So you're cruising down the street in your Need For Speed car feeling like The Stig. You stop at a traffic light, and a sporty sedan screeches to a halt next to you. The light goes green, and the sedan revs up. You smile because you're about to beat the guy hands down. Barely a few seconds later, the sedan shoots off in a flash, and you lose sight of it. Tell you what, you just met the 2018 Audi A3 and it's not Tom Cruise driving it. Your life will never be the same. The 2018 Audi A3 compact-luxury sports car comes as a sedan, a convertible and in the A3 Sportback e-tron, a plug-in hybrid hatchback. Though small in size, the Audi has all the goodies from Ingolstadt, including a powerful engine lineup, luxurious interior quality, loads of high tech features and the option of four-wheel drive brought up by a three differential system.
What's new in the 2018 Audi A3?
The 2018 Audi A3 comes with two USB ports and heated rear seats. The blind spot warning feature is standard on the Premium plus trim loaded with a Bang and Olufsen premium audio system, a navigation system and virtual Cockpit system. The Audi S3 gets a new S sport package option which combines the magnetic side system with red brake calipers. Plug-in hybrid models are currently available with 18-inch alloy wheels.
How safe is the 2018 Audi A3?
The 2018 Audi A3 gets a five-star overall rating review from the NHTSA, while in IIHS gave it a good score on all crash tests, a superior rating for front crash tests after avoiding a crash while at 25-mph speed. Forward collisions warnings are also a feature that the A3 models brags about; this is in addition to an automatic emergency braking aspect. High trim levels can come with lane keeping assist, an adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, high beam assist, and blind sport warning.
How does the 2018 Audi A3 interior look?
The conservative cabin design is attractive, with a chunky steering wheel and a simple horizontal dashboard that comes from the A3's Volkswagen roots, and the unique round looking vents. The 7.0 inch MMI infotainment screen rises from the top of the dashboard, as the stereo system's knob and buttons are easily accessible when operating. An optional high-resolution LCD screen replaces the conventional gauges and can be configured with Google satellite view. The interior fabrics are nice, including some leather standard sports seats, but both seats have soft cushions. The interior also offers legroom which could be tight for tall drivers.
How does it feel like to drive the 2018 Audi A3?
The flexible and refined new turbocharged engine is outstanding, whether with the front wheel or on four-wheel drive. The paddle-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission delivers ultra-rapid shifts, though sometimes it clunks at low speeds.
The Cabriolet is a bit less zippy, and there is a slight shake over bad roads, but it's still nicely composed. The rigid Golf platform enables the A3 to use a fairly soft suspension without greatly affecting the above average handling. The electric power steering is light but direct. The sports suspension can be stiff over expansion strips, but the seats in the Sport Package have better expansion to help keep the driver in place.
Is the new A3 upgrade worth it?
Time for the easiest task. Just like fine wine, we have saved the best information for last. The A3 being a small luxury car gives a spirited drive that many seek in a tech-filled top-notch king's quality cars. I would say pick it as many times as you've seen Obama smile at Mitchell.