2016 Audi A3 Sedan

What it is: The A3 Sedan is Audi’s smallest four-door car offering in the small luxury sedan segment. It looks larger than it actually is, but in reality it’s actually slightly smaller than a new Civic. This isn’t a bad thing though, as there is still plenty of room inside for four adult passengers and provides a better driving experience. The most striking thing to me about the A3 is that it is one of the best all-around cars I’ve driven. 
First, the A3 is available as a sedan, a convertible or a hatchback, so choose the flavor that best fits your lifestyle. I’ve written about the convertible and hatchback before, but the sedan provides the best all-around experience. Your first choice on the sedan is the engine: a 172-horsepower turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder or a 220 horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Audi charges $3,300 for the 2.0-liter engine, but you also get Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system (which replaces FWD). The extra 50 horsepower goes a long way and is certainly noticeable. Pair that with all four wheels delivering the power to the cement and you start to get a potent driving experience.
The interior is what you would expect from Audi: modern, refined and German. Leather seating is standard and available in black, chestnut or gray. The seating is not overly spacious, but a nice level of intimate. I was extremely comfortable, and it’s easy to reach controls on the dash. My test model was equipped with the optional tech package ($2,700) which includes Audi’s Navigation Plus system with touch input that recognizes handwriting. You actually draw an individual letter and on a laptop-style track pad and you input data into the navigation system. It’s slick, but will take a little getting used to. 
My test model was also equipped with the sport package which gives sports seats, special steering wheel with paddle shifters, and the optional sport suspension. A no-brainer option at $800. The Premium Plus trim was chosen as well, which for $2,700 provides larger, 18-inch wheels, heated seats, keyless start/entry, aluminum trim, and iPod integration. Decent value is provided there, as the upgraded wheels do look great.
Price: $30,900 base price with 1.8 engine. $34,200 with 2.0 engine. $41,325 as-tested with destination. 
Upsides: Lots of luxury cool at a price that won’t break the bank.
Downsides: None, although I would love it if a manual transmission was offered.
Wrap-up: Some people don’t like the current crop of small luxury cars, like the Mercedes Benz CLA or BMW 2-series, but I love them. We love our big cars in Houston, but you can save big bucks by going with a slightly smaller car (the A3 is $4,000 less than the A4 and most people couldn’t tell the cars apart). Being thrifty and buying a new car from a luxury brand don’t typically go hand-in-hand, but this is certainly an opportunity for the discerning consumer. The Audi A3 is highly recommended. 

Wilson Calvert
Author: Wilson CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist / Director of Operations
I am a long-time Houstonian and am obsessed with cars, soccer, traveling, bourbon and airplanes. I write a regular car review column for The Tribune and travel articles a few times per year.