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Audi specializes in luxury sedans. But its cars aren’t just luxurious but also designed to be driven fast and hard. Two of its closest siblings in the lineup, the A3 and A4 sedans, are also two of the most popular cars in the Audi arsenal. But as the upgraded version of the A3, is the 2020 Audi A4 worth it?

The Audi A3 and Audi A4: what each sedan excels in

As indicated by its namesake, the 2020 Audi A4 is the slightly larger version of the compact A3. Owners will find more space on its interior, especially in the rear. Where the A3 fits front-row passengers comfortably, the A4 offers plenty of space and legroom for all five passengers. 

Refreshed for the model year, the Audi A4 features a few updates, like a new 10.1-inch touchscreen display to control Audi’s MMI infotainment system. The A3’s system is still controlled by a dial in the center console.

But more room in the A4 means more money. As the Audi A4’s smaller sibling, the A3 has a more affordable base price of around $33,000, according to U.S. News.

This is comparably lower than the A4’s average of $38,000-$49,000, and also one of the lowest starting prices in the segment. And even though the A3’s passenger space is technically smaller than the A4, all-wheel drive versions of the A3 come with 12.3 cu-ft of cargo space. This is more than the A4’s 12 cu-ft.

It should come as no surprise that the smaller Audi A3 is quicker than its larger sibling, with base engines sending the A3 from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 6.6 seconds. Base versions of the A4 take slightly longer, at 7.1 seconds.

Even with upgraded versions of the A4, the quickest 0-60 times sit with the A3. The RS3, which sits at the top of the A3’s lineup, gets up to 60 miles per hour in an astonishing 3.9 seconds. According to Car and Driver, high-performance options of the A3 make up to 400 hp.

Quicker and faster doesn’t always mean better handling, however. Audi is renowned for providing “an engaging driving experience without being overly harsh,” and both the A3 and A4 are refined and smooth. But the A4’s steering is lighter than the A3’s, making it a luxurious ride all the time; not just when the roads get twisty.

And although the same, 50,000-mile warranty covers both, the 2020 A4 comes with better predicted-reliability (average) scores than the A3’s below-average rating.

Similarities between the two cars

Even though the Audi A4 is slightly larger than the A3, both are still considered compact sedans. Both have seating for up to five passengers, with spacious and comfortable front seats.

Owners will also get standard heated seats and leather upholstery with both the A3 and A4 sedans. Inside, these sedans may look different, but both have been refreshed to offer upscale interiors, offering the perfect blend between luxury and technology.

You’ll find a nearly identical list of standard features on the interiors of the 2020 Audi A3 and A4. Both come standard with sunroofs, the MMI infotainment system, and convenience features like folding rear-seats, keyless entry, and more.

And while the A3’s fuel economy is slightly better on the highway than the A4’s, it’s still slight enough that both sedans earn an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined. Both sedans performed well in safety evaluations as well.

Is the 2020 Audi A4 worth the upgrade?

The 2020 Audi A3 and Audi A4 both feature many of the same advantages. Interior quality, cargo space, and fuel economy are evenly matched. But while the A3 is certainly cheaper than the A4, that doesn’t make it a clear-cut winner.

With more interior space and better handling, the A4 might be worth the extra money. According to Motorborne, the “A3 doesn’t do enough to represent what people want and expect from an Audi.” Although the A3 is the cheaper sedan, Audi shoppers are not often price-sensitive and those that are might be better off looking at another brand. The A4, on the other hand, is a solid all-around choice.