2019 BMW i3 vs. 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The i3 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Sportback e-tron 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 i3 and the A3 Sportback e-tron have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and front parking sensors.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A3 Sportback e-tron.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the i3’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the i3 REx running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the A3 Sportback e-tron running on electricity (107 city/93 hwy vs. 81 city/86 hwy MPGe)

The i3 REx’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 126 miles, about 8 times as far as the A3 Sportback e-tron’s 16-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

The i3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the A3 Sportback e-tron are solid, not vented.

The i3 stops shorter than the A3 Sportback e-tron:

 

i3

A3

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the A3 Sportback e-tron. The i3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the A3 Sportback e-tron.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the i3 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Sportback e-tron.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the A3 Sportback e-tron’s (32.4 feet vs. 35.8 feet). The i3s’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the A3 Sportback e-tron’s (33.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Chassis

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 650 pounds less than the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

The i3s is 11.6 inches shorter than the A3 Sportback e-tron, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The i3 has a much larger trunk than the A3 Sportback e-tron with its rear seat up (15.1 vs. 13.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the i3, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The A3 Sportback e-tron doesn’t offer a memory system.

Comfort Access standard on the i3 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 Sportback e-tron’s Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the i3 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A3 Sportback e-tron doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A3 Sportback e-tron doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW i3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the i3 third among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A3 Sportback e-tron isn’t in the top three.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos