2019 Audi A3 Sedan vs. 2019 Infiniti Q50

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Infiniti Q50 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 Q50 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.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

 

A3 Sedan

Q50

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

217

225

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Compression

.5 inches

1 inches

Neck Injury Risk

34%

48%

Leg Forces (l/r)

329/424 lbs.

541/294 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 Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Infiniti Q50:

 

A3 Sedan

Q50

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

219 G’s

262 G’s

Hip Force

308 lbs.

320 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

19 inches

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q50 has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Q50’s (12 vs. 7 years).

There are over 42 percent more Audi dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A3 Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Q50’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the A3 Sedan has a standard 320-amp alternator. The Q50’s standard 150-amp alternator and largest (Red Sport 400) 170-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Q50:

 

 

 

MPG

A3

 

FWD

40 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

Quattro

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/31 hwy

Q50

 

RWD

2.0t turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

3.0t twin turbo V6

20 city/29 hwy

 

 

Red Sport 400 3.0 twin turbo V6

20 city/26 hwy

 

AWD

2.0t turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

3.0t twin turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

 

 

Red Sport 400 3.0 twin turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A3 Sedan uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on A3 Sedan 45 TSFI for maximum performance). The Q50 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Infiniti Q50 (3). This means the A3 Sedan produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q50 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 Q50 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The A3 Sedan stops shorter than the Q50:

 

A3 Sedan

Q50

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

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 Q50’s standard 55 series tires. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Q50 Red Sport 400’s 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .94 G’s, while the Q50 Red Sport 400 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Q50’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.7 feet). The A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Q50 AWD’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 650 pounds less than the Infiniti Q50.

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 2.1 inches shorter than the Q50, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The A3 Sedan’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the A3 Sedan and the Q50 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 Q50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Q50 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 Q50 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 Q50 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A3 comes in convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Infiniti Q50 isn’t available as a convertible or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A3 Sedan will cost $1575 less than the Q50 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Q50 because typical repairs cost much less on the A3 Sedan than the Q50, including $11 less for a muffler, $38 less for fuel injection, $130 less for a fuel pump, $79 less for front struts, $235 less for a timing belt/chain and $379 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A3 Sedan will be $3224 to $16105 less than for the Infiniti Q50.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Infiniti Q50 isn't recommended.

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 Q50 isn’t in the top three.

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

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