thirst for the thrill, we recommend you to place your bets on the S Line Premium Plus. The ride generates 228 hp and 258 lb.-ft. Of torque, and offers features such as Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Ambient LED interior lighting package and much more for an additional $3000, over the S Line Premium variant. 

2020 Audi A3 Engine

The A3 sedan is an all-out performer, in whichever semblance you go for. The A3 is procurable in two powertrain options. A 2.0-liter turbo-four is bound to impress you with its stock 40 TFSI (Turbo fuel stratified injection), which fabricates a punchy 184 hp at 4300 rpm, along with 221 lb.-ft. of torque, which kicks in at 1600 rpm. This variant of the A3 delivers all this firepower exclusively to the front wheels. 

Speak of the S Line variants of the A3, and you can expect the adrenaline to shoot through the roof. Encouraged by Audi’s Quattro AWD technology, the S Line variants tune up the 2.0-liter turbo-four engine to 45 TFSI, which results in an increase in the power figures for this ride. The S iteration of the A3 produces 228 hp and 258 lb.-ft. Of torque. 

2020 Audi A3 Sedan Engine

The A3 sedan employs a seven-speed automatic transmission, in both its variants. The transmission arrangement of the ride does a fabulous job in keeping the driver absorbed during those ardent spins. While nailing its task of providing the driver with an intriguing ride, the seven-speed automatic also delivers fast and smooth shifts.

Models

Audi A3 Sedan

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Alfa Romeo Giulia

BMW 230i

MSRP

$33,300

$33,100

$38,195

$35,300

Engine

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L I-4 Intercooled Turbo

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Transmission

7-speed Automatic

7-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Horsepower

184 hp @ 4300 rpm

208 hp @ 5500 rpm

280 hp @ 5200 rpm

248 hp @ 5200 rpm

Torque

221 ft-lbs @ 1600 rpm

258 ft-lbs. @ 1250 rpm

306 lb.-ft. @ 2000-4800 rpm

258 lb.-ft. @ 1450 rpm

The A3 sedan seems like one hell of an underdog in this comparison, the ride gives out the least power when placed against its rivals. The 184 hp, lags much behind the like of the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s 280 hp, and the 230i’s 248 hp. The Mercedes Benz CLA ranks third amongst the competition in terms of power figures with the A3 making a panting chase. 

How fast is the Audi A3?

The Audi A3 presents the driver with impeccable power when shooting off-the-line. The turbo does a fine job, catapulting the ride from one traffic signal to another, faster than most of the other desperate throttlers. However, there is a hint of turbo lag as the ride starts getting pumped up for this sprinting stunt, but it soon dissolves as the A3 gushes forward. 

2020 Audi A3 Sedan side view

The ride takes around 6.1 seconds to attain the 60 MPH mark, in its basic 40 TFSI FWD models. Pin the throttle in the 45 TFSI Quattro AWD S Line models, and the 0-60 sprint time dips to 5.5 seconds.

Model

Audi A3 Sedan

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Alfa Romeo Giulia

BMW 230i

0-60 MPH

6.1 secs

6.3 secs

5.5 secs

5.3 secs

Quarter Mile

14.8 secs

14.9 secs

14.1 secs 

13.9 secs

Engine

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L I-4 Intercooled Turbo

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Coming to this comparison, the A3 may not seem such a major underdog after all. The ride, though, takes a beating from the Giulia, and the 230i, considering the major gap in the power output figures, but it comes out to be faster than the CLA 250, despite the three-pointed star’s greater power figures. However, the S Line variants do hold the power of turning these tables, as they can sprint from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. 

What about the braking performance of the Audi A3?

The A3 Sedan’s braking arrangement drips wet with confidence. The ride offers supreme control when the driver chooses to give the pinned throttle pedal some rest. The A3 stays stable and planted even in extreme braking conditions. The pedal may feel jerky for a while, but once you get used to it, there’s no looking back. 

The A3 sedan passes the panic braking test with flying colors as well. There is hardly any noticeable nosedive under hard braking scenarios, especially when tackling corners.

Model

Audi A3 Sedan

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Alfa Romeo Giulia

BMW 230i

Brake front

(in.)

12.3

12.6

13

12.3

Brake Rear

(in.)

10.7

11.6

12.5

11.4

Curb Weight

(lbs.)

3197

3274

3521

3411

60-0 MPH (ft.)

117 

121

124

113

The A3 sedan gets the smallest set of brake rotors with its set of 12.3-inch rotors at the front end, and 10.7-inch planted at the rear wheels. Despite of getting the smallest rotors, the ride performs exceptionally well and requires a distance of just 117 ft., much credit to its lightweight. 

What about its driving dynamics?

Sharing its underpinnings with the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 provides a balanced, and engaging behind-the-steering experience. The A3 marks dependable handling, and a cozy ride, as two of its major unique selling propositions. 

