2019 Audi A3 Sedan vs. 2019 Honda Accord

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A3 Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Accord doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Honda Accord has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Accord doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A3 Sedan 45 TSFI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Accord have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Honda Accord:

 

A3 Sedan

Accord

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

308 lbs.

431 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

386

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

62 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

Hip Force

666 lbs.

756 lbs.

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

Warranty

The A3 Sedan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Accord’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Accord’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 8 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The A3 Sedan 40 TSFI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 192) than the Accord’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the A3 Sedan 45 TSFI is faster than the Honda Accord 2.0 Turbo (automatics tested):

 

A3 Sedan

Accord

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.6 MPH

97.9 MPH

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Sedan higher (7 out of 10) than the Honda Accord (6 to 7). This means the A3 Sedan produces up to 1.1 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Accord every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The A3 Sedan offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Accord doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A3 Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Accord:

 

A3 Sedan

Accord

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.5 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the Accord:

 

A3 Sedan

Accord

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The A3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord’s standard 50 series tires. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Accord Sport/Touring’s 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the Accord EX pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Accord EX (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Accord’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Accord Sport Manual/2.0T’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 4.7 inches shorter than the Accord, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro is quieter than the Accord Sport:

 

A3 Sedan

Accord

At idle

41 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the A3 Sedan’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Accord’s useful trunk space.

The A3 Sedan’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Accord LX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

The A3 Sedan uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 62% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the A3 Sedan and the Accord have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A3 Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A3 Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The A3 Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Accord’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Accord doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A3 Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Accord doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A3 Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring.

The A3 Sedan Prestige has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Accord offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Accord offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A3 Sedan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Accord doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The A3 Sedan Prestige’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Accord doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A3 comes in convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Honda Accord isn’t available as a convertible or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the A3 Sedan with a number “5” insurance rate while the Accord is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Accord because typical repairs cost much less on the A3 Sedan than the Accord, including $108 less for fuel injection, $205 less for a fuel pump and $25 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi A3 Sedan and the Honda Accord, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A3 Sedan first among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Accord isn’t in the top three.

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

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