2017 Audi A3 Sedan

2017 audi a3 sedan – DOC658747

The Audi A3 came to life in 1996, and was originally offered as a three-door hatchback. It was built on Volkswagen’s Group A platform, which means its underpinnings were shared with cars like the Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, Seat Toledo and even the Skoda Octavia. As time went on, a five-door hatchback was added to the lineup, as well as a cabriolet.

The A3 went through a third-generation overhaul for the 2012 model year, and in 2013, we were introduced to the A3 sedan at the 2013 New York Auto Show. The sedan went on sale in Germany and the U.K. later that year, and now after just a couple short years, it looks like the A3 Sedan is up for a facelift.

Our spy photographers have recently caught the facelifted A3 Sedan out testing in a place that looks colder than anywhere I want to be. Don’t expect this to be a whole new car, because there haven’t been any changes to the sides of the vehicle really. But, as you can see from the images, the front and rear ends are both under heavy camo. So what updates are hidden under that camo? It is hard to say for sure, but we have some ideas. Keep reading to find out.

Spy Shots

December 7, 2015 – First testing session

Audi A3 Sedan

Audi A3 Sedan

Audi A3 Sedan

Exterior

As with most new spy shots, this is where we initially get the meat and potatoes of future updates. Right away, the large Audi front grille remains pretty much unchanged, but the curve on the sides of the grille appear to come to a sharper point, in comparison to previous model years. The headlights are partially covered by camo, but the lines that protrude through the camo don’t always lie. The headlights look to have a similar design, but the bottom edge of the headlight zigzags, creating a point below the low beam light. If you look at the headlights of the current A3, they simply slant downward at this point, so this is a significant change. The large vents at the corner of the front fascia also appear to have been downsized. They still have the air openings on the outer corners of the fascia, and the horizontal flats, but don’t appear to be as deep or extend as far inward as before.

The large vents at the corner of the front fascia also appear to have been downsized.

As mentioned earlier, the sides of the car seem to remain unchanged – the deep body line that runs between the wheel wells on the lower section of the doors carries over, as well as the dual body line that runs from the headlights to the taillights. The mirrors and even the small triangular glass behind the rear doors looks to be the same.

To the rear, the main body line on the fascia that coincides with the lower deep body line on the side remains. Down below however, it looks like there is a different diffuser. The lines under the camo show that it takes on the lower portion of the bumper like previous years, but in the middle there is a cutout that gives the rear end more of a sporty look. A single exhaust pipe exits on the driver side. There are two big changes to be noted on the rear, outside of that diffuser that is. First, it looks like the lip on the deck lid has been refined, and is much less dominant – almost slanting inward as opposed to making a lip-like spoiler at the rear. Second is the taillights. Obviously they carry the same shape, and they do have camo over them, but instead of being solid red, they appear to have clear lenses. On these lights, the clear lenses make way for two red-colored lines that make up the red coloration for the brake and tail light bulbs. It should be noted that, since these lights look to be identical in shape and size, it may be as simple as swapping these new taillights onto older, third-gen models to give them a slightly sportier look in the rear.

Interior

Audi A3 Sedan

So far, we have no idea what Audi has done to the interior of the A3 sedan. I suspect that it will carry over mostly unchanged from the 2015 model year. That means it should still have the wraparound dash design with similar materials to that found in the Audi A8 . The dash will likely remain uncluttered with simple audio controls positioned just above the center console, and I suspect that pop-out screen will also remain. I wouldn’t be surprised if a larger touchscreen is offered with the facelift, or an update to the infotainment systems operating system. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see Audi update the center console to a floating design like we’ve seen with other automakers. That, however, is probably more of a dream that what reality will actually bring us when the facelifted model debuts.

Drivetrain

Audi A3 Sedan

Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph.