2020 BMW 230i Rear view

The gas pedal responds at the slightest of tap and is pretty good at it. However, there is a hint of turbo lag at the beginning, but it soon dissolves as the A3 gushes forward. The electrically assisted steering wheel of the A3 is decent at feedbacks and feels connected most of the time. However, this specification asks for a little more hustle from your end when maneuvering the ride around the town, or when finding a not-so-sweet parking spot for it. 

As things heat up a bit, and you attack those twisty highways, with a raging speedometer, the A3 actually gets its vibe. The ride feels planted at all times and is an absolute cornering Picasso. 

2020 Audi A3 Fuel Economy

The A3 sedan offers great fuel economy figures and acts as a true pal of your pocket. The ride returns the greatest city economy figures in the segment, and nails it at the highway too. The modest output 40 TFSI FWd engine delivers 26 MPGs in the city, and 35 on the highways. 

The higher output 45 TFSI engine, as expected chugs down more shots of that spirit, crediting to the heavy Quattro AWD setup. The MPG figures for the S Line come out as 22/30/25 mpg, the S variants get a deeper fuel tank though, with a capacity of 14.5 gallons. 

Model

Audi A3 Sedan

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Alfa Romeo Giulia

BMW 230i

MPG (city)

26

24

24

24

MPG(highway)

35

37

33

35

MPG (combined)

29

29

27

28

Fuel tank capacity

13.2 US gal

14.7 US gal

13.7 US gal

13.7 US gal

Range (City/Highway)

343/462

355/474

367/505

329/480

The A3 sedan posts the greatest city, and combined MPG figures, in this competition. Everything is great about the A3 in terms of fuel economy, however, the spot where things start going downhill for the ride is its range. The Audi gets the smallest fuel tank in the segment, thus it won’t be able to go miles before it sleeps.

2020 Audi A3 Interior

9.0/10

The A3 sedan is the most reasonable offering from the “Lord of the Rings”, but this fact does not strip off the ride from the plush and premium quotient you will expect from an Audi. Open the door of this baby-Audi, and you will find a cabin as lavish and logical as its other costly siblings. 

The A3’s interior is every bit premium, with rich, high-quality materials adorning it. The cabin may not be the most flamboyant one, but it still tints the reliability, German-built cars have always been known for.

2020 Audi A3 Sedan Seats

One major con with the A3, however, comes out when you try to make yourself comfortable on the rear seats, and fail terribly at it. Not your fault! It’s just the A3 doing its job. The rear seats of the A3 are extremely cramped, with no reasonable space in any direction. The headroom especially gets a chop-chop, all thanks to the sloping roofline. 

Model

Audi A3 Sedan

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Alfa Romeo Giulia

BMW 230i

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

4

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

36.5/54.8/41.2

38.2/56/40.2

38.6/42.4/56.1

40.1/54.4/41.5

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

36.1/53/35.1

35.4/53.2/27.1

37.6/35.1/53.6

36.5/53.4/33.0

The Alfa Romeo takes the lead here with the most spacious cabin of the lot. It is then followed by the Bimmer by a very close margin. The Audi A3 barely manages to surpass Mercedes with respect to the overall passenger volume.

Does it come loaded with tech inside?

The Audi A3 is filled up to the brim with cutting-edge technology features. One of the major highlights of the A3 is the Audi Virtual Cockpit Display, which is now a standard feature. This unit sums up all the features of a car and brings them all at your disposal. Regardless of the trim you choose, the A3 employs a 7.0-inch touchscreen, as its focal infotainment panel, that pops out its burrow as you turn on your ride. The infotainment panel is controlled by a rotary knob on the center console. 

2020 Audi A3 Sedan Infotainment Screen

The infotainment panel of the A3 sedan is ultimately responsive and is great at feedbacks. The best part about this arrangement is that it does not ask for much of your attention in order to cater to you. The ride gets a nine-speaker audio system as standard and will likely satisfy most users, however, if great sound along with great cruising has always been one of your things, you can also go for the 705-watt Bang & Olufsen system that equips your A3 with 14 speakers. Some of the prominent features of the A3’s infotainment system are: 

  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Sirius XM Satellite Radio with a 90-day subscription
  • SD Card slot with a 32-GB operating capacity
  • Bluetooth Audio streaming
  • Parking system plus with a rearview camera
  • 9-speaker audio system with single CD player

Creature comforts on offer in the A3

 When you buy an Audi, you expect every ride to be a leisure ride and the A3 offers a number of features, in order to keep your expectations upright. Some of these features are: 

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Ambient LED interior lighting
  • Leather-wrapped gear selector and steering wheel
  • Dual adjustable front visors with lighted vanity mirrors
  • Leather seating surfaces
  • Tilt and telescopic manually adjustable steering column
  • Four cup-holders

What about utility?

The A3 sedan offers decent cargo space and pulls off the utilitarian prospect pretty well. The A3’s trunk is roomy enough for you to fit up to 5 suitcases in there. The ride also offers a couple of sensible storage areas inside the cabin. However, if you escalate to the S Line variants of the A3, that further shrinks the trunk volume to a volume of 10.1 cu.ft. Yet, the fact that you can fold the rear seats down certainly applies some ointment to that burn. 

