Popular Tags Cars

2019 Audi A3 Sedan

$32,500 - $35,600
Price Range (MSRP)
Audi A3 Sedan

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Review

by Roger Biermann

Car buyers have come to know and love smaller cars with premium build quality and features. Nowhere is this more notable than in the compact premium executive class, where Audi's A3 sedan sits comfortably near the top of its segment. The 2019 Audi A3 Sedan is in its final form before it gets a complete redesign for 2020, but still looks as good as its contemporaries with sharp lines and LED lighting everywhere you look. Because it's up for a redesign, you get a lot of features that would have been missing on earlier versions. You can expect Audi's legendary build quality and a range of potent engines, slick dual-clutch gearboxes, and even though it shares its platform with the VW Golf, it feels undeniably Audi. It's fun to drive and ticks a lot of boxes for those looking for something smaller and cheaper than the traditional A4, 3 Series or C-Class.

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 A3 Sedan?

Due to a major redesign looming, Audi has stacked the 2019 A3 Sedan with a long list of features. For 2019, the A3 Premium and Prestige models get wireless phone charging, while the Prestige trim also gets active parking assist. The A3 Also gets full LED lighting, including headlights, taillights and dynamic rear turn signals. Audi has also discontinued the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid.

Pros and Cons

  • Well equipped
  • Turbo engines pack a punch
  • Audi build quality
  • Fun to drive
  • High safety levels
  • It gets a bit cramped in the back
  • Optional extras can get expensive
  • Might be too small for some
  • Top safety levels only to be found in higher spec models

A3 Sedan Exterior

Even though it can be considered one of the older designs in its class, and is essentially a rebodied Volkswagen Golf, Audi has done a sterling job of keeping the A3 Sedan looking fresh, which is arguably one of the best looking cars in its class. Sharper lights and a revised roofline meets angular lines, and an attractive, if not a rather gaping grille. LED lighting in every corner makes it look as crisp as ever. Optional 18-inch wheels sit behind slightly flared wheel arches, and bigger air intakes in the front makes the A3 Sedan look bigger than it actually is, and reminds you that the A3 has a sporty personality under the cool and calculated exterior design.

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Front Angle View
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Front Angle View
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Rear Angle View
See All 2019 Audi A3 Sedan Exterior Photos

Dimensions

As the Audi A3 Sedan's exterior shape suggests, the car falls firmly under the compact premium executive class. Part of the appeal of the A3 sedan is that it fills the space between premium hatchback and premium executive. Some might not need the extra space of a regular premium, or can't afford the extra cost of the larger A4. Either way, the A3 Sedan doesn't hide the fact that it's a small car. The A3 Sedan measures in at a compact 103.8/175.5/55.7 inches in wheelbase/length/height respectively, comparable to the BMW 2 Series that measures 105.9/175.9/55.4 inches. But the Audi is a fair bit lighter than the BMW, weighing only 3,197 pounds in front-wheel drive format, compared to the 2 Series' 3,662 lbs, but grows to 3,428 pounds in Quattro spec.

Exterior Colors

Nine exterior colors are available, all of which complement the contemporary design of the A3, and continues Audi's modern tradition of choosing color palettes that accentuate its cars' strong, almost muscular looks. Color options available for the 2019 Audi A3 Sedan are Brilliant Black, Ibis White, Cosmos Blue Metallic, Florett Silver Metallic, Glacier White Metallic, the great looking Monsoon Gray Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Nano Gray Metallic, and Tango Red Metallic.

  • Florett Silver Metallic
  • Glacier White Metallic
  • Cosmos Blue Metallic
  • Monsoon Gray Metallic
  • Mythos Black Metallic
  • Nano Gray Metallic
  • Tango Red Metallic
  • Brilliant Black
  • Ibis White

A3 Sedan Performance

The A3 is a strong performer thanks to a turbocharged four-pot that delivers good levels of torque that translates into solid acceleration, especially when mated to Audi's excellent range of dual-clutch automatic transmissions. With only one engine option, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the A3 might seem rather limited its choice of powertrains, but two different states of tune help distinguish the different trim levels enough that it seems like two different engines. The A3 isn't an outright sports car, but Audi has given the baby exec just enough oomph and handling flare to make it an enjoyable drive, and in Quattro spec, it will dip below the six-second 0-60 mph mark. It doesn't have the rear-wheel-drive appeal of the BMW 2 Series, but for the target market Audi is aiming for, the A3 should prove to be more than capable, and borders on sporty when in placed in the right hands.

