2021 Audi A3 Sedan First Look: More Aggressive, More Techy

2021 Audi A3 is here with a more aggressive look and a load of tech designed to draw your eye away from all the SUVs in the room.

Sedans are sailing in serious headwinds these days, but Audi isn't ready to give up. The second-generation 2021 Audi A3 is here with a more aggressive look and a load of tech designed to draw your eye away from all the SUVs in the room.

You'll immediately recognize Audi's smallest, least-expensive sedan; its look is more evolutionary than revolutionary, but it's undeniably more assertive with far more lines than curves in its sheetmetal. They're most obvious up front, but don't miss the deeply sculpted sides and the Radwood-worthy Audi logo on the rear doors, an '80s brand throwback. Audi designers also looked to draw out the roofline slightly and tighten up the rear end to give the A3 sedan a little more of that four-door coupe look that's in vogue.

The changes make the car slightly longer, wider, and taller. It's not all cosmetic, as the extra 0.4 inch of roof height combined with lower seats has yielded an extra 0.8 inch of headroom in the front row. The alterations have also made for an aerodynamic improvement, which should help fuel economy.

You'll recognize the inside of the new A3 if you have poked around a more expensive Audi of late. The brand's modern, industrial, high-touch interior design has been successfully distilled to the A3's dimensions, giving it a sophisticated air. The design is dominated by a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment screen canted toward the driver and a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The latter can be upgraded to a 12.3-inch unit with the full Audi Virtual Cockpit software suite, allowing you to make Google Maps nearly the whole screen for easy navigation. A head-up display is also available.

If you're not feeling connected enough yet, Audi has the technology for that. In addition to an in-car LTE-based Wi-Fi hotspot, the A3 comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and an Audi app that allows your phone to act as a key. Wireless charging is also available when all those apps wear down your battery.

There's also the expected suite of safety technologies. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are on board, and with them comes adaptive cruise control. Back-up cameras are required these days, and Audi doubles down with a 360-degree camera and cross-traffic alert in case you don't see that car coming down the street as you back out.

Audi is advertising a host of new powertrains for other markets, but we're confident the U.S. will continue to see a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood with 184 hp, plus an option of a 228-hp upgrade. It's possible the company will make its new 148-hp 1.5-liter turbo-four available here for price- and fuel economy conscious shoppers, but don't count on it. Regardless, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will handle the power, driving the front or all four wheels.

Audi claims any A3 you buy will have sporty handling, but if you'd like to pay a little extra, there's a sport suspension option. In addition to firming things up, it also includes adaptive dampers with varying degrees of stiffness.

The A3 will go on sale in Europe in May, but it typically takes a year for Audis to come stateside after their global debut. In such a competitive segment, we don't expect the price to change much from the current starting point at $34,295.

See more at: Motor Trend


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Automotive Magazine: 2021 Audi A3 Sedan First Look: More Aggressive, More Techy
2021 Audi A3 Sedan First Look: More Aggressive, More Techy
2021 Audi A3 is here with a more aggressive look and a load of tech designed to draw your eye away from all the SUVs in the room.
Automotive Magazine
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