2020 Toyota Corolla vs. 2019 Audi A3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats 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.

The Corolla’s 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 Corolla 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 Corolla and the A3 Sedan 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, 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 and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Corolla 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 Corolla 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 Corolla’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The A3 Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Corolla

FWD

Manual

SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/36 hwy

 

Auto

1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

 

 

XLE 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

 

SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/40 hwy

 

 

XSE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/38 hwy

A3 Sedan

FWD

Auto

40 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

AWD

Auto

45 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Corolla uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A3 Sedan 45 TSFI requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Corolla offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and sportiness. The A3 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Corolla has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (106.3 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Corolla’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the A3 Sedan’s (34.1 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Corolla may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 300 pounds less than the Audi A3 Sedan.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Corolla a Compact car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Corolla has 2.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (88.6 vs. 86).

The Corolla has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Corolla has a larger trunk than the A3 Sedan (13.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Corolla (except L/LE/Manual) 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 Smart Key System optional on the Corolla (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.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Corolla XLE/XSE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Recommendations

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Audi A3/S3 by almost 17 to one during 2018.

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

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