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2022 Audi A3 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Audi A3 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Premium vs Premium Plus and Prestige

Compare the 2022 Audi A3 Premium vs Premium Plus & Prestige Trims

If you're a first-time luxury vehicle shopper, you might be feeling overwhelmed with options. What has the best blend of power and features for the cost? Should you "go big or go home"? Truth is, you can find a straightforward but feature-rich entry-level sedan. The Audi A3 has been overhauled for the 2022 model year, exhibiting a more angular body, a driver-friendly interior design, and an overall high-tech vibe. You can select from three trim levels: the Premium, Premium Plus, and the Prestige. Each one offers a plethora of standard features plus some options to help you customize your 2022 Audi A3. Will one of these trims be the right choice for you? It's time to find out.


Compare the 2022 A3 Premium vs Premium Plus Trims. What is the difference?

Audi excitement is at an all-time high with the 2022 A3 offering two distinct trim levels. The entry level Premium comes equipped with a luxurious seven-speed S tronic transmission paired to front wheel drive and for just $2,000 more you can opt for the acclaimed quattro AWD system or upgrade to their mid tier Premium Plus which houses additional power and awe inspiring features.

The Premium and the Premium Plus come with a punchy turbocharged 2.0-L engine, able to produce an impressive 201 horsepower for spirited driving in any situation. Aluminum alloy cylinder head houses a 16-valve DOHC valvetrain from Audi utilizing valve lift technology that allows this small sedan to zip from 0 - 60 mph in 6.6 seconds--not quite breakneck speed but more than enough to have some fun on winding roads or city streets alike.

This model of car is designed with your convenience in mind. Its steering type has a speed-dependent, power assist so you can zip around corners easily and safely. Enjoy superior comfort as its suspension features McPherson struts up front and independent four-link rear setup for smooth rides every time. The electromechanical parking brake makes getting out of driveways quicker without the usual hassle - plus it boasts impressive fuel economy at 32 mpg combined (29 city/38 highway) using affordable regular grade gasoline.

The Premium and Premium Plus trims of the Audi A3 come with an abundance of safety features, such as electronic child locks, a tire pressure monitoring system, a LATCH system for car seats in the rear seating area. But what makes them truly stand out from each other is that only the higher trim level offers additional luxuries like Audi adaptive cruise control assist to create more space between you and vehicles ahead on those long drives plus advanced key technology paired with Homelink's universal garage door opener for added convenience.

There are a few external features that help you tell these trim levels apart. Both are designed with concealed exhaust tailpipes, 17-inch 5-arm wheels, 225/45 R17 all-season tires, LED taillights with dynamic turn signals, and Alu-optic exterior window surrounds. While the Premium comes with standard LED headlights, the Premium Plus upgrades to full LED headlights with a DRL (daytime running light) signature.

The interior designs differ quite a bit too. The Premium has a stitched dashboard while the Premium Plus adds on leatherette door armrests. Both have seatback storage pockets, a power panoramic sunroof, Alu-optic interior elements, aluminum door sills, and a black cloth headliner. Tri-zone climate control heats and cools the cabin to keep everyone comfortable. The Premium offers a manual-dimming interior rear view mirror while the Premium Plus has an auto-dimming version. There are also LED vanity mirrors on both.

Take the wheel with confidence in these trim levels, thanks to a multifunction steering system and shift paddles designed for your convenience. Get comfortable on luxurious leather seating surfaces that feature front-seat heating - plus, you can relax an arm with the added folding center armrest! To make room for extra cargo needs, simply fold down the rear seat back split into three sections (40/20/40). For those who like color options Audi offers Platinum Gray accents to provide style along every drive.

With Audi, you get more than just superb driving performance - they also provide the latest in infotainment technology. Both the Premium and Plus models boast High Beam Assist and their signature Audi Drive Select to give drivers total control of their car's mode settings. There are plenty of other features too - a one-year subscription for additional Connect CARE assistance services, Pre Sense Basic which auto-adjusts safety systems if necessary, plus Lane Departure Warning so nothing gets left behind.

Up front, you get a digital instrument cluster for important vehicle info. There is also a MMI 10.1-inch touch display and BLUETOOTH wireless connectivity for mobile phones. You can also sync your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The Premium Plus adds the Audi phone box (a surface that will securely hold your smartphone) and Park Assist for helping you get into tight or difficult parking spaces.

