Though not nearly as tantalizing as the sporty S3, and certainly not as extreme as the RS3; the 2022 Audi A3 is a fun-loving sedan that’s ready to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and Acura Integra. The A3 may have no intention of matching the performance of the RS3, but that isn’t to say it doesn’t deliver plenty of fun. With 221 lb-ft of torque, fully available at a low 1,600 rpms, this 2.0L I4 TFSI engine offers up impressive acceleration. In Sport mode especially, The quick responding 7-speed dual-clutch transmission measures out the power with snappy efficiency. Deserving plenty of credit as well.
From a design standpoint, the 2022 Audi A3 is more sculpted and edgy in its small details than ever before. Though the overall silhouette remains rounded, there’s some sharpness there as well. Audi’s new synth wave pixelated LED headlights are a complete trip, and the enormous front grill and 18” 5-Y-spoke design wheels with a bi-color finish make a bold statement.
A handsome exterior design delivers a nice blend of sporty sophistication. On the inside however, things take a turn. Though sharp, aggressive lines and funky design elements abound, so does the copious amounts of plastic. Hard plastic. The kind that can look and feel cheap. With a little padding only appearing on the armrests. The extreme shapes and designs throughout the cabin invite you to explore more with your fingertips. Once you do though, much of the attraction and intrigue will be dispelled.
On the whole, the 2022 Audi A3 has the right look and many of the right moves. Even with its Quattro system, it manages a respectable 31 mpg, dynamic handling and lively acceleration. With an approachable price tag, this entry-point to the wide world of German luxury sedans might be enough to wet your whistle for an S3 down the road.
Price as tested: $44,440.00