2022 Audi A3

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Kirk Bell Kirk Bell Senior Editor
October 19, 2021

Buying tip

Move up to a Premium Plus trim to get more safety features in the 2022 Audi A3.

features & specs

Premium 40 TFSI
Premium 40 TFSI quattro
Premium Plus 40 TFSI
MPG
29 city / 38 hwy
MPG
28 city / 36 hwy
MPG
29 city / 38 hwy
MSRP
$33,900
MSRP
$35,900
MSRP
$33,900

The Audi A3 sports the looks and technology that draw buyers into the brand in a fun-to-drive package.

What kind of car is the 2022 Audi A3? What does it compare to?

A subcompact sedan from a luxury automaker, the A3 reaches toward the mainstream like the BMW 2-Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class and CLA-Class. 

Is the 2022 Audi A3 a good car?

Review continues below

The A3 is a fun little sedan with good looks, plenty of safety and interior technology, and peppy engines. We rate it a 6.6 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Audi A3?

The A3 gets a new design for 2022, with a revised look, more power, a slightly larger footprint, more interior technology, and additional safety features.

A3 models are powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that increases from 188 to 201 hp and from 221 to 221 lb-ft of torque. An uprated 2.0-liter turbo-4 also lurks under the hood of the S3, and it generates 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, up from 295 hp and 280 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A3 models get front- or all-wheel drive, while the S3 sports only all-wheel drive. Fuel economy tops out at 29 mpg city, 38 highway, and 32 combined, according to the EPA.

The S3 sits 0.6 inch lower than the A3, offers optional adaptive dampers, features larger vented brake rotors, and comes with standard 18-inch wheels compared to the A3’s 17s.

Audi stretches the A3’s dimensions slightly for 2022. The exterior evolves the look of not only the previous A3, but also the brand. The trapezoidal grille remains, but it’s wider, and the air intakes that flank it are larger. LED headlights come standard, and Audi offers LED matrix headlights as an option. The same basic character lines adorn the hood and flanks, but they’re sharper.

Inside, the new A3 features angular lines that play off the exterior design and gets up to three digital displays, including an instrument cluster that’s either 10.3 or 12.3 inches, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and an available head-up display.

How much does the 2022 Audi A3 cost?

Both the A3 and S3 come in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims. Prices range from $34,945 for a front-drive A3 Premium to $52,945 for an S3 Prestige. Standard features include power-adjustable and heated front seats, leather upholstery, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, and 17-inch alloy wheels on all-season tires.

Audi makes some safety features standard and charges extra for others. Every A3 gets automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and automatic high beams, and buyers can also choose adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, an automatic parking feature, and an exit warning system.

Where is the Audi A3 made?

In Hungary.

7

2022 Audi A3

Styling

The 2022 Audi A3 wears the brand’s refined and sporty looks in a tidy package.

Is the Audi A3 a good-looking car?

The new A3 sports refined looks and tidy dimensions. Its sculpted body and large trapezoidal grille balance sportiness with luxury. Inside, a digital, driver-centric layout creates a modern look that puts functionality at the forefront. We rate it a 7 here for its good looks inside and out.

The 2022 Audi A3 follows a similar formula to the previous model but looks a lot more polished overall. The grille is wider and the headlights feature a more pronounced teardrop element. The body also has more sculpting without looking busy. That body has grown slightly. At 14.8 feet long, the new A3 is 1.5 inches longer than its predecessor though the wheelbase is unchanged. It’s also 0.8 inch wider and 0.5 inch taller, both of which add some interior space.

A pair of digital screens give the cockpit a high-tech vibe. The standard instrument cluster uses a 10.3-inch screen, and buyers can move up to a 12.3-inch screen. The infotainment system uses a 10.1-inch touchscreen that is angled toward the driver to bring it within easy reach. Design touches include angular flourishes that play off the exterior, a shifter that looks like a sliding toggle, and standard sport seats. Available trim choices include aluminum, carbon-fiber, or wood.

Review continues below
7

2022 Audi A3

Performance

Sharp moves and peppy engines make the 2022 Audi A3 a joy to drive.

Stable and sporty, the 2022 Audi A3 balances on-road comfort with agile moves to earn a 7 for performance. 

Is the Audi A3 AWD?

The A3 comes standard with front-wheel drive and offers all-wheel drive as an option. All S3 models have all-wheel drive.

How fast is the Audi A3?

