2019 Acura ILX vs. 2019 Audi A3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors, smart airbags in the ILX deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The ILX’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The A3 Sedan’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The ILX has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The ILX offers optional AcuraLink, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the ILX and the A3 Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura ILX is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

 

ILX

A3 Sedan

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

45%

Neck Stress

257 lbs.

427 lbs.

Neck Compression

56 lbs.

143 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

57/324 lbs.

461/426 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura ILX is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

 

ILX

A3 Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

143 G’s

219 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

699 lbs.

777 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

299

333

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the ILX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the ILX’s reliability 22 points higher than the A3 Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the ILX first among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The A3 Sedan isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 20th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

Engine

The ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 17 more horsepower (201 vs. 184) than the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Acura ILX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A3 Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the ILX’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (105.1 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

Chassis

The ILX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the ILX a Compact car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The ILX has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (89.3 vs. 86).

The ILX has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the ILX offers cargo security. The A3 Sedan’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

The ILX has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The A3 Sedan doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The ILX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the ILX, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Keyless Access System standard on the ILX allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi A3 Sedan’s available Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

When the ILX is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The A3 Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the ILX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the ILX will cost $200 to $3660 less than the A3 Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the ILX is less expensive to operate than the A3 Sedan because it costs $801 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the ILX than the A3 Sedan, including $198 less for a water pump, $245 less for a muffler, $21 less for front brake pads, $119 less for front struts, $64 less for a timing belt/chain and $135 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura ILX will be $4415 to $6989 less than for the Audi A3 Sedan.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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