Your mom always told you to never judge a book by its cover, and the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan is a great reason why. While this sedan is a compact car and it’s the lowest-priced model in Audi’s lineup, it is far from an economy car. Instead, if you think of it more like a scaled-down version of other sporty Audi sedans, then you get what this car is all about.
Making this car even better, the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan has been substantially updated to include improved styling and more technology. I recently got to spend a week with the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan 2.0T quattro S tronic, and while that is a mouthful to say, it is a hoot to drive!
2017 Audi A3 Sedan Exterior:
The current A3 was already a sharp car, but Audi freshened up the exterior of the 2017 Audi A3 to give it a little more visual impact. The most noticeable change is up front where reshaped headlights now give the A3 a more eye-catching face. Audi’s signature singleframe grille is still the main focal point, but the new headlights add a more vibrant appearance with a lightning bolt shape. Speaking of exterior lighting, the coolest part of the 2017 Audi A3 is the optional LED Lighting Package ($1,050) that brings full LED headlights and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals. Click HERE to see these cool sequential lights in action. Audi was one of the first automakers to use LED accent lights to create a sporty, upscale appearance, and its current lighting technology continues to keep it as a leader in this regard.
This tester came dressed in the mid-level Premium Plus trim that includes S line styling cues such as the more aggressive front air ducts, a rear fascia diffuser with dual exhaust outlets and 18-inch, split-spoke wheels. Finishing off this A3’s sporty look was a sparkling Cosmos Blue Metallic paint job.
2017 Audi A3 Sedan Interior:
Not to take anything away from this sedan’s gorgeous exterior, but the updates made to the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan were all about improving the interior experience – primarily for the driver. This includes trickle-down technology such as the innovative Audi virtual cockpit as well as the updated MMI touch controller with handwriting recognition. The virtual cockpit – part of the $3,000 Technology Package – is easily one of the coolest gauge clusters on the market with a 12.3-inch reconfigurable digital screen that can display a large map for easier heads-up driving.
All 2017 Audi A3 sedans come standard with a panoramic sunroof and a redesigned three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the Premium Plus spruces up the cabin with aluminum inlays, aluminum door sills, heated front seats and the Audi smartphone interface that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Even with its small dimensions, the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan is a surprisingly comfortable car with lots of room for front occupants and a decent-sized rear seat that is realistically designed for two adult passengers (although three adults can squeeze together, if needed). Aside from the extra cost, the only real disadvantage of opting for the A3 quattro is that trunk space shrinks from 12.3 cubic feet on the front-drive model to 10 cubic feet on this all-wheel drive sedan.
2017 Audi A3 Sedan Powertrain:
To give the 2017 Audi A3 less of an entry-level feel, the previous base engine (a 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder) has been ditched, meaning that the 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder is now the only engine option on the A3. On front-wheel drive models, this engine is rated at 186 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, but opting for the quattro all-wheel drive bumps power to 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Although the front-drive model upgrades to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the A3 quattro carries over the six-speed S tronic dual clutch automatic transmission. In this configuration, the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan 2.0T quattro S tronic can accelerate from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds.
The key advantage of the A3 is its size where the compact proportions make it incredibly fun to toss this 3,362-pound sedan into the corners, and the quattro all-wheel drive is more than happy to keep pace. Steering and braking inputs are incredibly responsive, but the A3 still has a smooth, comfortable and quiet ride; if you want to go all-out, Audi also offers the S3 and RS3 variants. Despite all its sportiness, the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan 2.0T quattro still delivers small-car fuel economy with EPA-rated estimates of 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway**.
2017 Audi A3 Sedan Safety:
Audi has proven that safety is paramount in its cars and crossovers, and the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan is no different. Along with the full complement of airbags, all 2017 Audi A3 models now come standard with the Audi pre sense basic (prepared for impact by tightening up the seat belts and starting to close windows) and Audi pre sense (a radar-based forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking). Thanks to these features, all A3 models – not just those with optional equipment – receive a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
2017 Audi A3 Sedan Overall:
If you think all compact luxury cars are alike, then the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan will truly surprise you. With a tight chassis, high-tech cabin and killer styling, this sedan is exactly the kind of exciting product that Audi has been churning out for years… just in a smaller package. Better yet, it does so with an affordable starting MSRP of $31,950* for the base model, front-drive A3 Sedan and $34,950* for the A3 quattro. If you crave the Premium Plus and Technology Package options, then be prepared to pony up a little more money as this tester had an as-tested price to $43,025.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Audi dealership and test drive the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.HERE