Level up to quattro all-wheel drive, and you’re looking at $35,900 for the base trim level. Two more specifications are offered, the Premium Plus and Prestige, and both of them feature front-wheel drive as standard. These grades are shared with the S3 performance version, which starts at $44,900 with standard all-wheel drive and the EA888 turbo engine.
More specifically, Audi claims the S3 Sedan for the 2022 model year develops 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Nm). The Volkswagen Golf R, by comparison, is a little more pokey at 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet (421 Nm). The Four Rings of Ingolstadt quotes 4.5 seconds to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) and 155 mph (250 kph) for the top end.
The A3, meanwhile, promises 6.6 seconds, 130 mph (209 kph), 201 horsepower, and 221 pound-feet (300 Nm) of torque from its 2.0-liter TFSI. Opting for quattro all-wheel drive shaves 0.3 seconds off the acceleration time, which is pretty good for a premium-oriented compact sedan. The biggest rivals to the A3 come in the guise of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Sedan (starts at $33,650) and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe (from $35,700).
What do you get for your money, though? In the Premium’s case, the list kicks off with a panoramic sunroof, lane departure warning, 17-inch alloy wheels, eight-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustments, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Premium Plus customers are further treated with adaptive cruise assist, active lane assist, driver’s seat memory, advanced key, and wireless phone charging.
The cream of the crop that Audi calls Prestige makes no excuses for the Matrix-design LED headlights, MMI Navigation plus, head-up display, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and Bang & Olufsen premium audio.