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  • A fully loaded 2022 Audi A3 Prestige costs $46,490
  • The A3 Premium Plus is a much better luxury car bargain
  • Audi’s lowest-tier A3 has stiff competition from BMW and Genesis

“Boilerplate” is a legal term used to define a standardized piece of text within a contract, the meaning of which is often implied. It’s hard to think of a better term to fit the ever-present Audi sedan. The 2022 Audi A3 is the latest iteration of Ingolstadt’s small sedan, and it continues to do what it does best: fit the entry-level luxury car segment to a “T.” Now, it’s time to look at which flavor of A3 fits the segment the best.

A grey 2022 Audi A3 luxury car shot from the 3/4 angle at sunset
The 2022 Audi A3 comes with both front and all-wheel drive | Audi

How much is a fully loaded 2022 Audi A3?

We’ll work from the top down. The 2022 Audi A3 Prestige with Quattro AWD starts at $43,200. For that money, you get just about everything Audi offers in a passenger car. Well, short of speed. That’s reserved for the Audi S3 and RS3 sedans. In the A3, that means a Bang & Olufsen sound system, Audi’s latest Virtual Cockpit digital displays and infotainment, LED headlights, and a head-up display.

Obviously, a fully loaded 2022 Audi A3 wouldn’t be complete without a suite of shiny new tech features like adaptive cruise control, wireless charging, and Apple Carplay (and Android Auto). Supposing you check every box, the Audi A3 Prestige comes out to $46,490. But you can skip all that for one simple reason.

Which Audi A3 trim is best?

A profile shot of a grey 2022 Audi A3
We’re very much here for the side logos | Audi

The Prestige trim isn’t the best trim on the new Audi A3. The A3’s trim levels give diminishing returns past one trim level: the Premium Plus trim. In it, you’ll be getting 99% of what makes the 2022 A3 a boilerplate luxury car. Obviously, that means all the tech features. Unfortunately, you are losing out on the B&O sound system. However, keeping with the Prestige Plus trim softens that blow when you see the price.

At $39,200 the 2022 Audi A3 Premium Plus is 99% of the top-tier car, without the excess fat. Luxuries like the head-up display go the way of the dodo, but you can wipe your tears with the nearly $10,000 you’ve saved. So, a fully loaded A3 isn’t worth it, but the middling Premium Plus? Yes, please.

Even the base A3 sedan comes with features like blind-spot monitoring

Audi brings new safety features to their cheapest sedan | Audi

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Now, this isn’t in any way us knocking the base Premium trim of the A3. It’s fine. But at that level, and that price point ($33,900), the A3 has stiffer competition from the likes of Genesis and BMW. Perhaps the 2022 Audi A3 isn’t so much a boilerplate luxury car as it is a Goldilocks luxury car.