2017 Audi A3 Review: Don't fix what isn't broken

– Detroit, Michigan

Audi quadrupled its sales of the A3 in 2015. The previous-generation hatchback sold 8,040 units in its best year (2006), but in 2015, Audi sold just under 36,000 versions of the A3 sedan. To say there’s a lot of success riding on the current A3 is indeed an understatement, and that’s why – as with the S3 – Audi didn’t make any drastic changes to its subcompact sedan’s formula for 2017. A new base engine, an exterior nip/tuck, and a host of new tech only serve to keep the Audi A3 successful for years to come.

 

 

Pros

What a handsome fella. I got a great many compliments on this 2017 A3 Prestige model, all dolled up with the company’s S-Line exterior treatment. The LED lights and directional rear turn signals look ultra-modern, and the sharp, 18-inch wheels give the small sedan a nice stance on the road (don’t even bother paying for the optional 19s). Even in this relatively anonymous shade of Ibis White, the A3 looks very sophisticated. Sporty, too – if you showed me a picture of this car and told me it was an S3, I’d probably believe you.

Quattro adds power. The base, front-wheel-drive A3 gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine for 2017. Its output ratings of 186 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque are probably fine for this 3,300-ish-pound sedan – certainly better than the 170 hp and 200 lb-ft of the outgoing 1.8T, anyway. But if you choose Quattro all-wheel drive – an Audi staple – you’re treated to an even more powerful 2.0T engine...