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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 Legacy 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 Subaru Legacy 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 Legacy 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.
Both the A3 Sedan and the Legacy have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 Legacy has not been tested, yet.
The A3 Sedan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Legacy’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Legacy’s (12 vs. 5 years).
The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Legacy’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the A3 Sedan has a standard 320-amp alternator. The Legacy’s standard 150-amp alternator and largest (XT) 190-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru 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 Audi vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.
The A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (184 vs. 182) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (221 vs. 176) than the Legacy 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Sedan higher (7 out of 10) than the Subaru Legacy (3 to 7). This means the A3 Sedan produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Legacy every 15,000 miles.
The EPA certifies the Audi A3 Sedan as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Subaru Legacy is only certified to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV) standards.
For better stopping power the A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Legacy:
A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI
For better traction, the A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Legacy (235/35R19 vs. 225/55R17).
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 Legacy Base/Premium’s standard 55 series tires. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring’s 50 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 Legacy Base/Premium. The A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Legacy Sport/Limited/Touring.
The A3 Sedan has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Legacy doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Legacy’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet).
The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Subaru Legacy.
The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 3.1 inches shorter than the Legacy, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The A3 Sedan uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Legacy uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 28% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.
The power windows standard on both the A3 Sedan and the Legacy have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A3 Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Legacy prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.
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 Legacy’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the A3 Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Legacy can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
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 Legacy’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 Legacy 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 Legacy doesn’t offer headlight washers.
The A3 Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.
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 Legacy Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.
Both the A3 Sedan and the Legacy offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A3 Sedan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Legacy doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
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 Legacy doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The A3 Sedan is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Legacy doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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