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2017 Audi A3 Review

The 2017 Audi A3 offers brisk acceleration, agile handling, an upscale interior, and lots of high-tech features. However, its subpar predicted reliability rating and cramped rear seats keep the A3 stuck in the middle of our luxury small car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Spirited performance
  • Smooth ride
  • Numerous high-tech features
  • Small rear seats
  • Tiny cargo area in all-wheel-drive and convertible models

New for 2017

  • New base engine and transmission
  • Added standard safety features
  • Revised infotainment system

Rankings & Awards

The 2017 Audi A3's #12 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Luxury Small Cars category. It was a finalist for our 2017 Best Luxury Small Car for the Money award. Currently the Audi A3 has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 33 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Audi A3 Overview

Is the 2017 Audi A3 a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Audi A3 is a decent option if you’re shopping for a used luxury small car. It has a lineup of punchy turbocharged engines that enable both quick acceleration and good fuel economy. The A3 feels light and agile around turns without sacrificing its smooth ride quality. Moreover, its interior is elegantly styled and packed with features. On the downside, the A3’s rear seats are quite cramped. This Audi also has one of the lowest predicted reliability ratings in the class.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 33 Audi A3 reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2017 Audi A3?

Based on roughly 155 listings on our site for the 2017 Audi A3, prices range from $22,900 to $33,800. The average list price is $27,700. How much you pay depends on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Audi A3 Cost to Own?

The 2017 Audi A3's estimated five-year costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are about $25,600 – or $5,120 per year. In comparison, the 2017 Mercedes CLA has higher projected five-year costs by about $2,900, and the 2017 Audi A4’s estimates are roughly $3,100 higher.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New A3?

The 2018 Audi A3 added standard heated front seats, two USB ports, and additional safety technology to the Premium Plus trim, and it introduced a new RS 3 high-performance model. If you can do without these changes, consider the more affordable 2017 Audi A3.

Read about the new Audi A3 »

The only 2018 luxury small car you can get for around the same price as the 2017 Audi A3 is the low-ranked 2018 Acura ILX. The ILX is a decent luxury small car with a comfortable cabin, a respectable amount of standard features, and above-average fuel economy. However, the ILX has a rough ride, midgrade interior materials, and tricky infotainment controls. You'll most likely prefer the A3.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Audi A3 Is Best?

The 2017 Audi A3 is part of a generation that debuted for the 2015 model year. For 2017, Audi gave the A3 a new base engine and transmission, more standard safety features, and a revised infotainment system. The 2016 A3 gained a standard rearview camera and rear parking sensors, and an available Sportback e-tron (plug-in hybrid) trim made its debut. The 2015 A3 costs less on average, but it lacks the enhancements of the newer A3s. Your best bet is to shop through the current generation to find a model that best fits your needs.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 A3 »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Audi A3?

The 2017 Audi A3 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about A3 reliability »

2017 Audi A3 Recalls

At the time of writing, the 2017 A3 has three recalls. These recalls address issues with the engine control software and the passenger-side airbag. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Audi A3 safety recalls »

Which Used Audi A3 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Audi A3 comes in three different body styles: sedan, convertible, and a hatchback plug-in hybrid (Sportback e-tron). All body styles come in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels.

No matter which body style you choose, the entry-level Premium trim should have more than enough features for most. It comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, forward collision warning with brake assist, a 7-inch infotainment screen, satellite radio, a USB port, HD Radio, and Bluetooth. Some standard features depend on the body style. A power-adjustable driver's seat comes standard in the sedan, but other body styles add a standard power-adjustable passenger seat. A panoramic sunroof and a 10-speaker audio system are standard in all body styles except the convertible, which instead has a soft top and a nine-speaker audio system.

The Premium Plus trim adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (in sedan and convertible A3 models), heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, as well as push-button and remote start (standard in A3 e-tron models).

The Prestige trim adds adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, high-beam assist, navigation, voice control, handwriting recognition, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, and – in hatchback plug-in A3 models – Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

A sport-tuned S3 sedan is also available; it comes in Premium and Premium Plus trim levels. The S3 Premium trim has similar features as the A3 Premium Plus trim, plus a stronger engine, a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, front sport seats, and a flat-bottom sport steering wheel. The S3 Premium Plus adds technology and driver assistance features that are similar to what the A3 Prestige trim has.

There were also numerous available packages when the 2017 A3 was new, so some models may come with even more features.