Whether or not the facelifted A3 Sedan will sport any drivetrain upgrades remains a bit of a mystery, but I’m banking that we’ll see the same powertrain availability as we have with the current models. Currently, the A3 is available with a 1.8-liter, Turbocharged TFSI engine. When equipped at this level, the car puts out 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. Stepping up to the 2.0-liter TFSI brings those numbers up to 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. 60 mph comes in at 5.2 seconds and top speed remains at 130 mph. A 2.0-liter TDI diesel was originally set to be an option, but so far – as of the 2016 model year – we have yet to see that diesel engine. All available engines will likely be fixed to the same six-speed S Tronic, Dual clutch transmission seen on previous models.

It’s rather common for the powertrain to carry over untouched for mid-generational facelifts, but I wouldn’t put it past Audi to offer slight bumps in horsepower and torque to increase appeal. If that does happen, it won’t be anything significant, but it will be a bump up nonetheless.

Prices

We don’t know of any pricing information for the facelifted A3, but I doubt the prices will change much from previous years. Currently, the A3 Sedan is offered in three trims here in the U.S. The Premium trim starts out at $30,900 for the 1.8-liter, while the premium trim with the 2.0-liter comes in at $34,200. Stepping up to the Premium Plus trim currently sets you back $33,600 and $36,900, while the A3 Sedan Prestige hits the bank for $39,750 and $43,050.

If prices do increase with the release of the facelifted A3 Sedan, I wouldn’t expect to see them jump up much. Depending on new features added to the interior or engine upgrades, a small hike of up to $500 per trim wouldn’t be out of the question.

Competition

Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Mercedes-Benz CLA

Some people might not think of the Audi name as something that might compete with the likes of Mercedes , but those who think that way probably haven’t actually had a chance to get behind the wheel of the A3. The CLA class comes in three flavors – the CLA250, CLA250 4Matic Coupe and the AMG CLA45. They are priced at $32,050, $34,050 and $49,500, respectively. The two lower trim levels comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. That engine puts out 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet or torque in both trims. Moving up to the AMG – which is priced about $6,000 higher than the highest trim of the current A3 Sedan – brings a hand-built 2.0-liter to the table that puts out 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet or torque. Needless to say, that extra $6,000 premium brings about a significant jump in horsepower over the highest trimmed A3 Sedan. For those comparing apples to oranges, however, the CLA250 4Matic runs right in line with the higher trim A3 Sedan, offers similar levels of luxury and similar passenger and cargo room.

Buick Regal

Buick Regal

Previously, we’ve compared the A3 to the Buick Verano, but I think the Buick Regal is a slightly better competitor. All told, the Regal is a bit larger – nearly 15 inches longer, three inches wider and less than three inches taller – but that really isn’t much, and in terms of luxury, the Regal is a great competitor. The Regal comes in three trims, starting with the standard trim, then the Premium II trim and finally the GS trim. All trims come standard with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, DOHC engine and can be had in two-wheel or all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter pounds out 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Inside, there is a bit more going on than the S3, but it does feature a wrap-around style dash and an infotainment system with a larger screen. Leather and woodgrain upholstery also adds to the luxury of the Regal. Price-wise, the Regal fits the comparative bill quite well. The Standard trim starts out at $31,415, the Premium II group comes in at $33,990 and the top-end GS trim comes in at $36,490.

Conclusion

Audi A3 Sedan

I didn’t exactly expect to see the A3 sedan facelifted so quickly, being the current generation is only a few years old. I do, however, think it is great that Audi wants to keep the sedan’s design fresh. I’m not sure if the new design of the facelifted model will be enough to convince current-generation owners to trade in for the new model, but it will certainly attract some new buyers. I’m hoping to see some interior updates that will make the car more desirable as well, considering there really aren’t that many changes on the exterior. We probably won’t see a new generation of the A3 sedan until closer to 2020, so if you’re looking at getting yourself a new sedan, I would suggest waiting until the facelifted A3 makes its debut. At least you’ll have the fresh look until the next generation makes its appearance.

LOVE IT

  • Clear Tail lights
  • Potential new design for the headlights
  • New front corner vents

LEAVE IT

  • very little exterior change
  • No view of the interior… yet
  • Changes to the sides would be nice