$22,444 - $38,697

2017 Audi A3 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Audi A3 was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.1

Critics commend the 2017 Audi A3's minimalist-chic interior design, complimented by mostly high-end materials. Although its dash panels are not as nice as what you'll find in higher-end Audis, a similar sedated design is on display. The A3's quality fares well against other luxury small cars. Fit and finish are also impeccable.

The A3's interior is both comfortable and luxurious. Seating in front is quite supportive, though back-seat passengers will be cramped if they are over average height. Tech features are impressive, especially in upgraded models. Cargo is average for the class if you go with the base sedan, but any of the other body styles will leave you wanting for more room.

  • The soft, pliable plastic on the dash and upper door panels falls short of peak-Audi quality. That's likely a function of the base A3's price point, and the materials are at least as good as Audi's competitors have managed in this slot." -- Autoweek
  • "Despite being the lowest rung on the automaker's ladder, the 2017 A3's styling inside and out bears unmistakable resemblance to its bigger and more expensive brothers. In the cabin, precise-feeling knobs and buttons, unique air vents and leather touchpoints set the tone for the experience. Unlike in other entry-level luxury sedans, there's little in the A3's cabin that looks or feels low-rent." -- Edmunds
  • "Audi has set a high bar with its interiors, with high-style design and immaculate fit and finish. Yet while the 2017 A3 scores well on materials and assembly, it's a little on the bland side compared with other Audi vehicles. That said, it's cleanly designed and suitably sporty, with simple audio and climate controls." -- Kelley Blue Book

Seating

The Audi A3 seats five in all but the convertible, which seats four. Leather upholstery and a 12-way power driver's seat are standard. Upper trims come with a 12-way power passenger seat and heated front seats.

The driver and front-seat passenger will enjoy the A3's firm but supportive seats. They adjust easily, allowing the driver to find the right position. Entry and exit is easy, thanks to an impressive amount of head- and legroom for front-seat occupants.

With the exception of taller folks, most won't have a problem fitting in the back of the A3 sedan for short trips, but the space isn’t big enough to be comfortable for long hauls. The A3 convertible's back seats are only fit for small children.

The A3 provides complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on both outboard rear seats and a tether-only connection for the middle seat.

  • "The manual seats adjust easily, and they make it easier to find a just-right position than the typical 25-way luxury car seat. They're more than supportive enough for road driving but easy to climb in and out of. They're also on the firm side, measured by cushiness or give. Yet after uninterrupted hours in the driver's seat, neither of this oldster's cheeks -- nor any joint or muscle -- was complaining loudly." -- Autoweek
  • Front seat occupants will enjoy an agreeable amount of space and comfort. Though average-sized adults will fit in the backseat, they won't find a lot of wiggle room. Sure, the A3's backseat is more accommodating than the Mercedes CLA-Class' but it pales in comparison to those of the Acura ILX or other slightly larger sedans, such as the A4. Things get even more squeezed back there in the A3 convertible. It's a place best left for children." -- Edmunds
  • "Not surprisingly, rear-seat accommodations are pretty tight, especially for three passengers." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

Standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof (sedan and hatchback models), a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker audio system, a 7-inch infotainment screen, satellite radio, a USB port, HD Radio, and Bluetooth for streaming audio and phone calls. Cabriolet models come with a soft-top convertible roof that you can raise and lower while the car is driving at speeds of up to 31 mph.

Available features include a proximity key, push-button and remote start, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a digital instrument display, navigation, voice command, handwriting recognition for the infotainment system, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert.

Audi's MMI infotainment system works smoothly, but the controller's position is a little too low on the dash. The upgraded system uses a touch-sensitive knob for control and a touchpad that features handwriting recognition, directed by your fingertip, which works fairly well.

Whether you opt for the standard setup or one with navigation, both systems rely heavily on touch inputs and the knob controller. This may be off-putting to some. However, with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you can use many of the phone apps you're already quite familiar with, which should make things a bit easier.

See 2017 Audi A3 specs »

  • "The optional navigation system comes with a … revised, touch-sensitive control knob. This allows you to enter commands by simply scribbling them with your finger. Though it sounds odd, the touchpad works surprisingly well in practice. This system also includes Audi's Virtual Cockpit, an expanded, configurable instrument cluster that can display map data with brilliant clarity. Other controls for the stereo and other systems might take some time to get used to, especially if you're used to a car with traditional dash-mounted buttons. Fortunately, the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for 2017 makes smartphone integration that much easier." -- Edmunds
  • "The rest of the interior is a tech-savvy minimalist haven, with a thin, tablet-like screen that thankfully retracts into the dashboard when not in use (take note, Mercedes). I found myself stowing that screen more often than not along the drive to maintain the clean surface of the dashboard uninterrupted – and because Virtual Cockpit rendered the standard screen redundant." -- New York Daily News
  • "We wish the MMI infotainment interface wasn't placed quite so low on the console though, as it makes it hard to see which button does what until you've learned it by touch." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

Trunk space varies depending on which model you're looking at. You'll have the largest trunk with the sedan: 12.3 cubic feet for front-wheel-drive models or 10 cubic feet in those with all-wheel drive. The Cabriolet's space shrinks to 9.9 cubic feet, or 7.1 cubic feet with the top down. The Sportback e-tron has 10 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats.

While the front-wheel-drive sedan's trunk is a standard size for the class, the other body styles (and all-wheel-drive models) fall short on cargo capacity. The base sedan can hold an impressive amount of luggage for its size. With the other body styles, you'll be able to fit a golf bag or maybe two midsize roller bags. If you don't need the back seats, you can fold them down to allow for more room for longer trips when you have more luggage.

  • "Cargo space is also limited. The sedan has a puny 10-cubic-foot trunk when equipped with all-wheel drive (the front-wheel-drive A3 offers 12.3 cubic feet), and it manages to hold a golf bag or a couple pieces of luggage but not much else. The rear seats do fold down flat to help with loading of longer items, though. The convertible's trunk is essentially the same at 9.9 cubic feet." -- Edmunds
  • "It appeared small, so out of curiosity, we grabbed some luggage to find out just how much it would hold. Surprisingly, the A3 swallowed one 20-inch roller, two 22-inch rollers and one 24-inch roller – luggage for four, and there was still a bit of room left for two small soft bags." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • Two wheelie bags pretty much fill the Quattro's shallow space, though the rear seats fold to accommodate more." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)

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