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2018 Audi A3

Starting at $32,925

2018 audi a3

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  • Highs Perky optional turbocharged four-cylinder, available all-wheel drive, sedan and convertible body styles.
  • Lows Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't standard, all-wheel drive shrinks trunk space, snug rear seat in convertible model.
  • Verdict Stylish, compact, and fun to drive, the Audi A3 is a great option for buyers seeking a small-scale sports sedan.


Looking every bit like an A4 that has shrunk in the wash, the 2018 Audi A3 offers everything we love about Audi sports sedans in a compact package. It’s a tossable, spry little thing with available Quattro all-wheel drive and a potent optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Audi’s high-quality interior design is cheapened only slightly from more expensive Audis, and the innovative technology the brand is known for is still available, including a trick digital gauge cluster and a motorized pop-up infotainment display. If the four-door tintop doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps the two-door convertible will lure you to the open-air lifestyle. In either guise, the A3 is the quintessential good thing in a small package.

What's New for 2018?

Only minor changes are in store for the A3 this year: heated front seats and dual USB ports are now standard on all models. Midrange Premium Plus trims now come standard with blind-spot monitoring, and the Bang & Olufsen premium audio system is now a part of that model’s $3200 Technology package.


Original MSRP:

  • Premium Sedan: $32,925
  • Premium Plus Sedan: $36,175
  • Premium Cabriolet: $39,325
  • Prestige Sedan: $41,675
  • Premium Plus Cabriolet: $42,575
  • Prestige Cabriolet: $47,775

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Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The A3's powertrain consists of two different versions of Audi’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and two different automatic transmissions: six-speed or seven-speed. Which combination you get depends on whether you choose a Quattro all-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive model. Front-wheel drive is standard and comes with a 186-hp engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Choosing Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system necessitates the switch to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic and brings with it the 220-hp version of the inline-four. In its higher tune, this engine is beloved by us and many others. It does duty in the Volkswagen Golf GTI and is equally masterful and enjoyable in the A3. Only some minor quibbles with the programming of the six-speed automatic transmission temper our admiration. The all-wheel-drive A3 sedan we tested turned in a zero-to-60-mph run of 5.5 seconds, making it plenty quick enough for all but the hottest of hot-shoe drivers. It will come as no surprise to those familiar with Audi that the A3 feels solid and composed at speed. The ride is smooth, with the wheels rebounding quickly from impacts without much jostling in the cabin.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the Compare Side-by-Side tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The A3 has one of the most spacious back seats in its class. Its interior is comfortable, well designed, and looks upscale despite the fact that this is the entry-level Audi. Buyers who live in more frigid parts of the country will be pleased to know that heated seats are standard equipment across the 2018 A3 lineup. The littlest Audi’s comfortable and stylish cabin remains the same as last year’s model. Power-adjustable leather seats are standard in every A3, as are two-zone automatic climate control and a panoramic sunroof. Front-wheel-drive A3 sedans have 12 cubic feet of cargo space compared with 10 for Quattro models, but there is no difference in cargo space between the front- and all-wheel-drive cabriolets.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Audi’s MMI infotainment system is one of our favorite setups in the industry. Buyers will have to pay extra or step into a higher trim level to access Audi’s full MMI infotainment system, which includes a touchpad with handwriting recognition and navigation services. It performed well in our testing, has proved to be user-friendly, and employs a cool motorized display that rises from the dashboard. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available in the lowest trim as part of an option package but are standard on higher-spec models. Two USB ports that allow for both charging and streaming data to the infotainment system are now standard across the lineup. Premium Plus models equipped with the Technology package come with a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. Buyers who choose the A3’s entry-level Premium trim will be treated to a 7.0-inch display audio system with 10 speakers, a CD player, an auxiliary input, and a charge-only USB port. We haven’t tested that system but expect that it would work well for limited functions.

Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings

Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)

View Crash Test Results

For more information about the Audi A3’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.


Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.


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