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What's New for 2018?
The 2018 Audi A3 shows no signs of significant changes from the outgoing model. The only minor changes that are worth mentioning are the addition of standard heated front seats and two USB ports across the entire lineup. Also, blind spot monitoring is now standard on the Premium Plus trims.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Audi A3 – The Pros
1. Sporty Steering and Handling
The 2018 Audi A3 has some of the lightest steering you will find on a vehicle, yet it provides ample feedback to the driver on how the car is handling turns and bumps. The A3 handles most road surfaces with ease and doesn't require much effort from the driver. The suspension feels very refined, and the optional AWD gives an extra bit of road grip.
2. Ride Comfort
Since handling and steering are so smooth, the overall ride quality feels truly relaxing. The seats are well-bolstered, offer enough adjustments, and are spacious up front. Also, you won't notice much wind, road, or engine noise, even while zooming along at highway speeds.
3. Swift Acceleration
The 2018 Audi A3 has been making news for its incredibly swift acceleration. The vehicle gets from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, which is phenomenal for a vehicle in its category.
4. An Upscale Look
The interior and exterior of the A3 keep in line with Audi's emphasis on upscale appearances. The exterior body is somewhat athletic with its chrome trim and sporty black grille. Inside, the vehicle looks well-thought-out and sensible but keeps a luxurious appearance with its gorgeous trim and upholstery.
5. Superior Braking
Braking on the 2018 Audi A3 feels completely secure and natural. It comes to an emergency stop in just 118 feet, which is above-average for its class. Also, there are no weird brake jitters or any nosedive to speak of. The A3 remains completely straight while the brakes are being applied.
6. User-Friendly Controls
While some luxury vehicles are difficult to figure out, the A3 has incredibly intuitive and user-friendly controls. Everything on the center stack is well-organized, easy for the driver to reach, and clearly marked. All controls work as expected, and non-tech-savvy drivers won't have to fuss around too much with the infotainment system's settings.
7. Superb Visibility
Front and side visibility is excellent on the Audi A3. The roof pillars are incredibly narrow, allowing a clear perspective from any angle. Even the view out the rear is wide, and the rearview camera isn't really needed.
8. High-Quality Materials
Audi went all-out on decking the car with high-quality materials. The interior aluminum trim is eye-catching and should hold up well over time. The leather upholstery on the Premium trims looks well-stitched and classy.
9. A Surprisingly Good Fuel Economy
Luxury vehicles with powerful engines (such as the A3's amped-up AWD variants) are not known for getting decent fuel economies. The 2018 Audi A3 surpasses expectations by garnering 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway on the base engine and 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway on the upgraded 2.0T Quattro models.
10. Optional All-Wheel Drive is Available
All-wheel drive is available on the higher trim levels. Audi's AWD provides an exemplary amount of grip on the road while managing to not suck the gas tank dry. Since there are several trim levels on which AWD is available, you get to pick what will suit your needs best and still give you ample power.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Audi A3 – The Cons
1. Limited Cargo Space
As is the case with many luxury vehicles, cargo space is limited. Since there is only 10 cubic feet of cargo space, you will have to fold the rear seats down to lug bulky items around. Forget about trying to tote a bicycle in the trunk; it won't happen.
2. Small Rear Seat
Another condemning aspect of luxury vehicles is the small amount of rear seat space, which the 2018 Audi A3 suffers from. Taller adults will not be able to fit comfortably in the back, and even average-sized adults will struggle.
3. Minimal Small Item Storage Areas
There aren't enough small item storage compartments in the A3's cabin. The door pockets are way too small, as is the glovebox and console bin up front. You will not be able to easily store any laptops or tablets inside of the vehicle.
4. Difficult to Get In and Out
Getting into the front seats is easy enough, but rear seat passengers will have to learn some contortionist skills to get into and out of the rear seats without bonking their heads on the door frames.
How it Stacks up to the Competition:
2018 Audi A3 vs. 2018 BMW 2-Series
Like the A3, the 2018 BMW 2-Series is both fuel-efficient and fast. It, too, has an outstanding ride quality and handling capabilities, and it has numerous standard and optional features. On the downside, the 2-Series has a serious lack of rear seat space. Also, the base trim is missing quite a few of the features that you can find on the Audi A3.
2018 Audi A3 vs. 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class comes loaded with more standard safety features than what you will find on the A3. It also has a lot more storage areas and cargo space. It gets a competitive amount of power and steering while being reasonably priced for a luxury model in this class. However, the ride quality is diminished, and rear visibility is nowhere near as good as it is on the A3.
The 2018 Audi A3 is a remarkable vehicle for its class. It is considered entry-level but has an unexpectedly refined feel that rivals higher-end luxury sedans and coupes. It feels incredibly safe to drive but doesn't compromise on being fun. Somehow, the A3 manages to combine elegance, security, fuel efficiency, and comfort all into one neat little package.
• Why buy a 2017 Audi A3? w/ pros vs cons