Until recently, the Audi A3 was our go-to recommendation for shoppers looking for an entry-level luxury sedan. Though its diminutive size meant it wasn't really suitable for four tall adults, the A3 impressed us with its excellent materials quality, rapid acceleration and sublime comfort. Then Mercedes-Benz released the A-Class — a small four-door with tech from the range-topping S-Class for under $35,000. While the A3 continues to be an excellent choice, it certainly feels less special than before.
2022 Audi A3
Other markets will get turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder and 1.5-liter four-cylinder engines in addition to a diesel, but the U.S.-bound A3 will exclusively be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline motor. We don't know exact specifications yet, but Audi says it will produce more power and torque than the current A3 engine, which offers 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Audi typically shares engines throughout its lineup, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the A4's 2.0-liter (249 hp, 273 lb-ft) appear in the A3. Regardless of final output, the engine will come matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and will be available in front- and all-wheel drive.
While the exterior styling is just slightly massaged, the cabin is a different story entirely. It shares some elements of the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI — both vehicles are based on VW's MQB architecture — including the toggle shifter and digital instrument panel. Other than a generally driver-focused layout, the interior looks like nothing else in the Volkswagen portfolio.
The current A3 is one of the only Audis still using a display screen interface controlled by a knob and buttons. That will change for the 2022 A3, which will adopt a touchscreen like all of the newest Audis. The 10.1-inch screen features the MIB 3 interface alongside Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with wireless functionality for both planned in the near future. A 10.25-inch digital instrument panel is standard, and buyers can option the more fully featured Digital Cockpit display, which increases the size to 12.3 inches. The navigation system also has the ability to predict traffic to your destination based on previously collected data, so your ETA can be calculated with even greater accuracy.
The current Audi A3 is an exceptional small sedan, but it doesn't feel quite as luxurious as the Mercedes A-Class. The redesigned 2022 A3 hopes to reclaim the title, with new high-tech features and a bold new cabin.