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Front Angle View
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Side View Driving
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Taillight

Engine and Transmission

The 2019 A3 Sedan comes with a choice of one engine in two different states of tune and two variations of its dual-clutch automatic transmission. The front-wheel-drive A3 Sedan makes use of the lower spec 40 TFSI 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 184hp at 4,300–6,000 rpm and a useful 221 lb-ft starting from only 1,450 rpm and continues to pull up to 4,300 rpm. This engine is mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. The higher spec A3 is mated to the same 2.0 liter four-cylinder TFSI engine, but comes in a higher state of tune, producing 228h p at 5,000–6,700 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque between 1,700 and 4,400 rpm. This extra power is sent through Audi's legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive system and is mated to the same seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. Both engines pack a powerful punch in the mid-range thanks to a relatively small turbocharger that spools up in an instant. Compared to the Mercedes A220 Sedan's 188 hp and 221 lb-ft, the A3 is still competitive in the power department.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Audi has found a good balance with the A3 Sedan, which was never designed to be a hot hatch rivaling sports car. In typical German fashion, the A3 Sedan is easy to drive fast, and almost fools you into thinking you're driving at an acceptable speed (this could in part be attributed to the solid interior insulation). Audi gives you the option of fitting Sport or S-line suspension, but those don't exactly suit the image or purpose of the car and can be rather jarring to most. Instead, the standard MacPherson front suspension and four-link rear suspension setup proves to be more than capable of keeping the A3 composed whether cruising around town, or pushing on through canyon roads. There's lots of grip to be found, especially on the Quattro, which feels like you've glued it to the road. The electrically assisted steering does a fairly good job, and weighs up nicely, but doesn't exactly have a direct and sporty feel.

A3 Sedan Gas Mileage

Audi's 2.0-liter engines offer acceptable numbers, but they're not overly impressive either. The front-wheel-drive sedan with the low output 2.0-liter engine manages a fuel consumption figure of 26/35 mpg city/highway for a combined figure of 29 mpg. The higher output Quattro delivers 22/30 mpg city/highway for a combined figure of 25 mpg. The front-wheel-drive Mercedes A220 returns an EPA-estimated 24 miles per gallon city, 35 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined. The A3 sedan saves some money at the fuel pumps thanks to its engines being able to run on regular gasoline, unlike many other modern turbocharged engines.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 26/35 mpg
* 2019 Audi A3 Sedan 2.0T Premium Plus FWD

A3 Sedan Interior

It is well known that Audi does interiors well, and that is exactly the case with the 2019 A3 Sedan. Despite the somewhat limited space, Audi has created an unostentatious look and feel that lives up to the brand's premium status, and despite the A3's low ranking in Audi's hierarchy, it feels as though it hasn't cut any corners. Everything feels solid, and tasteful interior accents, quality soft-touch plastics and impressive levels of tech make it one of the best compact executive sedan interiors on the market. The A3's interior flows well and is a thing of beauty thanks to a simple and logical layout that's very German in its execution. Weighty switchgear and generally intuitive tech is a pleasure to use. Narrow roof pillars provide the A3 with levels of outward visibility that's rare to find in this class, and rearview visibility is so good that brave drivers can forego the rearview camera when backing up.

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Steering Wheel Controls
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Dashboard
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Front Seats
See All 2019 Audi A3 Sedan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Audi A3 Sedan shares its platform with the VW Golf, which should translate into good interior space, but the A3's design relinquishes some valuable real estate in the rear. Front seating is comfortable, and getting in and out of the car is a breeze thanks to generously sized doors that open up wide. Front headroom and legroom measure 36.5 and 36.1 inches, respectively. The front seats are comfortable, but not exactly sporty, but what they lack in side bolstering they make up for in long-distance comfort. Passengers in the rear are not so lucky when it comes to space, partly thanks to the A3's sloping roofline. Getting in and out of the rear is a cumbersome affair, and although Audi claims that the A3 Sedan can seat five people, the rear seats are more suited to adults with smaller frames and children, nothing out of the ordinary for this class. Rear headroom and leg space measures in at 41.2 and 35.1 inches.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The 2019 A3 Sedan has three interior color options, as well as two interior inlays, all of which complement the exterior colors well. The upmarket look and feel of the Audi's interior is complemented by a tasteful choice of inlays that highlight the interior color choices. The upholstery options are Black Leather, Rock Gray Leather or Chestnut Brown Leather. Micrometallic Silver inlays are standard on the A3 Premium while a brushed look Aluminium Mistral inlay is only available on the A3 Premium and Prestige.

