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2022 Audi A3 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

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

What 2022 Audi A3 Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between 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 Audi A3 Premium vs Premium Plus Trim. What is the difference?

The 2022 Audi A3's base trim level is known as the Premium. It comes standard with a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. For $2,000 more, you can get Audi's quattro (their name for the all-wheel drive system) swapped in. You can also choose to equip it on the mid-tier trim level, the Premium Plus. Now, as you might imagine, the Premium Plus takes all of the Premium's foundations and builds upon them by adding more power and features.

The Premium and Premium Plus are both powered by a turbocharged 2.0-L inline-4 cylinder engine that has a maximum output of 201 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. Its cylinder head is made from aluminum alloy, and there is a 16-valve DOHC with Audi valvelift valvetrain. Turbocharged TFSI fuel injection is standard. This little sedan can zip from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 6.6 seconds. While this isn't the fastest speed a luxury sedan can achieve, it is still a good showing.

The steering type is electromechanical with power assist that is speed-dependent. The suspension is composed of a McPherson front strut and four-link independent rear suspension. You also get an electromechanical parking brake. Fuel economy sits at a combined 32 miles per gallon (with 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway). Its recommended fuel is regular, so you won't have to spend more money on premium grade gasoline.

Now, let's get into the standard features on the Premium and Premium Plus since this is where these two trim levels actually differ. Here is what these vehicles have to offer. The Premium and Premium Plus have a slew of standard safety features, although both come without a passenger front airbag deactivation switch. There are electronic child locks, a tire pressure monitoring system, a LATCH system for child car seats in the rear seats, a rain/light sensor, and rear side airbags. The Premium Plus adds Audi adaptive cruise control assist, which helps maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of the A3. This trim level also has advanced key and a universal garage door opener from Homelink.

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.

Both come with a multifunction steering with shift paddles and a three-spoke wheel design. A folding front center armrest lets you rest an arm while driving, and the leather seating surfaces are the same in these trim levels. The front seats have a heating function. If you need additional cargo space, you can fold down the split-folding 40/20/40 rear seatbacks. To add a pop of color, Audi includes Platinum Gray inlays.

What about infotainment? So glad you asked because, quite frankly, Audi goes all-out on their tech specs. Both the Premium and Premium Plus are equipped with high beam assist, Audi drive select (which lets you choose between the different drive modes), and a rear-view camera. You also get a limited subscription to Audi connect CARE assistance and security services that can be renewed at your will. Audi pre sense basic preps your A3 for a potential crash by tightening the safety belt for front seats, closing the front and rear side windows, and closing the sunroof if it is open. Lane departure warning tells you when your vehicle is straying over the line.

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 2022 Audi A3 Premium Plus vs Prestige Trim Level. What is the difference?

So, how does the 2022 Audi A3's line-topping Prestige trim level differ from the Premium Plus? How much more luxurious is it? Is it really worth the additional cost? The Prestige is more inclusive in some ways, but it might not suit everyone. That's why we need to cross-examine it with the Premium Plus.

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 offers a few key upgrades though, starting with the headlights. It swaps out the full LED headlight array on the Premium Plus and equips a more advanced Matrix design set of LED headlights. Also, for a little something extra, the LED taillights with dynamic turn indicators get animation added on. The wheels, tires, and surrounds all remain unaltered.

The interior gets some LED-based upgrades as well. Inside the cabin, you can enjoy the LED Interior lighting package plus. The Audi Prestige package gets tacked on, as do inlays done in Agate Gray Fine Grain Birch Wood. The real stand-out addition is the Bang & Olufsen Sound System. It provides crystal-clear, crisp sound quality throughout the cabin.

Need an advanced navigation system? The Prestige is outfitted with the MMI Navigation Plus. It relies on GPS signals to create three-dimensional images with zoom-able maps. It will show you a street view with 3D replication of the buildings surrounding the street. You also get the added benefit of having the Audi virtual cockpit plus. This system gives you an adaptive TFT screen in the place of your regular display. You can use it like an infotainment system, bringing basically anything techy onto the screen, from your favorite tunes to the 3D navigation.

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.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

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.

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