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Is the 2022 Audi A3 the BEST entry level luxury sedan?

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Hi nigel here with the driveway and this is the brand new audi a3 and things have changed quite a bit since the last model it’s undergone a full redesign and it has a new powertrain now it’s still a very pretty looking car it’s more stylish it’s more elegant than before and best of all it isn’t an suv or a crossover it’s a sedan which we like now today i’m going

To test this car we’re going to see how it compares with its german rivals being bmw and mercedes and we’ll see how it compares to them at the end of the test so what exactly is this car up against well the excellent bmw 228i x drive and from mercedes the 220 4matic now this one is a quattro version you can get it in front wheel drive but this is a quattro

One which is why i’m going to compare them with those two other cars so all three of these cars have a two liter turbo four the audi wins in the price bracket starts at 35 900 and this one fully equipped it’s a premium plus model 42 490 dollars comes in cheaper than both the bmw and the mercedes the audi has a little bit less power the bmw wins on that 228 258

Foot-pounds the mercedes and the audi come with a seven-speed twin clutch the bmw gets an 8-speed manual and obviously due to the additional power it comes in as the fastest with 0-60 in six seconds and also has the most interior space because it’s the grand coupe model however the audi has the best economy so you got to choose from this and see which one but

Obviously on paper things are a lot different to actually driving which we’ll do later so what’s changed on this model is 1.4 inches longer it’s about 0.8 of an inch wider and it’s about half an inch taller and it now rides on the mqb evo platform which is essentially the same as the mark 8 gti so this premium plus model has the lane keep assist system it’s got

Adaptive cruise it’s got a rear cross traffic alert it’s also got blind spot monitors on this premium plus it has the optional 18 inch rims they look pretty good it also has these 225 40s all around they are pirelli all seasons it’s great because any tire other than a bridgestone is good for me so in the conventional style trunk you get almost 11 cubic feet of space

It’s quite well beaten by the bmw the mercedes matches this one for the same amount of space and then underneath you get a small space saver rear tire and a little grocery net to keep those groceries from flying around the trunk it’s a decent size there just isn’t a lot of depth between these two but uh that’s the price you pay for having a pretty car so under

The hood as i mentioned before in my side by side comparison you get a little bit less power than the previous model so if you remember last year’s all-wheel drive a3 had 228 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque and then the front wheel drive one had less well now regardless of which wheels are driven the engine has 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque

The good news is it’s augmented by a 48 volt mild hybrid system so it does offer much better fuel economy which is why it won the comparison also benefits the overall driving experience and we’ll find out about that later but yeah there’s almost no lag in this engine i really like it in the back it is not too bad uh i don’t have very long legs a couple people

Ask me in the comments i’m only about five foot seven so it fits me fine if you’re six feet or taller you’re not gonna like spending time in the back because the roof slopes down again to keep that pretty shape going and and i’ve barely got enough room but i’m comfortable enough for a journey i’ve got my own events i’ve got a little power too fast usbs and it’s

Generally pretty comfortable but you know you’re not really going to spend a lot of time in the back are you all right so here we are in the front and it is not too bad you get leather seats as standard in the premium plus you do not in the mercedes you have to pay extra and you also have to pay extra in the bmw otherwise you get vegan leather these are decently

Comfortable they’re not because of the s-line ones that i’ve seen before i like the fact you get uh memory seats are included and on this one uh no cooled seats are only heated seats and that’s a separate package in the mercedes and the bmw was well so they do kind of nickel and dime you for all those different options it would be nice if this did have the option

Of cooled seats but you have to go up one to a prestige to get those pretty decent quality but for thirty five thousand dollars it’s not going to be like an s8 and so a little bit of scratchy plastics here and there but generally it’s well put together these are soft feel plastics here get the excellent interface as i said there’s no uh there’s no physical volume

Button anymore you have to use this weird sort of like little touch pad right here but it works fine engine start stop the charger holds pretty decent sized phones it won’t charge my phone through the the case unfortunately but you can’t have everything you’ve got a drive select system here i’m an individual and i’ve programmed it for sporty drive and balanced

In the steering and it seems to work great it’s not too hard the suspension is not like crashy it works perfectly for me everything else is super easy to use it’s fast you’ve got phone apps you’ve got apple carplay you’ve got all this stuff to play with you’ve got navigation apart from this one wasn’t purchased on this particular test car but you’d show a map

There anyway but you might as well use android auto or carplay anyway for that and down here in the center console you do get this weird switch like thing you’ve seen that on the golf gti uh parking brake 12 volt little change thing here and there’s a couple of cup holders that are okay i have my one in the in the door pocket right now it doesn’t wobble around

Too much so that works as well so what do i not like well uh you know i don’t like sunroofs i can’t i just really don’t like sunrise but every single audi comes out of the factory with a sunroof which is okay but i wish they didn’t put this hair net style very thin thing a lot of heat comes through that particularly obviously here in southern california where it’s

Hot for most of the time of the year sun just comes straight through this i don’t know why they can’t put something a little bit more of substance there so because this is a premium plus model not a prestige you don’t automatically get the cool driver display so we press view normally that would move those two dials on the right and left to make them smaller you

