2019 Toyota Camry vs. 2019 Audi A3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camry has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Camry XLE/XSE has a standard Rear Cross Traffic Braking that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Camry XLE/XSE offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The A3 Sedan only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Camry has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Camry 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems 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 Toyota Camry is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

 

Camry

A3 Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

140

217

Neck Injury Risk

20%

45%

Neck Stress

262 lbs.

427 lbs.

Neck Compression

13 lbs.

143 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

21%

34%

Neck Stress

136 lbs.

223 lbs.

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

139 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

266/310 lbs.

329/424 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 Toyota Camry is safer than the Audi A3 Sedan:

 

Camry

A3 Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

134

172

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

219 G’s

Hip Force

296 lbs.

308 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

48 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

752 lbs.

777 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

164

333

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

622 lbs.

666 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Camry its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 44 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A3 Sedan is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Camry 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.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Camry for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A3 Sedan.

There are over 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camry’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Camry’s reliability 18 points higher than the A3 Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Engine

The Camry has more powerful engines than the A3 Sedan:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Camry 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

203 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Camry XSE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

206 HP

186 lbs.-ft.

Camry XSE/XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

301 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

A3 Sedan 40 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

184 HP

221 lbs.-ft.

A3 Sedan 45 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

228 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Camry

 

FWD

L 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/41 hwy

 

 

LE/SE/XLE/XSE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

28 city/39 hwy

 

 

XLE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/33 hwy

 

 

XSE 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

A3 Sedan

 

FWD

40 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

 

AWD

45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

The Camry L’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI’s standard fuel tank (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Camry LE/SE/XLE/XSE’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro’s standard fuel tank (16 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Camry, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A3 Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camry’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (111.2 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camry is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A3 Sedan.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Camry SE is quieter than the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro (72 vs. 73 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Camry a Mid-size car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Camry has 14.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (100.4 vs. 86).

The Camry has 1.8 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Camry has a much larger trunk than the A3 Sedan (15.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Camry offers a 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.

The Camry XLE/XSE offers an optional 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.

Smart Key System optional on the Camry (except L) 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 Sedan’s available Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Camry’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the A3 Sedan’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Camry owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Camry will cost $1105 less than the A3 Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Camry is less expensive to operate than the A3 Sedan because it costs $513 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Camry than the A3 Sedan, including $98 less for a water pump, $210 less for a muffler, $2 less for front brake pads, $7 less for a starter and $145 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Camry will be $7219 to $10080 less than for the Audi A3 Sedan.

Recommendations

The Toyota Camry has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

Camry

A3 Sedan

Consumer Reports® Recommends

Top Pick

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Toyota Camry outsold the Audi A3/S3 by almost 19 to one during 2018.

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

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