Last year Audi sold nearly 3 times as many SUVs as it did cars despite a lineup of coupes, sedans and sport models that come in every size and flavor. So it’s fair to question the relevance of this redesigned gas-fueled subcompact sedan in a market dominated by SUVs and burgeoning EVs. But if you still appreciate a sporty, German-engineered, turbocharged ride this new A3 has got your back.
So you want an Audi but your bank account is borderline. Well, meet the A3. With starting MSRP of $35,895 it’s one of only 2 Audis priced at under $40,000. The other is this car’s SUV counterpart, the Q3 which outsells the sedan nearly 5 to 1. So why choose this? Well, it’s a little cheaper than the Q3, its new mild-hybrid powertrain is significantly more fuel efficient and it’s quicker making for a sportier drive. But with a trunk instead of a hatch it has less than half of the standard cargo volume even though the A3’s backside gets a little bigger this year. The A3 is now a tad longer, wider and taller than before, 66 pounds heavier and slower to 60mph by a half a second, clocking in now at 6.3 seconds. But before you roll your eyes you should know that this 48-volt electrical system provides eboost upon takeoff and fills the 2.0-liter turbo with additional low-end torque so the immediacy to go is still there; impressively so for an engine alone that now makes only 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The big benefit of this electrical assistance though is of course gas mileage which rises from 25mpg to 31mpg in combined driving and all the way to 36mpg on the highway. Regular gas? No problem. This also increases the driving range from 330 miles to 450 miles. And this car is so comfortable up front and quiet that long highway cruising is most certainly in play. I say front because the A3’s rear seats aren’t nearly as accommodating, this is a subcompact after all. You can fit 2 back here and it’ll be OK but 3 across is definitely a no. If it’s all out performance you crave remember the S3 and RS3 are here to fill those needs. But this A3 – with quattro all-wheel drive, the 4-cylinder turbo, 7-speed dual clutch transmission and Drive Select is the perfect blend of silky smooth sedan and frugal fun.
The Honda Civic is an automotive icon; a nameplate instantly identifiable by even the most casual car person. And though the introduction of this next generation model doesn’t garner the attention it once did, those who continue to eschew SUVs will delight in its offerings. I’ve spent the entire week getting very familiar with this one and here are the 5 things you need to know before shopping the new 2022 Civic Sedan.
Whether you want a traditional gas engine, a 54mpg hybrid or a turbo with a 6-speed, the new Elantra has got it covered. With spacious passenger volume and a trunk that’s bigger than that of a Mercedes S-Class, this is an affordable, frugal, do it all kind of sedan that Hyundai decided needed edgier styling. And boy did they deliver on that front. Now, I’m not sure it’s going to age very gracefully because the body is so overly styled with crazy creases and a very prominent grille, but if you’re allergic to boring in the inexpensive, not-so compact car segment this is your cure. Much like Hyundai did with the new Sonata, they’ve reversed course on reigning in the design and instead opted to make a visual splash and that it most certainly does. For $26,000, you are not going to beat what this Elantra Limited is offering. It’s highly stylized, pleasing to drive and packed with high-end features and top notch infotainment. And because this system is fed information from the cloud you’re navigation is always up to date and the Blue Link system can answer common questions through speech much like you would ask Siri. When is Mother’s Day? But for times when you’re using the Smart Card you have to place in down here on the wireless charger in order for it to start the car. And this area down here is kind of congested already because you still have to use your Lightning Cable on this particular model so the ergonomics get a little muddy.
At night, the ambient light choices add a dash of Mercedes to your sub-$30,000 car – another reason you might want the Limited. Loaded with advanced safety features and creature comforts – though no heated steering wheel, this is the kind of car that would have cost $40,000 not long ago. Now, you can lease this exact car for $212 per month. Pretty impressive but it has 2 things working against it: 1) it’s not an SUV and 2) it’s not electric so the Elantra’s relevance is waning.
Volkswagen R is all about excitement and thrill.
The Jetta R-Line takes the model’s dramatic styling a step further, with sporty 17-inch wheels, a more aggressive rear bumper with stylized dual exhaust outlets, a gloss-black grille, black side mirror caps, and R-Line® badging.
R-Line models feature a 6.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display.
R-Line models receive a unique leather-wrapped, R-Line badged steering wheel.
The Jetta R-Line is equipped with 17-inch wheels paired with 205/55 R17 low-profile all-season tires and the XDS® Cross Differential System. The XDS system acts as an electronic substitute for a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential, actively monitoring data from each wheel sensor. If the suspension becomes unloaded, the system automatically applies braking to the driven inside wheel as needed to help reduce understeer (the tendency for the front wheels to run wide). This not only helps the R-Line’s stability, but can also help improve handling and cornering performance.
Every Jetta model offers standard Driver Personalization with up to four driver settings. Dependent on trim, customizable features include: driver seat memory, drive mode selection, driver assistance system preferences, climate control, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit arrangement, ambient lighting color, radio presets, navigation view, and more.
2020 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT QUICK TAKES. Building on the success of the current generation’s combination of copious amounts of interior space, creature comforts, and Volkswagen’s signature fun-to-drive nature, the new 2020 Passat offers more of what matters—bolder design, upgraded technology, and enhanced access to convenience and driver-assistance features. The 2020 Volkswagen Passat is available in four trim levels. Pricing starts at $22,995 MSRP for the Passat S with the standard 2.0T engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. Destination for all Passat models is $920.