A3 Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

One area where the Audi lags behind the competition is its lack of trunk and cargo space. The front-wheel-drive Sedan provides a measly 12.3 cubic-foot trunk capacity, but the Quattro's four-wheel-drive system erodes that limited space even further, leaving you with only 10 cubic feet of space, the smallest in the class, and one of the biggest downsides to the otherwise brilliant A3 Sedan. The trunk will fit a pair of small suitcases, but anything bigger will require you to fold down the rear seats. Small cargo space tells the same story; door pockets are on the smaller size, and the console bin and glovebox aren't what we'd call spacious.

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Rear Passenger Seats
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Rear Angle View
2019 Audi A3 Sedan Taillight
  • Trunk Volume
    10 ft³

A3 Sedan Infotainment and Features

Features

The 2019 Audi A3 Sedan is more feature-packed than ever before. This is mostly due to the fact that the current iteration is at the end of its lifespan. LED lights feature across the range, and all trim levels get dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating surfaces, eight-way power and four-way power lumbar adjustment for the heated driver's seat. Audi has done a great job of making the A3 Sedan a comfortable place to live in, and driver assistance tech such as cruise control with coast, resume and accelerate features and rain/light sensors for automatic windshield wipers and headlights takes over some of the tedious responsibilities we'd rather do without. Audi's virtual cockpit is a truly futuristic experience and displays important info such as navigation instructions and infotainment settings on a generously sized 12.3-inch display. Audi's MMI navigation system is a pleasure to use and leads the class in terms of intuitive menu navigation.

Infotainment

The 2019 A3 Sedan is packed with tech, but the infotainment system's 7-inch display size is starting to look rather small when compared to its competitors. The standard infotainment system features Audi's smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for compatible devices. Sound is transmitted through a ten speaker, 180-watt system. HD Radio Technology and SiriusXM with 90-day trial subscription is also provided. You'll also find an SDXC card slot with 32GB operating capacity, an Audi music interface with USB port for charging and your standard Bluetooth wireless technology. An interesting option is Audi's MMI touch with handwriting-recognition technology that allows the driver to write out instructions, location names and more. We're not entirely convinced, but it's a move in the right direction. The Prestige trim gets the best of the bunch: a substantial 12.3-inch fully digital virtual cockpit instrument cluster with two visual modes, MMI Navigation plus and handwriting-recognition technology. The Prestige sounds the part thanks to a Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 speakers.

A3 Sedan Problems and Reliability

There have been 15 recalls for the A3 range, cabriolet and hatchback included, which doesn't bode well for prospective buyers. The reasons for recall range from improper production date information all the way through to potentially life-threatening gearbox malfunctions and fire risks.

The most recent recall affected 2015-2018 A3's for possible fuel leakage issues, improper airbag deployments, side marker light failures, possible rear seat head restraint failure during accidents, gearbox malfunctions and ECU calibration issues.

These issues might be disconcerting, but consider the fact that Audi placed 7th in a top 15 Consumer Reports ranking for reliability in 2018, performing better than BMW and Porsche.

Audi provides a limited warranty of four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. You'll also receive the first scheduled maintenance service at 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever occurs first, at no additional charge, a 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation and Audi 24-hour roadside assistance for four years.

A3 Sedan Safety

Despite the worrying recall history, the Audi A3 Sedan is monumentally safe and was awarded a Top Safety Pick rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with the available full LED headlights. It must be noted however that this award was given to the higher spec Premium Plus and Prestige models, so the base model misses out. Still, the A3 Sedan offers class-leading levels of safety, and therefore, peace of mind.

Key Safety Features

The 2019 A3 Sedan reaches new levels of safety thanks to the implementation of Audi's cutting edge Pre Sense bouquet of safety tech. The base model is equipped with the following safety tech that comes as standard across the range: rain/light sensor for automatic windshield wipers and headlights as well as cruise control with coast, resume and accelerate features. Audi pre sense basic is standard on the A3 Sedan and can aid during emergencies by preemptively closing the side windows and sunroof and by tightening the front safety belts. Audi pre sense front prepares passengers for a front-end collision. When a safety threat is detected, visual and acoustic warnings are enabled, and the brake system is pre-charged.

The optional side assist with rear cross traffic assist alerts the driver when a vehicle is in a blind spot, while rear cross traffic assist uses rear sensors to help scan the area behind the vehicle and rear sides. The A3 Sedan will cushion its occupants from hard impact via eight airbags, including front thorax side airbags and head curtain airbags. The rear seats are child-friendly thanks to lower anchors and tethers for children.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Audi A3 Sedan a good car?

