For 2017, Audi’s smallest sedan and convertible lineup now boasts the same technology available in its most expensive models.
The automaker’s entry-level A3 sedan and convertible has received a gentle nip-and-tuck for 2017, including some updates to its grille and headlights, as well as new wheel designs. The higher-performance S3 sedan seems a similar range of updates to the way it looks, too.
Additionally, the base front-wheel drive A3 swaps last year’s 1.8-liter 4-cylinder for the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine previously exclusive to the all-wheel drive model. With 220 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque, the A3 is considerably more powerful than its Mercedes-Benz CLA250 arch rival.
But the bigger changes come inside, where the automaker’s Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is newly optional. Virtual Cockpit replaces conventional analog gauges with a 12.3-inch high-resolution display screen that can be configured with a dizzying array of different screens. Drivers looking for a simple, classic look, can opt for a digital version of the traditional gauges—or they can set the screen to display Google Mapping overlays via a 4G LTE connection.
The automaker’s MMI Touch controller in the center console has also been updated and can recognize a user’s handwriting inputs via a touchpad on the top of the main knob.
Audi hasn’t announced pricing for the base front-wheel drive A3, but the base price for the all-wheel drive model remains $35,150, including a mandatory $950 destination charge.