The A3 is Audi’s entry level sedan. Redesigned in 2022, it feature’s the brand’s blend of premium interior quality with a mix of luxury and technology along with excellent road manners. Think of it as a scaled-down version of the A4 or A6 sedan and you’d be on the mark.
The starting price is $34,900. For that money, you get a stylish compact sedan with solid performance. The Audi A3 competes with other premium sedans like the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLA. It also matches up well with the recently launched Acura Integra but has three advantages over Acura’s new compact sedan.
1. The 2023 Audi A3 has optional all-wheel drive
Audi’s Quattro AWD system is legendary among rally fans and is central to the brand’s identity. Every model in the Audi lineup has Quattro available as standard equipment or available as an option, as in the A3’s case. The Quattro provides sure footing and secure handling in any kind of weather, enhancing the A3’s already excellent road manners.
The Acura Integra is available only as a front-wheel drive car. While Acura does offer its Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system (SH-AWD) on some models, it is not an option for the Integra.
2. The Audi A3 has more exciting performance options
Audi has several flavors of the A3. The base A3 uses Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged mild-hybrid engine, which is good for 201 horsepower. According to Car and Driver, performance for this engine is quick, with a 0 to 60 mph time of 6.2 seconds. It’s also reasonably fuel efficient with the mild-hybrid returning a combined 29 mpg and 38 mph on the highway.
Step into the S3 and you get a more performance-oriented sedan with upgraded brakes, suspension, and a 306-horsepower turbo four-cylinder. The S3 gets to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, almost two seconds faster than the standard A3. However, fuel economy suffers, dropping to 25 mph overall according to Car and Driver.
If that’s not enough performance, the RS 3 has a turbocharged 5-cylinder cranking out 401 horsepower. Performance is even wilder; 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and a top speed limited to 159 mph. C/D calls it “raucous” with a “strong, soulful engine and dynamic driving manners that make it more engaging than its siblings.”
The Acura Integra only comes with one engine, a 200-horsepower four-cylinder. It is fuel-efficient, smooth and rev-happy but is no match for the higher performance versions of the A3.
3. The Audi A3’s interior is top shelf luxury
A premium car needs a premium interior and, per Kelley Blue Book, the A3 has “the most luxurious interior in its class.” It doesn’t scrimp on luxury, offering the same upscale feel as the larger A4 and A6 sedans. Some luxury cars feel cold or uncomfortable, and others are too showy. Audi nails it with the interiors.
In terms of features, Audi offers more options like a Bang & Olufsen stereo with 3D surround sound technology. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is also available which includes a 12.3-inch digital driver information display; it is configurable to show different types of information.
Essentially, the A3 delivers a more premium, luxury feel than the Acura Integra with all-wheel-drive and more performance options. It’s not a one-size-fits-all car but one that can be configured to just about every taste or pocketbook. Or as Kelley Blue Book says in its review, the A3 is either a “nice runabout, bona fide driver’s car, or pocket missile — it’s great to have the choice.”
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