2022 Audi A3 Quattro Review – Sleek Sport Sedan Seeks More

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2022 Audi A3 quattro Fast Facts

Powertrain
2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (201 horsepower @ 5,000 RPM, 221 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM)
Transmission/Drive Wheels
Seven-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, U.S.
28 city / 36 highway / 31 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
Fuel Economy, Canada
8.5 city / 6.6 highway / 7.6 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$35,900 (U.S.) / $43,700 (Canada)
As Tested
$42,490 (U.S.) / $48,040 (Canada)
Prices include $1,045 destination charge in the United States and $2,950 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

It’s really easy to love a sporty entry-luxury sedan that has all the right handling moves and doesn’t totally break the bank.

It’s a bit less easy to love a car with Audi badging that seems to be short of some luxury features, features that you no doubt could have – if you just spent a little more.

It’s also a bit less easy to love a luxury car when there are a bit too many interior reminders of the mainstream brand it shares its platform with.

That’s the 2022 Audi A3 Quattro sedan I drove in a nutshell.


To be clear, the A3 in this guise still coddles. But I noticed that a few items that are normally part of the package at this price point were missing. And some of the materials seemed a bit low-rent for a $40K car. Yes, I know, the average transaction price is now high enough that maybe $42K doesn’t seem so expensive. But just because the market is a bit out of whack doesn’t mean automakers should scrimp on amenities – especially when there’s a luxury-brand badge on the hood.

Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter if the car is enough fun to drive.

And the A3 is, at least, very much that.

Handling is nice and sharp and turn-in is quick and scalpel-like. All this without sacrificing ride – yes, it’s on the stiff side, but there’s comfort enough for the daily grind. The only real dynamic flaw here is that the steering is a bit on the light side – which seems to be an Audi/VW trademark of late.

The turbocharged 2.0-liter (201 horsepower, 221 lb-ft of torque) is not exactly a powerhouse of a motor (not to mention you need to reach into the mid-range to get peak torque) but it does the job during urban cut-and-thrust.

The overall package is, from a dynamic standpoint, well sorted. Entertaining when you want it to be, calm and collected the rest of the time. Just like a sport sedan at this price point should be.

Too bad the rest of the packaging is a bit weak. For example, if you want factory nav, premium audio, and the 12.3-inch screen digital cockpit, you need to pay extra – and that’s even after you’ve plunked down more money for the Premium Plus package.

My 2022 model-year tester based on $35,900 with all-wheel drive. That price does include some nice convenience features, such as three-zone climate control, Bluetooth, leather seats, Audi’s MMI infotainment interface, keyless starting, LED headlights and taillights, high-beam assist, heated seats, and a panoramic sunroof. But you need to drop $3,300 more (prices have changed a bit for 2023) for the Premium Plus package, which includes Active Cruise Assist, lane assist, rear cross-traffic alert, full LED headlights, wireless cell-phone charging pad, satellite radio, and satellite radio, in addition to a host of other goodies.

The Glacier White Metallic was almost 600 bucks, and the sport suspension that helps this car be so much fun is part of an $850 package that also includes high-gloss black trim pieces. Another $800 bones moved the tires up in size from 17 inches to 18 and added all-season rubber.

As tested, with destination: $42,490.

Now, to be fair, one might not need navigation, since Apple CarPlay and Android Auto exist. But it still felt a bit of a letdown to find out that factory nav and premium audio weren’t already standard on a luxury-branded automobile, even factoring in the sub-$40K starting price.

Then again, the A3 is sublime enough from a driver’s standpoint that perhaps I am picking more than a few nits here. It should also be noted that a few options on the 2022 car become standard on the 2023 model – items like full LED headlamps and some nicer trim bits.

It would be nice to get all the bells and whistles at a reasonable price in a fun-to-drive entry-lux sports sedan. But as the Rolling Stones once reminded us, we can’t always get what we want. Sometimes, instead of getting what we need, we’ll take what we can get.

What’s New for 2022

The 2022 Audi A3 is redesigned.

Who Should Buy It

The newly promoted middle manager. The Volkswagen GTI intender with a bigger bank account and a need for four doors and a trunk. The Volkswagen Golf R intender who will sacrifice a bit of pure sport for a sedan, all while saving a couple grand.

[Images © 2023 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Comments
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2 of 28 comments
  • ClipTheApex ClipTheApex on May 08, 2023

    I have a previous-gen A3 Quattro (2019), and after 25k miles, I'm still thrilled with it. I understand many folks have had not-so-good experiences with their Audis, but generally speaking, it is a well put-together car. Suspension and handling is excellent, acceleration and and shifting is crisp (dual clutch), and the 4-pot sounds excellent... unlike many 4's I've driven. The interior is much nicer than what I see here with the redesign.


    I'm disappointed that Audi is cheapening the interiors and reducing HP in this latest generation. Hope they get back on track, because the A3 is truly a thrill to drive. AND it's a nice tourer. Took it on an 1,800 mile trek to PEI last summer, and was totally comfortable the whole way. All while averaging 37mpg. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

    • FreedMike FreedMike on May 08, 2023

      The A3 is a lovable car. I loved my '15 even after Crap Started Going Wrong, which on this model is +/- 50,000 miles. Unfortunately, as great as the car is to drive - and it is - having $2,000 water pump repairs at 50,000 miles dulled my feelings. You'll find out.



      I'd lease a new Audi, but would I buy one used again? I'll pass.



  • ClipTheApex ClipTheApex on May 08, 2023

    Thanks for the insights @FreedMike. I’m prepared. I think. 😂

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