Car Buying

Audi A3 vs. A5: Which Is Right for You?

Looking for insights on the Audi A3 versus A5? This in-depth comparison examines the key differences in price, performance, space and more to help you decide which model fits your needs.

Read time

10 mins




Looking for an exciting yet practical luxury ride? If you love the idea of driving an Audi but can't decide between the practical A3 or the sleek A5, this comparison will help provide some clarity. 

When weighing the Audi A3 versus the Audi A5, there are a few key factors to consider including price, performance, fuel economy, reliability, and comfort. If you're already set on driving an Audi but can't decide between the A3 or A5, continue reading to get all the insights you need. 

With FINN, you can subscribe to either model for 6-12 months, so you don't have to fully commit to just one. Take both for a spin and see which you fall in love with. Discover the perfect Audi for your lifestyle and get ready to hit the road in style.


The following table provides you with a comprehensive overview of how these two Audi models compare. The Audi A3 is positioned as the practical, efficient entry-level choice, while the Audi A5 prioritizes style and performance.


Audi A3

Audi A5

Price range

$33,300 – $50,500

$43,500 –$67,600


2.0L Turbocharged 4-Cylinder

2.0L Turbocharged 4-Cylinder, 3.0L Turbocharged V6

Reliability rating

2023 A5 – J.D. Power reliability rating of 77/100

2022 A5 – J.D. Power reliability rating of


Horsepower (hp)

201 hp

261 hp (standard), 349 hp (V6)

Fuel economy/ miles per gallon (MPG)

28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, 32 mpg combined

24 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, 28 mpg combined

Seating/ cargo

The A3 seats five people/ 

10.9 cubic feet of trunk room

The A5 Sportback seats five people / 21.8 cubic feet of trunk room

Safety features

Automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist

Automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring

Overview of the A3 line in more detail

Having undergone a full redesign for 2022, the latest Audi A3 brings only minor changes for 2023 after dropping the top-trim Prestige model. Under the hood lies a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with mild-hybrid technology as the sole powertrain option. The A3's sleek exterior styling takes cues from Audi's larger luxury sedans in a more understated fashion. Inside, the upscale cabin wows with Audi's Digital Cockpit for a bold, colorful presentation of driving information on the customizable 12.3” virtual display. The enlarged 10.1” central infotainment touchscreen also impresses with excellent graphics. On the comfort front, the A3 excels with supportive front seats and space for three adults in the rear. 

Sized slightly larger than the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan, the compact Audi A3 offers practical luxury in a two-inch longer wheelbase than its German rival. The Audi A3 sedan holds a competitive space in the entry-level luxury market against rivals like the two-door BMW 230i coupe and more spacious options such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Cadillac CT4. 

Overview of the A5 line in more detail

The Audi A5 is a rare find as one of the last luxury two-door cars left. Offered in coupe, convertible, and four-door hatchback body styles, the latest A5 gains new standard 18” wheels and Matrix LED headlights across the model range. Cabins continue to impress with a 10.1” touchscreen and Audi’s signature high-quality tech-forward interior. Two turbo four-cylinder engines provide power - a 201 hp base 2.0L and a 261 hp upgraded 2.0L.  

Though comfortable and confident handling, the A5 falls slightly short on cargo space and driving excitement versus rivals like the BMW 4 Series. The A5 coupe, convertible, and hatch directly compete with their equivalent BMW variants. 

Price and value

When it comes to price tags, the Audi A3 has a clear advantage over the A5. The entry-level A3 starts around $33,300 MSRP for the base Premium model, over $10,000 less than the A5 which opens at $43,500 in base form. Even a fully loaded A3 Prestige model tops out around $50,500, still giving it a price edge over a base A5. But, the A5 brings added value through its significantly more eye-catching coupe and convertible style, extra performance from more powerful engines, and prestige of being a step above Audi's cheapest model. 

In the end, the A3 wins for affordability while the A5 justifies its higher cost with enhanced styling, performance and luxury.


The Audi A3 and A5 both utilize capable 2.0L turbocharged engines, though tuned to different levels of performance. The A3 sticks with a 201 hp tune, while the A5 Coupe and Cabriolet offer an up-tuned 261 hp version. A7-speed automatic transmission with dual-clutch comes standard across the board. 

