2019 Honda Accord vs. 2018 Audi A3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The Accord’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring has standard HondaLink 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 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 Accord and the A3 Sedan 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 blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Accord 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Accord’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 23rd in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Accord’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 6 more horsepower (192 vs. 186) than the A3 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Accord’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 32 more horsepower (252 vs. 220) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the A3 Sedan’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Accord CVT with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the A3 FWD Sedan (30 city/38 hwy vs. 26 city/35 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Accord uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A3 Sedan with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Accord has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.8 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Accord has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Honda Accord 2.0 turbo 4 cyl., for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A3 Sedan.

The Accord has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Accord stops much shorter than the A3 Sedan:

 

Accord

A3

 

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Accord offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The A3 Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Accord’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Accord’s wheelbase is 7.6 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (111.4 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Accord is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Sedan.

The Accord Touring handles at .89 G’s, while the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The front grille of the Accord EX 1.5T/EX-L 1.5T uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Accord 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.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Accord Touring is quieter than the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro (40 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

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

The Accord has 19.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (105.6 vs. 86).

The Accord has 3 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.3 inches more rear legroom and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Accord has a much larger trunk than the A3 Sedan (16.7 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

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

Towing

The Accord 2.0L Turbo offers up to a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The A3 Sedan has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Accord Sport 2.0T Auto/EX/EX-L/Touring has a standard 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 Accord EX-L/Touring, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote 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 Accord EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Accord Touring has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

When the Accord Touring 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.

Both the Accord and the A3 Sedan offer available heated front seats. The Accord Touring also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the A3 Sedan.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Accord Touring keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Accord owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Accord will cost $10 to $4090 less than the A3 Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Accord is less expensive to operate than the A3 Sedan because it costs $873 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Accord than the A3 Sedan, including $233 less for a water pump, $147 less for a muffler, $32 less for front brake pads, $35 less for a starter, $205 less for front struts and $85 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda Accord will be $7678 to $10996 less than for the Audi A3 Sedan.

Recommendations

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

The Accord was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 22 of the last 24 years. The A3 Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Accord 2.0T Sport was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The A3 Sedan has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Accord as the 2018 North American Car of the Year. The A3 Sedan has never been chosen.

The Honda Accord outsold the Audi A3/S3 by over 14 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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