Premium European automakers are on a mission to get buyers hooked early and keep ‘em in the fold. Audi’s brand bait is the A3 sedan. For 2017 this classy compact gets a mid-cycle refresh.
You’ll spot the 2017 A3 by its more angular grill, slimmer standard Xenon headlights and a more aggressive lower fascia. New LED taillights spruce up the back. Nothing earth shattering here, but the tweaks bring the A3 in line with newer Audis. A selection of new colours and redesigned standard wheels round out the cosmetic changes.
The interior carries forward with its elegant and uncluttered look. On start-up the 5.8-inch MMI screen glides up from a slot in the dash. The MMI interface gets a new menu system that is similar to that of a smart phone. Handwriting detection comes courtesy of the upper surface of the central control knob. The dials and switches now have white backlighting, and a USB port is now standard.
Tech news for the 2017 A3 is the inclusion of Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit in the Technik trim level - available on all but the entry-level front drive model. This 12.3-inch digital TFT display replaces the traditional central gauge cluster and offers several configurations – the most impressive being the crystal-clear navigation display with a small speedo and tachometer living in the lower corners.
The entry-level front-wheel-drive A3 gets a fresh drivetrain for 2017. Previously powered by 170-hp 1.8L turbo four-cylinder, the 2017 model runs with a completely new 2.0L turbo four sporting an innovative combustion process that promises greater fuel efficiency. It makes 186 horsepower and a healthy 236 lb-ft of torque, and powers the front wheels through a new seven-speed twin-clutch S tronic gearbox. Auto start/stop is standard issue. No manual transmission is offered on any A3 here in NA.
The 2017 A3 2.0 TSFI quattro continues with its 220-hp, 258 lb-ft four connected to a six-speed twin-clutch S tronic. The only mechanical change for 2017 is the addition of fuel-saving auto/start stop. A Technology Package adds active lane assist, adaptive cruise with stop and go, and forward collision mitigation. The 2.0 TSFI quattro also comes as a two-door convertible.
Also on the updated A3 roster is the Sportback e-tron, a hatchback plug-in hybrid with a claimed maximum EV range of 50 kilometers. The front wheels see 204 hp thanks to a 1.5L gas engine working in conjunction with an electric motor and running through a six-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission.
The 2017 Audi A3 in all its iterations delivers a full premium experience. Exceptional build quality, available quattro all-wheel-drive, high fun-to-drive factor and good fuel economy are its hallmarks. Pricing for the 2017 A3s will be available closer to their September lauch.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed