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Audi A3 vs Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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Audi A3
Audi A3

$34,377 - $49,900

2022 price

Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Mercedes-Benz A-Class

$56,800 - $113,800

2023 price

Summary

2022 Audi A3
2023 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Safety Rating

Engine Type
Turbo 4, 1.5L

Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded Petrol

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Fuel Efficiency
4.9L/100km (combined)

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Seating
5

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Dislikes
  • Mild-hybrid interesting, but not a game-changer
  • Active cruise extra cost in premium version. Should be standard
  • Sportback looks don’t flatter the car

  • Engine lacks drama expected from AMG
  • Ride feels unresolved
  • Big price jump over old model
2022 Audi A3 Summary

If it was the original BMW 3-Series that invented the compact luxury car market segment all those years ago, then it’s probably fair to claim it was Audi’s A3 franchise that gave rise to the luxury small-hatch category.

On that basis, any new Audi A3 is news but, in the face of the SUV onslaught (including its own stablemate the Q3) the new small Audi has its work cut out for it.

With this update, there’s refreshed styling, a new interior layout and, for the launch of the new cars, two body styles, a conventionally styled sedan and what Audi calls the Sportback; fundamentally a five-door hatchback but with the German brand’s own flair plastered all over it.

As well as new connectivity and safety tech, the big news is the availability of a mild-hybrid driveline as well as a second powertrain option with more performance from a more conventional layout.

Interestingly, it’s that (mild) hybrid version of the A3 that represents the entry-level variant of the A3. A sign of the times? Perhaps.

As well as the two powertrains, there are two distinct chassis layouts, starting with a front-drive set-up and extending to the option of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system.

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2023 Mercedes-Benz A-Class Summary

Think of a Mercedes-AMG and the first words that spring to mind are probably not - understated, efficient and restrained. And yet those are probably the best words to describe the all-new C 43.

Of course, before we go any further it’s important to note that the C 43, even in its previous six-cylinder guise, was never meant to be as wild, raucous or powerful as the C63 flagship - that’s simply not its role in the AMG line-up.

But even so, this new model is a dive into fresh territory for the brand and puts a very different spin on the AMG sports sedan as we know it.

This is a four-cylinder model, complete with a Formula One-derived electric turbocharger, so it lacks the sound and fury you expect from something carrying the ‘AMG’ badge - but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad car, as we’ll explain.

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Deep dive comparison

2022 Audi A3 2023 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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