2020 Audi A3 Sedan vs. 2020 Lexus ES Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

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 ES Series 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 Lexus ES Series has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

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

Both the A3 Sedan and the ES Series 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, 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 Lexus ES Series:

A3 Sedan

ES Series

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

284

319

Chest Compression

.5 inches

.8 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

329/424 lbs.

473/518 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the ES Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

There are over 26 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A3 Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

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

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

As tested in Motor Trend the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI is faster than the ES 300h 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid:

A3 Sedan

ES Series

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

7.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.6 MPH

90.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI FWD Auto gets better fuel mileage than the ES 350 (27 city/35 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, the A3 Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the ES Series Hybrid.

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Sedan higher (7 out of 10) than the Lexus ES Series (5 to 7). This means the A3 Sedan produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ES Series every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

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

A3 Sedan 40 TFSI

A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI

ES Series

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

12.2 inches

11.1 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the ES Series:

A3 Sedan

ES Series

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

140 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

For better traction, the A3 Sedan has larger standard tires than the ES Series (225/40R18 vs. 215/55R17).

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 ES Series’ standard 55 series tires. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the ES Series’ optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A3 Sedan has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the ES Series.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the ES 300h pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the ES 300h (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the ES Series’ (36.1 feet vs. 38 feet). The A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the ES Series w/18-19” wheels’ (36.1 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 450 pounds less than the Lexus ES Series.

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 8.4 inches shorter than the ES Series, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A3 Sedan easier. The A3 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.3 inches, while the ES Series’ liftover is 27.4 inches.

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 ES Series’ useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The A3 Sedan’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

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 ES Series’ standard 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 ES Series 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 ES Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A3 Sedan Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ES Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A3 Sedan will cost $510 less than the ES Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Sedan is less expensive to operate than the ES Series because typical repairs cost much less on the A3 Sedan than the ES Series, including $63 less for fuel injection, $108 less for a fuel pump, $1013 less for a timing belt/chain and $362 less for a power steering pump.

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

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