2020 Volkswagen Arteon vs. 2020 Audi A3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Arteon offers optional Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Arteon offers an optional Overhead View Camera 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 Arteon has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Arteon 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, 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, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

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Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Arteon for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen 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 2 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Arteon’s warranty.

Engine

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The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 84 more horsepower (268 vs. 184) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 40 more horsepower (268 vs. 228) than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Arteon has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 40 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Arteon has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Volkswagen Arteon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A3 Sedan.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Arteon

A3 Sedan

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.7 inches

The Arteon stops shorter than the A3 Sedan:

Arteon

A3 Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Arteon has larger tires than the A3 Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 225/40R18). The Arteon’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A3 Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 235/35R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Arteon offers optional 20-inch wheels. The A3 Sedan’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Arteon has a standard 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Arteon’s wheelbase is 8.1 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (111.9 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Arteon is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the A3 Sedan.

Passenger Space

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

The Arteon has 10.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (96.2 vs. 86).

The Arteon has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 5.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Arteon SEL Premium’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The Arteon has a 4850 lbs. towing capacity. The A3 Sedan has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Arteon R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium 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 two different drivers share the Arteon SEL/SEL Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Arteon’s 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 see further while navigating curves, the Arteon R-Line/SEL/SEL Premium has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Arteon’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The A3 Sedan offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Arteon and the A3 Sedan have standard heated front seats. The Arteon SEL Premium also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the A3 Sedan.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Arteon SEL Premium 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 Arteon SEL Premium’s standard 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 Arteon SEL Premium has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the A3 Sedan.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/05

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volkswagen Arteon and the Audi A3 Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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