2016 Audi A3 vs. Its Competition

2016 Audi A3
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

With its variety of powertrains and body shapes, the A3 is able to go up against most anything in the growing small luxury set.

Its principal competitor is probably the Mercedes-Benz CLA, which is offered in tamer 250 models with and without all-wheel drive as well as an AMG version to go up against the S3.

It has a striking, mini-CLS design and solid driving dynamics but gives up some room to the A3 sedan in the rear seat.

The Buick Verano has the advantage of seniority, and it's a well-executed compact with a plush, quiet cabin and excellent safety scores, though it lacks a more-than-premium image; the Verano will be joined in 2016 by the related Cascada convertible.

Acura's ILX has been somewhat of a disappointment: the interior is only slightly nicer than the quick-update Honda Civic and performance was lackluster to start, although for 2016 it returns with improvements all around and a single improved powertrain backed by a dual-clutch automatic.

Still, it's no Integra.

The Volvo S60, which is nearly seven inches longer than the A3 but a few inches short of the A4, is another option.

The S60 comes with a more fuel-efficient turbo four and an eight-speed automatic (with a 37-mpg highway rating) at the base level—and it feels like a much more refined car for just a little more money.

BMW's 2-Series matches on price and is offered as a coupe or convertible, although it's a rear-driver, with optional all-wheel drive.

2016 Audi A32016 Audi A3
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2016 Acura ILX Tech Plus2016 Acura ILX
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2016 BMW 2-Series2016 BMW 2-Series
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2016 Buick Verano Turbo2016 Buick Verano
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2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
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2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country2016 Volvo S60
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Quick Specs
8.2
The 2016 Audi A3 models offer a variety of body styles, powertrains, and options to battle whatever the small luxury segment has to offer.
8.0
The 2016 Acura ILX has a sportier focus than other entry-luxury sedans, without sacrificing comfort and refinement.
8.2
The 2016 2-Series may be an entry-level model in BMW's lineup, but it builds on a rich lineage, as a well-rounded luxury sports coupe with all the looks, handling and features that you might expect.
8.0
The 2016 Buick Verano delivers heavily on comfort and quiet, even if it's not much of a sport sedan.
8.2
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA is tight on rear-seat space, and on value—but long on style and in AMG trim, explosive performance.
8.6
Already appealing for its good looks and outstanding safety ratings, the 2016 Volvo S60 grows in interesting ways with the long-wheelbase Inscription and Cross Country soft off-roader.
MSRP From     
$30,900$27,900$32,850$21,065$32,050$34,150
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Gas/4-cylIntercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Subcompact CarsCompact CarsSubcompact CarsCompactSubcompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan FWD 1.8T Premium Plus4-Door Sedan2-Door Coupe 228i RWD4-Door Sedan w/1SV4-Door Sedan CLA 250 FWD4-Door Sedan T5 Drive-E FWD
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
554555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style     
SedanSedanCoupeSedanSedanSedan
Transmission     
Auto-Shift Manual w/ODAuto-Shift Manual w/ODManual w/ODAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAuto-Shift Manual w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Audi A3 vs. 2016 Acura ILX2016 Audi A3 vs. 2016 BMW 2-Series2016 Audi A3 vs. 2016 Buick Verano2016 Audi A3 vs. 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class2016 Audi A3 vs. 2016 Volvo S60