The Audi A3 is in its fourth-generation in America for 2022 and the entry into Audi here, and priced like it. Credit to Audi, I suppose, for still bringing the A3 and S3 to the States at all.
That is because, as we all know, small sedans like the A3 are deeply out of fashion in the States, and Audi only sells about 10,000 A3s a year here, though if Audi hasn’t given up so far on the A3 in America it is unlikely to do so anytime soon.
On Thursday, Audi released pricing and confirmed specifications for the American version of the 2022 A3 and S3. The A3 starts at $33,900, the A3 Quattro at $35,900 and the S3 at $44,900, all in addition to a required $1,045 destination charge.
The A3 has a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that sends up to 201 horsepower through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. That is also mated to a 48-volt mild hybrid system that is a first in an A3; in “many driving situations,” Audi says, you can use this system to keep the engine turned off. The sportier S3 has a four-cylinder as well, but this one is more pissed off, making 306 horsepower, or 18 horsepower more than the outgoing S3. The S3 also has bigger brakes and optional suspension upgrades.
The more significant changes on the fourth-generation A3 and S3 involve the exterior styling, which makes the car still resemble an Audi but more so. The car is 0.8 inches wider and 1.6 inches longer than the outgoing model, which Audi claims will give it a “more substantial appearance.” The grille and exhaust tips are bigger, too.
Inside, there is a 10.1-inch screen that is a standard, or an optional, bigger 12.3-inch screen that Audi calls a “virtual cockpit.” Driver assistance systems that are standard include lane departure warning, high beam assist, and front and rear impact warnings. Optional driver assistance systems include adaptive cruise control from zero to 95 mph and automatic parallel parking.
The A3's main competitors here are the Mercedes A-Class, Acura ILX, and BMW 2 Series, and there is, on paper, little that separates them, so it’s likely that whichever one you go with is simply a matter of brand preference. And I’m little surprised the luxury compact segment isn’t more electrified, but that means that, if you want a nice small gas car, that is still a thing you can buy in 2021, just like 10, 20, or 30 years ago. When they come for the nice small gas cars, we’ll know they’re serious.