The highly anticipated new A3 has finally been revealed, with some very subtle changes to its outward appearance. If you really want to be blown away by the new generation you’ll need to plop into one of the plush seats and start looking around.
You have to look close, and in the dark, to see the body changes in the Audi 2017 A3. The grille is now slightly broader with sharp contours and the rear diffuser has been redesigned. Turn the headlights on and you can’t help but be blinded by the new LED lighting pattern in the front and back, which is similar to what you find on the A4.
It is the introduction of the Audi Virtual Cockpit into the A3 that un-mistakenly makes this car pop. The reconfigurable 12.3 inch TFT screen advises you of all you need to know as you maneuver through city streets or joy ride down the highway.
On the screen you will be constantly updated about how fast the car is going, how much gas you have, and where in the world you are. Navigation and vehicle diagnostics are also displayed in a clear and easy to understand format.
The MMI infotainment system has also been given its own facelift, informing you of parking and weather conditions in your inputted destination. This feature does require a subscription for the 4G LTE service that you will pay for monthly, but will give you access to Google Maps, both Earth and Street views.
Transferring data from your smartphone to the Audi A3 can be accomplished with the MMI connect app. This will enable online streaming and for your calendar to be transferred. The smartphone interface is standard with a phone box inside the center armrest for iOS and Android phones.
Those cool safety features of the A3 have been enhanced for 2017. Traffic Jam Assist is now part of the package, which can take over the steering wheel in heavy traffic. This can only be utilized however when you are going less than 40 mph on a well paved road and works in conjunction with the existing adaptive cruise control and Stop & Go function. An automatic emergency braking system is new – Emergency Assist – which will bring your A3 to a complete stop if no steering wheel movement is detected even after it has issued you warnings.
As far as under the hood goes, the 2.0-liter turbo-four that was introduced into the Audi A4 is also motoring the A3. This gives the sleek car a 252 hp engine, driven by a newly developed 7-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. Performance junkies of course can still upgrade to the S3, which features a power boost that produces 306 hp and 295 lb-ft.
For 2017 it is safe to say that the Audi A3 is still the little car that packs a lot of punch. Whether you go with the standard sedan or choose to take the top down, this is a vehicle that will continually impress.