The 2019 A3 Sedan is a premium compact executive sedan that looks, feels and drives like a bigger car, but there's a catch; it's not big at all, and that could put some off the idea of an A3 with a trunk. The A3 Sedan shines in terms of interior comfort and build quality, the same goes for its choice of powertrains. Front passenger space is class competitive, but room in the rear, as well as total cargo space, is at the bottom of the class. The higher spec Quattro gets a more powerful engine and all-wheel drive but sacrifices gas mileage and trunk space. Safety levels are excellent, but in order to qualify for IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus status, you'll need to opt for the Premium Plus or Prestige trim. Despite numerous recent recalls, the 2019 A3 Sedan should prove reliable.

What's the Price of the 2019 Audi A3 Sedan?

The 2019 A3 Sedan range starts off with the Titanium Edition 40 TFSI front-wheel drive that goes for an MSRP of $33,300. Stepping up in the range, the Premium 45 TFSI Quattro goes for an MSRP of $35,600. You'll pay $36,500 for the front-wheel-drive Premium Plus 40 TFSI and $41,700 for the front-wheel-drive Prestige 40 TFSI. The Premium Plus Quattro sells for $39,600 and finally the top of the range Prestige Quattro goes for $44,800. Prices exclude $995 destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges.

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Models

The 2019 Audi A3 Sedan comes in four trim levels, starting with the Titanium that features 18-inch bi-color design wheels, a sport-tuned chassis, titanium black exterior trim and Audi drive select amongst others. The Premium trim is only available with the all-wheel-drive Quattro drivetrain, and its key features include Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, heated front seats, Audi pre sense front, a panoramic sunroof, and a rearview camera.

The Premium Plus trim is available to both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive models and gets sporty looking S line exterior appearance and fender badges, Audi advanced keyless start, stop and entry, side assist with rear cross traffic assist, 18-inch wheels, parking system plus with rearview camera and full LED headlights and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals. The Prestige trim represents the top tier of Audi's A3 Sedan range and comes packed with all the Premium Plus features and adds Audi's virtual cockpit technology, MMI Navigation plus, and a Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 speakers amongst others.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0T Premium
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,500
2.0T Premium Plus
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,500
2.0T Prestige
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$32,500
2.0T Titanium Premium
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$33,300
See All 2019 Audi A3 Sedan Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Audi gives you the choice of four optional packages, some of which come as standard on certain trims. The convenience package is optional on the Premium trim, and adds keyless start, stop and front doors and trunk entry, ambient LED interior lighting package, Audi side assist and high-gloss aluminum window surrounds. Also optional for the Premium package is the 18-inch wheel package. The Premium Plus trim gets the option of adding some more tech thanks to a Technology package. It includes the bigger 12-inch display, navigation and an upgraded audio system. Premium Plus and Prestige models get the option of 19-inch alloy wheels, and you can select a sport suspension package that drops the ride height by 15 mm across all trim levels.

You can treat yourself to a set of carrier bars for $420, or illuminated door sills for $300. You can even project the Audi logo on the ground when you open your door for only $200.

What Audi A3 Sedan Model Should I Buy?

The A3 Sedan range already features a lot of tech and safety features as standard. A good balance of comfort, features, and performance is easy to find in this range, but at the best price, the Premium Quattro with the high output engine takes it. For only a few grand more than the Titanium model, you get all-wheel drive and a decent dollop of extra power. The features list isn't as long as the Premium Plus or Prestige, and you'll miss out on the larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen, but as a whole, it represents the best mix of performance and everyday comfort. You can always include the Technology package into the deal if you don't want to use Google Maps on your phone and really need that 14-speaker sound system.

Check out other Audi A3 Styles?

2019 Audi A3 Sedan Comparisons

2019 Audi A3 Sedan
2019 Audi A3 Sedan

2019 Audi A3 Sedan vs Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan

Both these German baby execs come powered by four-cylinder turbocharged engines. The

The A3 Sedan's high output 2.0 turbo 4 cylinder unit produces 40 more horsepower and 37 lb-ft more torque than the A-Class and makes it quicker to 60 than the Mercedes. The Audi also uses less gas, beating the Merc by 2 mpg on the city cycle,and the A3's gas tank is also bigger (14.5 vs. 13.5 gallons). J.D. Power and Associates' 2019 survey show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th while Mercedes is ranked 13th. A Consumer Reports survey revealed that Audi boasts more reliable vehicles, ranking ten places higher than its German rival.

See Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan Review

2019 Audi A3 Sedan vs Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

First of all, the A3 Sportback is the more practical car thanks to its four doors and hatchback trunk lid, but the Sedan beats it hands down in the looks department with its sleeker profile. They both share the same interior materials and options, as is to be expected. The Sedan is more expensive than the Sportback, and when a few added options are selected, gets close to the price of the A4. It all boils down to how much utility you require from your A3. The Sportback does more, but the Sedan looks better doing less.

See Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Review

Audi A3 Sedan Popular Comparisons