Audi has released the updated 2017 A3 and all its derivatives, including the sedan, cabriolet, three-door, and Sportback. This mid-cycle refresh concentrates on new driver assistance systems, Audi’s virtual cockpit, new powertrain options, and a new exterior look.
The A3 dates back to 1996 when it debuted as a three-door hatchback. It was built on Volkswagen’s A platform, meaning its shared plenty of parts with the VW Golf. The same can be said today, as the A3 shared much of its platform with the current Golf, itself getting a refresh for 2017.
We’ve been following the development of the 2017 Audi A3 for some time now, and have plenty of spy shots to show for it. It was back in January 2016 when we last saw the A3 in development, trudging over show-covered roads in Europe. The fleet of A3 test cars included the sedan, convertible, and Sportback versions. Now with its face clearly visible and all the details made public, we can take a close look at what Audi has changed.
Audi’s updated Singleframe grille makes its appearance on the 2017 A3 and features sharper contours and a wider appearance. Also new are the headlights and lower fascia. The differences are subtle at first blush, but are rather detailed when compared side by side to the 2016 model. The headlights are particularly noteworthy – they are segment-first Matrix LED units. The LED lights are optional, while Xenon Plus units are standard.
The headlights are particularly noteworthy – they are segment-first Matrix LED units.
A new crop of 16-, 17-, 18-, and 19-inch wheels are available, along with five new paint colors. The new hues include Ara blue, Cosmic blue, Nano gray, Tango red, and Vegas yellow. This brings the A3’s color count to 12 optional colors.
Around the sides, the A3 Sportback remains mostly unchanged. Audi didn’t mess with success, especially for this mid-cycle refresh. The A3 still sports the double horizontal body lines that run along the door handles and down near the rocker panels. The wide windows are still adorned with a chrome trim ring, while a satin chrome roof rack provides extra storage for gear (when used with roof rails).
Out back, the A3 wears a new lower fascia with a three-segment design. A single, chrome-tipped exhaust pipe protrudes from the left side, while the other sections remain unaccented. The new taillights increase the A3’s high-tech look thanks to LED bulbs.
All told, the updated A3 looks smart and sophisticated, yet doesn’t depart from its previous form. Audi seems to have planned this refresh well.
Not much has changed within the A3’s cabin. There’s a new three-spoke steering wheel that offers an optional headed function. The driver’s seat can now be orded with a massaging function, too. However, the biggest change is the updated gauge cluster. Gone are the analog gauges, replaced with Audi’s virtual cockpit. The large, 12.3-inch TFT screen offers driver-selectable views that include a full map, entertainment information, and of course, large gauges for vehicle information like speed and engine revs.
Along with the virtual cockpit, Audi’s MMI infotainment system now features a restructured menu system that puts prescience on a connected smartphone. Like before, inputs into the MMI system happen through the rotary dial on the center console. the dial features a touch-sensitive touchpad for entering character and for multi-finger gestures like pinching. This works well for zooming on the maps screen. Toggle switches beside the dial offer quick sections for MMI menu screens like audio, navigation, and phone settings.
In all, the interior changes focus more on technology and comfort than just being different. The A3 already had a welcoming cabin, so its no wonder why Audi chose to concentrate on its in-dash tech.
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