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Audi A3 vs Volkswagen Passat

What's the difference?

Audi A3
Audi A3

$41,800 - $71,900

2022 price

Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat

$50,690 - $68,390

2023 price


2022 Audi A3
2023 Volkswagen Passat
Safety Rating

Engine Type
Turbo 4, 1.5L

Turbo 4, 2.0L
Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded Petrol

Premium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency
4.9L/100km (combined)

8.1L/100km (combined)

  • 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

  • Classic Euro seats ... aka hard on the backside
  • Missing some charging ports in rear
  • Expensive servicing costs
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 Volkswagen Passat Summary

I'm calling it - the Volkswagen Passat is the forgotten hero of station wagons.

It's surprisingly large while retaining the creature comforts and understated styling of old-world glamour.

Then enters the R-Line. A badge that diehard Volkswagen enthusiasts know is synonymous with sporty performance and handling.

However, it can be overlooked for its more affordable rivals, the Mazda6 and Skoda Octavia wagons.

But does affordability take it out of the running for the family market? Or is this the answer for the drivers who don't want to compromise on performance but still have a kid (or three) to throw in the back?

I've been hauling my little family of three around town this week to see what the big blue wagon could do.

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Deep dive comparison

2022 Audi A3 2023 Volkswagen Passat

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