Audi A3

The Audi A3 is offered as a sedan, convertible, or 5-door Sportback. Available engines include a turbocharged 1.8L unit that produces 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. This engine sends power to the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. A 2.0L turbodiesel (TDI) engine making 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque is a fuel economy hero in the A3 range, and Audi estimates 36 mpg in combined city and highway driving for the TDI. Like the 1.8 engine, the 2.0L TDI sends power to the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.

A 2.0L turbocharged gasoline engine makes the A3 a little bit speedier, with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the 1.8 and TDI versions, any A3 powered by a 2.0L gasoline engine sends power to all-four wheels via quattro all-wheel drive. A high-performance version of this same engine powers the Audi S3, where it makes 292 horsepower -- enough to go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

Finally, the A3 Sportback e-tron hybrid utilizes an electric motor that makes 102 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, plus a 1.4L turbocharged gasoline engine capable of 150 horsepower. When combined, the two powerplants make 204 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful hybrids available. The Sportback e-tron can drive on purely electric power for about 17 miles,

The Audi A3 is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige, while the S3 is available only in Premium Plus and Prestige trims.

The Premium trim includes leather seating, a panoramic glass sunroof, bi-xenon automatic headlights, power adjustable side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-way power adjustable driver's seat, rearview camera and parking sensors, "Alu-optic" interior trim, heated mirrors and washer nozzles, and a 10-speaker sound system with a 3-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio.

The Premium Plus trim adds 18-inch wheels, aluminum interior trim, and a keyless entry system. The Prestige package, meanwhile, includes everything in Premium Plus, as well as an S-line exterior body kit, a Bang and Olufsen sound system, a navigation system, Audi connect and LED headlights.

Safety features on the A3 and S3 include anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control and a tire pressure monitoring system. Airbags include advanced driver and passenger front airbags, knee airbags, thorax side airbags as well as side curtain airbags. An anti-theft alarm system comes standard, while Active Lane Assist, Audi Pre-Sense automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control are all optional on the A3 Prestige.

Editors' Review

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After years of being forbidden fruit, Audi's RS3 has finally made its way to the US. However, rather than the hot little hatch that we've been lusting after from afar, our RS3 is an angry-but-cute, high-powered sedan. Beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.

Having lived with the 2018 RS3 sedan for a while now, I've started to care less and less about the silhouette. The excellent performance it offers is just that good. Plus, the aggressive little subcompact is packing some of the best cabin tech in the business.

Top tier tech

Beneath all of the go-faster bits and styling upgrades, the RS3 is just an A3 (duh), so it still offers all of the awesome tech that we've come to love from Audi.

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The Good The RS3's five-cylinder engine and sport exhaust delivers 400 horsepower with a tremendous sound. The standard adaptive suspension balances a firm, responsive ride without being punishing when commuting. Audi's MMI and Virtual Cockpit tech present a flexible and capable combined infotainment interface.

The Bad There's a bit of turbo lag when launching. Paying this much for a subcompact is hard bullet to bite.

The Bottom Line It's a pricey proposition, but the 2018 Audi RS3 sedan's balance of race-ready performance, daily-drivable comfort and best-in-class tech is hard to match.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 8.5
  • Design 8
  • Media 9

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