2019 Audi A3 Sedan vs. 2019 Toyota Camry

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 Camry 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 Toyota Camry has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

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

Both the A3 Sedan and the Camry 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, 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 Toyota Camry:

 

A3 Sedan

Camry

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

284

335

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.7 inches

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 Toyota Camry:

 

A3 Sedan

Camry

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

289

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

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 Camry’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 Camry’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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

Engine

The A3 Sedan has more powerful engines than the Camry:

 

Torque

A3 Sedan 40 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

221 lbs.-ft.

A3 Sedan 45 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

258 lbs.-ft.

Camry 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

184 lbs.-ft.

Camry XSE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

186 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the A3 Sedan 45 TSFI is faster than the Camry XSE/XLE V6:

 

A3 Sedan

Camry

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.3 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Camry XLE V6 (26 city/35 hwy vs. 22 city/33 hwy). The A3 Sedan 40 TSFI FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Camry XSE V6 (26 city/35 hwy vs. 22 city/32 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 Camry XSE/XLE requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Camry doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

A3 Sedan

Camry

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

12 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the Camry:

 

A3 Sedan

Camry

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A3 Sedan has larger standard tires than the Camry (225/45R17 vs. 205/65R16).

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 Camry L’s standard 65 series tires. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Camry XSE’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A3 Sedan has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Camry L.

Suspension and Handling

The A3 Sedan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Camry doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The A3 Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.1% to 41.9%) than the Camry’s (59.5% to 40.5%). This gives the A3 Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the Camry XLE 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 1.7 seconds quicker than the Camry XLE (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Camry L/LE’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Camry SE/XLE/XSE’s (36.1 feet vs. 38 feet).

Chassis

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 4.6 inches shorter than the Camry L/LE/XLE, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro is quieter than the Camry SE (67 vs. 68 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 Camry’s useful trunk space.

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 44% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

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 Camry’s 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 Camry 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 Camry doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A3 Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Camry and aren’t offered on the Camry L.

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 Camry offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The A3 Sedan has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Camry and isn’t available on the Camry L.

The A3 Sedan’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Camry L doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Camry 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 Camry 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 Camry doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Camry because typical repairs cost much less on the A3 Sedan than the Camry, including $87 less for fuel injection, $112 less for a fuel pump, $985 less for a timing belt/chain and $46 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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 Camry isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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