Compare the Premium Plus vs Prestige Trim Levels. What is the difference?

The Prestige, like the two lower trim levels, can be equipped with either front-wheel drive or the Quattro system. It is all up to you how much more traction you want from your wheels. This vehicle is definitely not meant to be an off-roader, and it does not have the ground clearance for such adventures. But, with Quattro equipped, it can handle your average dirt road and certainly amplifies traction when driving on slick road surfaces. Quattro is probably best left for drivers who live in cooler climate areas.

You still get the same 2.0-L inline-4 cylinder turbo engine equipped, so expect to get 201 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque just like you would on the Premium or Premium Plus. The acceleration and 0-60 mph time is certainly the same too. In fact, everything under the hood is the same. With no power upgrades available, you are going to have to base your buying decision on which features you crave the most.

That being said, the Prestige does offer quite a few more features than what you get on the Premium Plus. The Prestige doesn't upgrade much in terms of basic safety features, so there is nothing to marvel at in that arena.

The exterior of the car has been upgraded with a Matrix design set of LED headlights and dynamic turn indicators on its taillights. Wheels, tires and their surrounds remain untouched though. Inside the cabin you can take pleasure in an LED Interior lighting package plus, Agate Gray Fine Grain Birch wood inlays while listening to your favorite tunes blasting from Bang & Olufsen's never-compromising sound system.

The Prestige offers next-level technology with its MMI Navigation Plus. Utilizing GPS signals and 3D imaging, the system ensures you get a 360° view of your route while on the move. With Audi virtual cockpit plus also included, enjoy an adaptive TFT screen to access striking visuals - perfect for infotainment purposes such as streaming music or navigating through location points.

On top of that, the Prestige comes with a standard head-up display, which projects certain vehicle data onto the windshield in front of your eyes. That way, you can look at important info without taking your eyes off the road. A traffic sign recognition function comes standard as well. There is even access to Audi connect PRIME and Audi connect PLUS online services with a six-month trial subscription that can be renewed or ditched after the six months are up.


Final Thoughts

It is time to get down to the nitty-gritty and offer you our recommendations regarding the revamped 2022 Audi A3. As an entry-level luxury vehicle, the A3 has lately been lagging behind the competition. Genesis, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz proved to be some seriously stiff competitors. The last few years of the previous generation saw a decline in sales as these tough rivals aimed to unseat the A3 as a top small luxury sedan. Audi smartly decided to pause manufacturing of the A3 for the 2021 model year to sort out a lot of core issues.

The problem with the Audi A3 has been its lack of standard safety features, and it unfortunately looks as if that trend is continuing into the new generation. On the Premium trim level, you have to add the almost-$2,000 Convenience Package to get Audi advanced key, memory for the driver's seat, auto-dimming and power-folding outer side mirrors, an alarm system (which includes a motion sensor), Park Assist, a three-month trial to SiriusXM All Access service, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror with a built-in compass. Other than the Black optic sport package, you don't get too many options on the base trim.

On the Premium Plus, you get more options, such as the Interior style package (which adds the LED interior lighting plus package and inlays done in Agate Gray Fine Birch Wood) and the Technology Package. The latter gives the A3 the six-month trial access to the Audi connect PRIME and PLUS system, Audi MMI Navigation Plus, the virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch digital display, the Bang & Olufsen sound system, and traffic sign recognition. This will set you back over $2,200 but might be worth the investment cost if you are a techy person.

The Prestige makes all of those features standard, save for the Black optic sport package. That is literally the only optional package you have left. And, if you do some basic math, you will quickly figure that equipping those optional packages on the Premium Plus puts it around the same price point as the Prestige.

Therefore, the question becomes: How much can you really afford?

If your budget ranges up into the mid-$40k range, go all the way up to the Prestige and arm it with the Quattro (especially if you live somewhere that gets slammed with harsh winters). This will give you all the features you could possibly want but does not offer a power upgrade, which other entry-level luxury small sedans tend to do for their buyers. It incentivizes buyers, and Audi is missing the point there.

If you don't require all the bells and whistles, the Premium will likely meet your needs. You stay within a more reasonable price range while getting a sense of luxury. But, in the end, if you are a serious luxury buyer, you will likely overlook the A3 altogether. It is, however, a respectable vehicle with a strong reputation from Audi backing it. This year's changes should appease some of Audi's buyers and entice a few new ones. Perhaps you will end up being one of them.