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The A-Class offers an optional Surround View System 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 A-Class’ 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 A-Class has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, 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 A-Class 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.
There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A-Class’ warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.
The A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 4 more horsepower (188 vs. 184) than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the A 220 4MATIC Auto gets better fuel mileage than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro Auto 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (228 HP) (24 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).
For better stopping power the A-Class’ standard brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Sedan:
The A-Class stops shorter than the A3 Sedan:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The A-Class offers an optional 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 A-Class’ 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 A-Class’ wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (107.4 inches vs. 103.8 inches).
The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The design of the Mercedes A-Class amounts to more than styling. The A-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the A3 Sedan (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A-Class get better fuel mileage.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the A-Class a Compact car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.
The A-Class has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (93 vs. 86).
The A-Class has 3.8 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.
The A-Class 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 three different drivers share the A-Class, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.
The A-Class’ standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The A-Class 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.
The A-Class’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The A3 Sedan’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A-Class offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights. The A-Class also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
When the A-Class is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The A3 Sedan’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the A-Class 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.
On extremely cold winter days, the A-Class’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The A3 Sedan Prestige’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.
The Mercedes A-Class outsold the Audi A3/S3/RS 3 by 35% during the 2019 model year.
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