Model

Audi A3 Sedan

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Alfa Romeo Giulia

BMW 230i

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

12.3

13.1

13.0

13.8

The Audi A3 sedan’s cargo volume may seem fine, but when placed head-to-head with its competitors, things start getting a bit tensed. The A3 offers the least cargo space in the segment. The Beemer triumphs over the rivals with a massive 13.8 cubic feets of trunk volume, followed up by the CLA 250. The Alfa Romeo Giulia pulls off a close chase with 13.0 cubic feets backing it up. 

2020 Audi A3 Sedan Seats
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan Front Seats
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan Dashboard
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan AC
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan Gear shifter
2020 Audi A3 Sedan

2020 Audi A3 Exterior

The Audi A3 is a handsome car, yet it’s not gonna pull eyes, as you’d expect from a larger(read expensive) Audi offering. The ride boasts a sleek, and purposeful stance, which adds to its ride quality, granting it nimble dynamics. The A3 draws great inspiration from the elder brother A6, which lends it a touch of sophistication. 

2020 Audi A3 Sedan Side View

The front end of the A3 gets the signature Audi grille, which makes its presence felt, as it extends to the end of the front bumper, thus dominating the car’s front fascia. The grille is further complemented by the Audi impression LED lights, which ensures that you recognize that it’s an Audi dashing towards you, just by the slightest glance of it in your rear-view mirror. The side of the car follows a typical "Sedan" silhouette accentuated by chrome inserts around the windows. The lines do a fantastic job and furnish the A3 with a classy yet modern appeal. 

Model

Audi A3 Sedan

Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Alfa Romeo Giulia

BMW 230i

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3197

3274

3521

3411

Length (in.)

175.5

182.3

182.6

174.7

Width (in.)

70.7

70.0

73.7

69.8

Height (in.)

55.7

56.6

56.5

55.8

Ground Clearance (in.)

6.3

3.9

N/A

5.5

Wheelbase (in.)

103.8

106.3

111

109.9

Track Width (in.) F/R

61.2/60.1

60.9/60.8

61.3/63.9

59.9/61.3

What are those eye-catching features?

The Audi A3 comes out as the lightest, and the shortest vehicle of this class. While this fact acts as a major boost for enhancing the ride’s performance, it hinders the cabin’s roomy feel. However, with such dimensions, the company has made an attempt to plant a bomb sedan, somewhere in the middle ground between the larger sedans like the Giulia and the CLA 250.

Some of the most attention-attracting features of the Audi A3 sedan are: 

  • Full LED headlights with all-weather lights
  • High-gloss titanium black exterior finish
  • LED Taillights
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • 18" 5-double-spoke design bi-color finish wheels
2020 Audi A3 Sedan Side view
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan front view
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan rear view
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan exterior
2020 Audi A3 Sedan
2020 Audi A3 Sedan back view
2020 Audi A3 Sedan

2020 Audi A3 Safety

The Audi A3 offers a wide array of safety and driver-assist features as standard. However, convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, a self-parking feature, and automatic high-beam headlamps, are mostly offered on the top trims. Some of the prominent safety features of the A3 sedan are: 

  • Active rollover protection system
  • Electromechanical parking brake
  • Safety belt reminder for driver and passenger
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system
  • Electronic Stability Control with secondary collision brake assist and traction control
  • Anti-theft alarm
  • Rearview Camera

 

2020 Audi A3 Competition

Audi A3 vs Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Contrasted with the Mercedes CLA 250, the Audi A3 is a better bundle with better driving dynamics, accompanied by extravagance and plushness. Confronting a common issue of the cramped rear-seats, and cargo capacity, the "Lord of the Rings" still bears somewhat more agreeable arrangement of back seats. The slanting roofline of the CLA 250, as appealing as it looks, takes the comfort factor of the lodge away. Audi offers more space and is also more economical in the long run. 

2020 Mercedes Benz CLA 250
2020 Mercedes Benz CLA 250

Audi A3 vs BMW 230i

 The Bavarians host their flag in this segment, with the 230i. The BMW 230i has always been a solid contender and gives most of its rivals a run for their money. Fitted with a 2.0L I4, the 230i churns out 248 hp, along with 258 lb.-ft. Of torque, which happens to be one of the greatest power figures in this competition. The ride compiles great driving dynamics, along with a more practical boot and more usable space in the cabin. 

2020 BMW 230i Sedan
2020 BMW 230i

 

2020 Audi A3 Final Verdict

The A3 is the cheapest car, which can get you those 4 rings on the bonnet of your ride. Being an entry-level luxury car, the A3 stands strong on the expectations one keeps when procuring a set of German luxury wheels. The A3 is a strong performer, and can any day give other cars a flash of its taillamps, all thanks to the 184 ponies under its hood. The crisp throttle response and low-end torque enable the A3 to be fit for a driver-friendly car. That said, it does come with a few compromises though. There is less space at the rear and the cargo area isn't very welcoming either.