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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 Sonata 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 Hyundai Sonata 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 Sonata 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.
The A3 Sedan 45 TFSI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Sonata doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
Both the A3 Sedan and the Sonata have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, 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.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Sonata has not been tested, yet.
The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Sonata’s (12 vs. 7 years).
The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Sonata’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.
The A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (184 vs. 180) and 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 195) than the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s standard 1.6 turbo 4 cyl. The A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 181) than the Sonata’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The A3 Sedan 45 TFSI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (228 vs. 191) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 181) than the Sonata’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A3 Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sonata doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
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 Sonata doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better stopping power the A3 Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Sonata:
A3 Sedan 40 TFSI
A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI
For better traction, the A3 Sedan has larger standard tires than the Sonata (225/40R18 vs. 205/65R16).
The A3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sonata SE’s standard 65 series tires. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus’ optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited’s 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A3 Sedan has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Sonata SE. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus’ optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited.
The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 5.4 inches shorter than the Sonata, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
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. The Sonata’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 39% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.
The A3 Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sonata’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.
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 Sonata’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 Sonata 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 Sonata doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The A3 Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited.
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 is only available on the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited.
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