Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Audi A3 VS 2015 Acura TLX Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 Audi A3

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2015 Acura TLX

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Acura TLX has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The TLX doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the A3 Sedan and the TLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the TLX:

A3 Sedan


Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

1.4/0 kN

3.2/.7 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



Tibia forces R/L

3.8/1.1 kN

4/2.5 kN

Warranty Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the TLX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the TLX’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The A3 Sedan 1.8T’s standard 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (200 vs. 182) than the TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

The A3 Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 182) than the TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the A3 Sedan 2.0T is faster than the Acura TLX V6:

A3 Sedan


Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.6 MPH

98.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan TDI gets better fuel mileage than the TLX 4 cyl. (31 city/43 hwy vs. 24 city/35 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the TLX V6:

A3 Sedan




23 city/33 hwy

21 city/34 hwy



24 city/33 hwy

21 city/31 hwy

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the TLX:

A3 Sedan


60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the TLX’s standard 55 series tires. The A3 Sedan’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the TLX V-6’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.1% to 41.9%) than the TLX’s (60% to 40%). This gives the A3 Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the TLX V-6 SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the TLX (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .74 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the TLX V-6’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.8 feet). The A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the TLX SH-AWD’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 400 pounds less than the Acura TLX.

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 2.9 inches shorter than the TLX, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A3 Sedan easier. The A3 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.3 inches, while the TLX’s liftover is 28.3 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the A3 Sedan and the TLX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A3 Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The TLX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A3 Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The TLX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the A3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The TLX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A3 Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The TLX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A3 Sedan will cost $135 to $2135 less than the TLX over a five-year period.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2015 issue and they ranked the Audi A3 Sedan 1.8T higher than the Acura TLX.

The Audi A3/S3 outsold the Acura TLX by 16% during 2014.

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