Can obviously lay the maps over there you can play around with this to some degree and you can scroll through there’s a little scrolly wheels you can see what your fuel consumption is i’ve been hammering it so 19 but i’ll get better as i go along 21.5 as a long term energy consumption driver assistance controls etc i just leave the date and time in there yeah it’s

Pretty straightforward easy to use and then yes i know there’s no physical volume control there’s that weird pad thing that i showed you but you can change the volume here on the wheel so it makes it a lot easier to control another thing i’m not really keen on is i have it i have the camera on right now and it’s sort of like a little bit of a fisheye lens and

The quality is kind of poor in terms of it’s not really very hd so i’m not too pleased with that so forget about the numbers let’s see how this car actually drives so i have it in my preset individual mode how to put it into s flick of this lever here i like the fact that the parking brake automatically comes off and let’s go so it’s got modest acceleration

I like the fact that there’s no lag or very little lag especially in sport mode and the fact that it doesn’t ride too hard on this uh really bad pavement even though we have it in individual mode i haven’t tried it in in comfort mode but this is a mode that i could live with so once on the move though this is kind of nice it’s it’s got some point and squirt it

Carves around these turns well i already like these pirellis so i know the s3 we tested a few weeks ago had bridgestones on and we had those squealing on the limit these are doing a pretty good job so far even though it’s base model it it goes pretty well i mean 0 to 60 takes around 6.4 seconds that is not super fast the gti is going to be quicker than this it’s

Got more power obviously do i miss the uh additional 27 horsepower that last gs model had kind of but it wouldn’t matter too much to me i have the steering set in a fairly uh not too aggressive mode the middle mode and it feels good it feels planted suspension is absorbing these bumps well i kind of like it a softer suspension works better along here because it

Is super bumpy this car tracks well like most german cars track really well at higher speeds and it’s holding fairly high speeds right now without general problem if there is a downside it’s the brakes um i did notice that the brakes were the rotors were slightly discolored this car has been driven hard and it’s 6 800 miles obviously and uh i feel like you have

To push quite hard to get the bike that you need out of the brakes which is never good now coming off a an rcf fuji with brembos and you know unbelievable stopping power it took a couple of days to get used to this but now i am and and yes i am finding now that i need a little bit more of a push on the brakes but it’s fine um they’re fairly linear they don’t

Feel weird um but that would be the only downside now if you were to uh chip this car which you can do obviously there are warranty issues but you can chip i’ve chipped audis before that i’ve owned um i would seriously consider getting better breaks on this because i think you could probably chip this um with quite a considerable amount of additional horsepower

And torque and i feel these standard brakes may not be up to the task but they’re absolutely fine for for this 201 horsepower i mean it the engine’s a little buzzy at speed but it isn’t it isn’t bad i mean it’s nothing you know that most of these 2.2.0 turbos are are a little buzzy at speed it sounds like a vw audi engine because it is a vw audi engine now in these

Tight twisties there’s a there’s a little body roll there’s no adaptive suspension here really and and it just a couple of steering corrections and it it handles pretty well and i am very happy with these pirellis um all season or not these aren’t bad but you can definitely have some fun with it and then you know even though i’ve been hammering this uh epa says

You’ll get 36 highway i believe it’s 28 in town um it’s super easy to drive it’s super smooth it just doesn’t quite have the same urge that a bmw had it did when it had 228 horsepower but it has a little bit less now but yeah you see that transmission shifts down it does pretty snappy changes it’s a seven-speed dual clutch of course so it doesn’t really uh doesn’t

Really need to wait yeah i’ll be honest if i didn’t need this the space of a of an suv crossover q3 for example comes to mind this is way more fun than a q3 way more fun but then again i’m biased i love sedans and i’m not a huge fan of crossovers of course you know audi is hoping to track younger buyers the prices at a good price point i think the average price

Of a car now in the us is about 42 anyway so it falls right in that sweet spot gets them hooked on the four rings and then they come back with a family and they buy a big old suv unfortunately or they don’t get married and they buy an s8 i do like the way this thing tracks for the non-sporty version free it’s not too bad yeah i feel like this would be a nice

Little road trip car for two people you’ve got plenty of room for stuff to throw in the trunk in the back it’s going to be economical oh and the best thing is it only requires a regular gas i checked that because i had to fill it up and it says regular gas which often these four-cylinder turbos require premium so what do we think well for a first time luxury

Car buyer i think this is a great little entry level option as are the other cars we’re testing this audi today though if you want more performance then go get yourself an s3 if you want to stay around this price then you’d probably have to go for the bmw but it’s not as pretty as this car all around this is an excellent little car it hasn’t really lost much in

The transition to a slightly lower powered engine true it’s not as quick from 0 to 60 but the driving experience as we found out is actually pretty good anyway once again thanks for watching appreciate it like and subscribe and we will catch you next time with another video out

Transcribed from video
Is the 2022 Audi A3 the BEST entry level luxury sedan? By The Drive Wire