The A3’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 201 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. It provides peppy acceleration that pushes the A3 from 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds with front-wheel drive and 6.3 seconds with all-wheel drive, both of which are aided by a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system that adds up to 12 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque during takeoff. Drivers looking for more excitement should opt for the S3. It features a 2.0-liter turbo-4 tuned to 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which launches the car from 0-60 mph in a quick 4.5 seconds. Both engines stay in the background most of the time, but in Dynamic mode the S3’s turbo-4 can bark between gears and let out some muffled pops and cracks on overrun.

On the road, both the A3 and S3 feel tied down to the road, with stable, sharp steering that responds quickly to driver inputs. With its lower ride height and available adaptive dampers, the S3 boasts slightly more agility and less body lean. Both models feel light and tossable and handle very well until pushed hard through corners. At that point, the heavy front weight bias causes the front end to push rather than rotate. The S3 may have 306 hp, but it’s a fun street car and not a track machine.

Though firm, the ride quality is streetworthy as well. Only the sharpest bumps pound through. The A3 has progressive brakes and the S3 gets larger front brakes that will handle a mountain road but not a racetrack.

Review continues below
7

2022 Audi A3

Comfort & Quality

The front seat is the best place to be in the 2022 Audi A3.

The Audi A3 grows slightly this year, but the rear seat is still no match for the front. Sturdy, well assembled materials are another point in its favor, earning the A3 a 7 for quality and comfort.

With the A3, Audi reaches down toward the mainstream. While its interior materials don’t match more expensive Audis, they’re sturdy, have plenty of soft-touch surfaces, and still impart a feeling of quality without the same bits of cost-cutting found in rivals.

Space is great up front and the base seats are comfortable though a little flat. S3 models get sport seats with thicker but not obtrusive bolstering.

The rear seat will fit a pair of average-size adults, but passengers 6-foot or taller will want more rear leg and head room.

Trunk space runs tight even for a small car at just 10.9 cubic feet in the A3 and a convertible-like 8.3 cubes in the S3.

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2022 Audi A3

Safety

Audi A3 buyers get basic safety equipment and they can opt for more.

How safe is the Audi A3?

That’s yet to be determined by crash tests, which are likely forthcoming. Until we get those, we can’t give the Audi A3 a safety rating.

However, the A3 gets plenty of standard and optional safety features. The standard list includes automatic high beams, automatic emergency braking, and active lane control. Options include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, an automatic parking feature, and an exit warning system.

Review continues below
7

2022 Audi A3

Features

Audi equips every A3 well and lets buyers spend up for performance and technology.

The A3 can be a stylish commuter or a peppy small sport sedan, and each offers a variety of trim levels. We rate it a 7 for that flexibility and its plentiful standard features.

The A3 and S3 are both sold in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims.

The A3 Premium starts at $34,945 and comes standard with leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable heated front seats, a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights and taillights, and 17-inch alloy wheels on all-season tires. All-wheel drive adds $2,000.

Which Audi A3 should I buy?

We’d go for the $40,245 Premium Plus trim, which adds adaptive cruise control, wireless device charging, a surround-view camera system, synthetic leather door armrests, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, memory for the driver seat and mirrors, an alarm, satellite radio, and automatic parking. We’d also be highly tempted by the S3 Premium Plus, which runs $48,745 and comes with the same equipment plus 18-inch summer performance tires, front sport seats, and bigger brakes.

How much is a fully loaded 2022 Audi A3?

The top S3 Premium Plus model runs $52,045. It gets automatic parking, adaptive cruise control, wireless phone charging, birch wood interior trim, a head-up display, LED matrix headlights, navigation, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, traffic sign recognition, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. We’d also add the $1,100 S Sport package for its adaptive dampers and red brake calipers.

A3 infotainment

The A3 gets a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and does away with the lower screen that controls climate function in higher-end Audis. It’s a good-looking system with quick responses, and uses haptic feedback to confirm inputs. A configurable digital instrument cluster available with three themes shows the information drivers desire, and buyers can also get a head-up display to put key information within their line of sight when looking at the road.

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5

2022 Audi A3

Fuel Economy

The Audi A3 offers good fuel economy to go with its frisky power.

Is the Audi A3 good on gas?

Small and powered by turbo-4 engines, the Audi A3 gets decent fuel economy. We base our 5 rating on the all-wheel-drive A3, which is EPA-rated at 28 mpg city, 36 highway, and 31 combined.

The base A3 with front-wheel drive is even thriftier with ratings of 29/38/32 mpg.

The S3 uses a more powerful turbo-4 and gets ratings of 23/32/27 mpg.

Review continues below
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$33,900
MSRP based on Premium 40 TFSI
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6.6
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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