Base Camp: 2020 Audi A3 Komfort
Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle on sale in Canada and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one that earns a passing grade.
Stepping into a luxury brand from Germany doesn’t necessarily mean one has to buy a Dreadnaught-class full-sized sedan. Munich, Stuttgart, and Ingolstadt are all purveyors of compact-yet-snazzy cars, vehicles which are badged to impress the neighbours but priced to pacify your wallet.
Speaking to the latter, this 2020 Audi A3 starts at just $34,500 in Canada, undercutting the next-level-up A4 by over ten grand. Its entry-level trim is called the Komfort, spelled with a “K” because Germany. Under its Teutonic hood is a 2.0L turbocharged inline-four making 184 horsepower and 222lb.-ft of torque. Its 7-speed automatic sends power to the front wheels at this price; adding Quattro all-wheel drive is a nearly $5000 option.
Audi has long taken a ‘different lengths of sausage’ approach to styling its vehicles, which is either good or bad depending on your perspective. We feel it’s good at this end of the pool, with the A3 bearing many of the styling cues found on its big-brother sedans, some of which can cost in excess of $100,000. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in 40-series all-season tires.
Ibis White, Quantum Gray, and Brilliant Black are all $0 colour selections and, like a business suit, cars like these generally look good in a non-vibrant shade of paint. A trio of interior hues are also available: basic black, rock grey or chestnut brown. The latter is a nice surprise at this price point. Leather seating surfaces are standard equipment.
In addition to mimicking its siblings with external styling choices, the A3 Komfort picks up a few of their interior toys as well. A panoramic sunroof is standard, along with automatic climate control and heated front seats. The MMI infotainment system is a 7-inch unit, integrating satellite radio and Audi’s smartphone interface. Those front washer nozzles are heated, as are the side mirrors. Front and rear parking sensors, plus the rear-view camera, should help keep you from using the bumpers for bumping while parking downtown.
What We’d Choose
The entry-level A3 is a decently equipped stepping point into the Audi brand provided you can live with tight rear seat accommodations. Be sure to plug the entire family into this car on a test drive before signing the note. Blind-spot monitoring is a $550 option that really should be standard equipment, so we recommend checking that option box.