Is The Audi A3 AWD?

The Audi A3 is arguably one most fun-to-drive luxury small cars on the market today, thanks to its modernized interior tech, razor-sharp looks, and serious performance specs. So it may be no surprise that the Audi A3 will appeal to most shoppers seeking a budget sedan for luxury and driving enjoyment, but is the car All-Wheel Drive (AWD)? That's what we're going to look at in this article.

The Audi A3 is offered in either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations. Front-wheel drive is standard, and Audi's available Quattro all-wheel-drive system gives you extra stability and plenty of road grip on snowy terrain, in tight corners, and inclement weather. Like other Audis currently on the market, the A3 is also offered in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims.

That's a lot of information and maybe even confusing terminologies, we know! That's why this article serves as an in-depth look at exactly why the Audi A3 AWD can achieve impressive traction in a variety of terrains and conditions. Keep reading to find out the advantages of choosing the Audi A3 AWD for your off-roading adventures.

Silver Audi A3 car moving on the street, Is The Audi A3 AWD?

Is The Audi A3 Both AWD And FWD?

The Audi A3 comes with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, and both powertrains are suitable for shoppers looking for a comfortable ride and sporty handling. This model has four robust engine options, a couple of available adaptive suspensions, a stylish cabin with premium interior materials, and an optional all-wheel drive. The A3 lets shoppers find the type of drive and ride experience that effectively matches their needs. Heck, you can even build your own Audi A3.

This car is insurmountably impressive, trailing class rivals in every area. For example, the Audi A3 front-wheel-drive model gets the Sports monitor, whereas the A3 Quattro all-wheel-drive models come badged as "S Line." Both models are powered by a 201-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers up to 228HP in the S Line and 184HP in Sport models.

The Premium trim features 18-inch wheels, ambient interior lighting, keyless entry with a push-button start. It also has a color driver-information screen installed between the gauges, a driver-selectable driving-mode system, new aluminum trim, and black exterior trim. In addition, the Premium Plus model comes with a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, rear-seat USB charging ports, adaptive high-beam headlights, and ample storage space.

Audi A3 Sportback stopped on a street. This vehicle is one of the most popular premium cars in the world.

What Makes The Audi A3 AWD Good In Snow?

The Audi A3 handles well in the snow because of its self-locking center differential and possibly because of the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. This means on snowy roads, both rear and front wheels can be "locked" together and spun at an equal speed.

The Audi's Quattro AWD system provides incredible handling on snowy and icy roads, not to mention a boosted performance on dry roads. The system constantly monitors the driving conditions. It can immediately react and channel torque to the wheel to deliver the most instant traction.

With Audi A3's Haldex system, a majority of the power is channeled to the two front wheels in normal road conditions. But when the system detects a wheel slipping, a second clutch kicks in, directing all of the power to the rear wheels.

The Audi A3 also comes with a Drive Select system with four different options (Comfort, Dynamic, Individual, and Auto). With these four settings, you can effectively adjust the performance dynamics of a vehicle.

Also, with Audi's Torque-sensing system (Torsen), the power train is constantly adjusted to divert torque to the wheels that have more grip on the road.

The overall weight of AWD systems also contributes to a firmer grip on snow or ice. The additional points of contact help distribute the car's overall weight more evenly across the propulsion points.

It's also worth noting that tire specification and condition also contribute a more significant factor when it comes to driving your Audi A3 on slippery surfaces or snow. Choosing to invest in a set of winter tires for snowy and icy conditions may boost the grip and traction of a car more than Quattro alone.

A black 2011 Audi A3 quattro on mountain road with deep snow during a winter storm in the Oregon Cascade Mountains

Does AWD Cost More On Audi?

The major disadvantage of AWD on Audi is its cost. The drive train and components necessary to provide both intermittent and continuous AWD are sophisticated and pricey – often employ sensors and control systems that are unnecessary on 2- or 4WD vehicles.

More components increase the initial value of a car and can also increase maintenance costs due to the extra labor involved during the repair. Furthermore, AWD consumes more gas to power the additional wheels.

 The presentation of Audi A3 vehicles after the facelifting. These vehicles are the ones of the most popular premium cars in the world.

What Is The Difference Between Audi Quattro And AWD?

The Audi Quattro is a mechanical system that comprises continuously variable torque distribution and self-locking center differential. In addition, the Quattro system is proactive, meaning it transmits torque to the wheels with the most grip.

Audi Quattro system has one center differential mounted inside the gearbox. On the other hand, AWD transfer boxes have a differential mounted on both the rear and front axle. As a result, Audi vehicles with the Quattro system are lighter and provide more traction by having a central location in the gearbox. Conventional AWD vehicles have a bulkier gearbox, which negatively affects their traction control system.

Now, what makes Audi Quattro so useful? Well, the system offers drivers several advantages over the conventional all-wheel-drive system. First, Audi Quattro handles well on:

  • Wet or snowy climates
  • Windy conditions
  • Rain-soaked pavement
  • Dirt or gravel surfaces

All-wheel drive (AWD) system, on the other hand, is a reactionary system that employs a rear, front, and center differential to distribute power to all four wheels of a vehicle. AWD is a reactionary system, which means it can't sense and predict when all-wheel drive might be needed.

It's important to mention that All-wheel drive is not the same as a four-wheel-drive system. Unlike AWD, 4WD is typically disengaged and needs to be activated to supply power to all four wheels.

Audi A3 40 TFSI Test Drive Day

Does AWD Use More Gas?

The short answer is yes, an AWD system reacts to wheel slippage by automatically distributing additional torque to all wheels as necessary to maintain traction. However, according to EPA ratings, an AWD vehicle typically scores a lower MPG of fuel than a front- or rear-wheel-drive vehicle.

As previously mentioned, added weight due to a complex system also suggests that an AWD vehicle will likely consume more fuel than a similar-sized vehicle with a front or rear-drive system. An all-wheel-drive system also causes mechanical losses and adds parasitic loads that aren't present in a front or rear-drive system.

It pays a lot to purchase a model that gets pretty good fuel economy ratings, but that doesn't mean AWD is a bad choice. The downside of marginal fuel consumption and extra costs brought about by added weight must also be balanced against the advantages of Audi Quattro.

In fact, an Audi A3 vehicle equipped with Audi Quattro with Ultra Technology is more fuel-efficient. It releases fewer amounts of carbon dioxide compared to a similar car with another drain system. In other words, the Audi Quattro with Ultra Technology provides optimal distribution of power between the rear and front axles at all times. In addition, the system offers drivers all the advantages of AWD driving dynamics.

Does The Audi A3 Have Problems?

One reported issue by consumers regards the A3 radio malfunctioning. If this happens with your A3, here's how you can track down the problem and get your car stereo playing once again. Before you start troubleshooting the problem, you need a multimeter, wire crimps, connectors, soldering gun, or heat shrink. Here are the  common reasons for the A3 radio not working:

  • A Blown Fuse
  • Faulty Tuner or Antenna 
  • Inspection
  • Damaged Amplifier/speaker Wires
  • Inspection

The Audi A3 vehicles stopped on the parking during the presentation. These vehicles are the ones of the most popular premium cars in the world.

In Closing

Overall, if you are looking for an economical vehicle that's fun to drive, and gets great gas mileage. The Audi A3 is an excellent choice. German engineering is bar none. There is no doubt that Audi's A3 AWD system won't get you through snowy roads. However, if cold weather isn't an issue in your area, then the A3's FWD is a great choice and might save you a few dollars. 

If you enjoyed this article on the Audi A3 all-wheel-drive system, then you might also like:

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Have an Audi A3, or in the market for one? Leave us a comment below!

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