See 2017 Audi A3 trims and specs »

What Does Audi's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Audi offers a certified pre-owned program for cars five years old or less and with fewer than 60,000 miles. Qualifying vehicles bought under the new-car warranty period have coverage until five years from the vehicle’s original in-service date, with no mileage limitation. Certified pre-owned Audis purchased after the four-year new-car warranty has ended receive an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage comprehensive warranty. This is not an extension of the new-car warranty. The two warranties differ in important ways, so read Audi’s warranty page carefully. Audi CPO models must pass a 300-plus-point inspection.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Audi’s CPO program is about average, according to our research. You’ll find better programs from Infiniti, Lexus, and Jaguar.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the A3?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 Audi A3 a Top Safety Pick+, the agency’s highest honor. The A3 also earned the highest rating of Good in all six IIHS crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the A3 a five-star overall rating, with four stars in frontal and rollover tests, and five stars in side crash tests.

The A3 comes standard with a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, and Audi Pre Sense Front (forward collision warning and brake assist). Audi Pre Sense Basic is also standard. This safety system takes preventative measures – such as tightening seat belts, rolling up the windows and sunroof, and triggering the hazard warning lights – when a collision may be imminent.

Some models may also feature adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and high-beam assist.

See A3 safety scores »

2017 Audi A3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Audi A3 or 2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA?

The similarly sized 2017 Mercedes CLA is worth a look if you’re shopping for an A3. The CLA has a high predicted reliability rating, good fuel economy, numerous standard features, and agile handling. On the other hand, its rear seats are even more cramped than the A3's, and its infotainment system is confusing. Also, its ride quality isn't as smooth as the Audi’s. Test-drive both models to see which you prefer.

Which Is Better: 2017 Audi A3 or 2017 Audi A4?

The 2017 Audi A4 sedan costs more than the A3, but it's a nicer vehicle overall. The A4 has a higher-quality interior with a little more passenger and cargo space than the A3, along with additional standard features that include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The A4 also has a slightly higher predicted reliability rating than the A3. However, if you're looking for a convertible or hatchback body style (or a hybrid variant), stick with the A3 or look to the 2017 Audi A5 coupe, which is closer in size to the A4.

Compare the A3, CLA, and A4 »

2017 A3 Performance

How Does the 2017 Audi A3 Drive?

A 186-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and a seven-speed automatic transmission are standard in the 2017 Audi A3. Sedan and hatchback A3 models with quattro all-wheel drive feature a 220-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A3 Sportback e-tron models feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 150 horsepower, as well as a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Sport-tuned S3 models come with a 292-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and standard quattro all-wheel drive.

The base A3 delivers quick acceleration, which makes for lively city and highway driving. Moreover, the A3 has nimble handling while still maintaining a smooth and comfortable ride. For the most thrilling driving experience you can possibly get with this vehicle, opt for an S3 model. Its added horsepower and performance enhancements – such as a sport suspension system – make for an even more thrilling drive. However, you sacrifice overall ride comfort with the sport model.

Does the 2017 Audi A3 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base A3 delivers 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, which is above average in the class. For comparison, the 2017 Mercedes CLA gets 24/26 mpg city/highway, while the 2017 Audi A4 delivers 25/33 mpg city/highway.

For the best gas mileage in this vehicle, opt for the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid. It gets 83 MPGe in combined city and highway driving (for more info, read What Is MPGe?). Compared to the base A3, the Sportback e-tron model will save you roughly $250 in annual fuel costs. This model also has an all-electric range of 16 miles.

Read more about A3 performance »

2017 A3 Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 A3 Seat?

The 2017 Audi A3 can seat up to five people in the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. Convertible models seat four. The front seats have a good amount of space, and they're comfortable and supportive. However, the cramped back row is best suited for the little ones. The A3's cabin is simple yet refined, with a few soft plastics throughout the cabin. Leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver's seat are standard (convertible and Sportback e-tron models also come with a power-adjustable passenger seat). Heated front seats and sport seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Audi A3?

There are two sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the Audi A3. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the sedan’s LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The lower anchors may be difficult to maneuver around.

2017 Audi A3 Features

All models come standard with an audio system, a 7-inch infotainment screen, satellite radio, a USB port, HD Radio, and Bluetooth. Some models also feature Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, MMI navigation, voice control, handwriting recognition, and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.

See 2017 Audi A3 specs »

Read more about A3 interior »

2017 Audi A3 Dimensions

Audi A3 Cargo Space

Sportback e-tron models have an impressive 13.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Cargo space in the A3 sedan depends on the drivetrain. Front-wheel-drive models have 12.3 cubic feet of space, which is about average for the class.

Other A3 models offer below-average space. All-wheel-drive A3 sedans have 10 cubic feet of cargo space, and Cabriolet models have 9.9 cubic feet (7.1 cubic feet with the top down).

2017 A3 Length and Weight

The 2017 Audi A3 is around 15 feet long. Its curb weight is roughly 3,200 to 3,630 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Audi A3 Built?

Audi built the 2017 A3 in Germany.

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