Where they differ is in drivetrain - the A3 gives you a choice of front-wheel drive or available AWD, while the A5 comes standard with Audi's quattro AWD system that smartly engages either FWD or AWD as needed. 


The Audi A3 and A5 both earn respectable reliability ratings, though the A3 tends to be viewed as the more dependable model. J.D. Power gives the latest A3 a strong predicted reliability score of 77 out of 100. RepairPal is even more favorable, rating the A3 at 3.5 out of 5 for reliability and ranking it 4th out of 17 luxury compacts. 

While no 2023 J.D. Power score is available for the A5, the 2022 Audi has a good J.D. Power rating of 72 out of 100. The A3 seems to stand out with higher reliability scores among industry experts. For those wanting to maximize dependability in an Audi, the A3 may be the smarter bet according to leading ratings sources. But it's always wise to research model-specific years when assessing reliability.

Performance and fuel economy

There's no doubt the A5 has the edge when it comes to acceleration and passing power. Its muscular 261-hp turbocharged engine hustles it to 60mph in just 5.2 seconds - over a second quicker than the A3's 201-hp turbo. You feel that extra punch when merging onto the highway or just overtaking on a backroad. But the A5's added performance comes at a cost - its EPA rating of 24 mpg city and 33 highway falls short of the A3's 28 mpg city and 38 highway

So while the A5 undoubtedly delivers a sportier, livelier driving experience, the A3 balances solid acceleration with fuel efficiency that's tops among entry-level luxury cars. 

For the commuter seeking a balance of power and frugality, the A3 is definitely the more well-rounded choice. But for pure driving enjoyment, the added thrust of the A5 is hard to beat. It all comes down to priorities - fun versus fuel.

Comfort and quality

Both Audis deliver that upscale, well-crafted cabin Audi is known for. But their layouts prioritize different strengths. The A3 gives you room to stretch out, with space for 5 and nearly 11 cubic feet of trunk space. The A5 sacrifices some space with its sleeker coupe and convertible style, but makes up for it with undeniable aesthetics. Sinking into its sport contoured seats, surrounded by elegant design touches like ambient lighting and aluminum trim, the A5 feels less practical but more special. The A3 may have a slight practical edge for pure comfort, but the A5 indulges its passengers through sophisticated, artistic details that pamper the senses on every drive. 

Cargo space

The A3's trunk is on the smaller side for a luxury sedan, with just about 10.9 cubic feet of space. That's enough room for some groceries or a couple of small suitcases, but it's not winning any awards for cargo versatility. Where the A5 lineup really shines is with the Sportback model. Pop the rear seats down and you've got an impressive 35 cubic feet at your disposal - perfect for loaded trips to Ikea or Home Depot. Even with the seats up you get almost 22 cubic feet, making the A5 Sportback a mini cargo van among luxury cars. 


Both the A3 and A5 have your back when it comes to safety. The A3 now packs an extra center airbag to prevent painful head clashes between front passengers during side crashes - smartly adding protection where it's needed most. Of course, you still get six other airbags too. On the tech side, the A3 really delivers, hitting above its weight with standard goodies like auto emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alerts to spot oncoming cars, and lane departure warnings if you start to drift. 

The A5 keeps pace with eight airbags, 360 cameras to give you eyes all around, lane keep assists to gently nudge back if needed, and adaptive cruise so you don't have to constantly brake in traffic. While the A5 does offer adaptive cruise across the lineup, the A3 isn't far behind on innovation. And both earn top 5-star safety ratings. So no matter which Audi you go with, you're getting serious peace of mind from comprehensive airbag coverage and cutting-edge driver aids worthy of a luxury ride.

How much bigger is the A5 than A3?

At first glance, the Audi A3 and A5 don't look that far apart size-wise. But the tape measure tells a different story - the A5 is noticeably upsized overall. Up front, the A5 extends almost 3.5 inches longer than the A3, while packing an extra 2 inches of width without the mirrors. The A5 also stands lower to the ground by over 2 inches, enhancing its sporty, crouched look. The biggest gap is in wheelbase - at nearly 6.5 inches longer, the A5 can better handle twisting roads. 

On the flip side, the A3 sits tall, maximizing the interior space afforded by its tidy dimensions. The A5 tweaks and stretches the dimensions that count to deliver sports car handling and head-turning aesthetics from its bigger bones.