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A running gag in the car industry is that Audis all look the same. That joke isn't going anywhere: the German automaker has unveiled a refreshed A3 that takes a number of the A4's updates and translates them into a more affordable vehicle. They managed to not look the same for only a couple months; now they're twins again.
The most prominent change on the outside of the 2017 A3 (and its drop-top brother, the A3 Cabriolet, as well as the hopped-up S3) is the new front end. The headlights are a bit more aggressive and seem to have been plucked straight from the 2017 A4. LED taillights are standard, with the option for full LED headlights. There are also some new wheel designs, and the rear bumper's been tweaked as well.
The inside is largely unchanged, save for one big technological addition: Virtual Cockpit. VC replaces the gauge cluster with a giant, configurable screen that displays everything the normal infotainment screen can display. There are new option tiers for the infotainment system, as well. Connect Prime gives you navigation, while Connect Plus adds a 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity.
In an effort to boost the A3's safety rating, autonomous emergency braking is now standard across all A3 models. A backup camera is also standard equipment. Audi's full suite of safety systems includes high-beam assist, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control with stop and go capabilities. On all trims except the base Premium, front and rear parking sensors are standard.
Powertrain options remain the same for 2017. A3 models are powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged I-4 good for 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Move up to the S3, and your four-pot will put out 292 hp and 280 torques.
Bear in mind these updates only apply to the all-wheel drive, gas-powered A3 models. The A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid and the front-wheel-drive A3 will also receive updates, albeit at a later time. Pricing starts at $34,200 for a base AWD A3, the Cabrio starts at $40,300 and the S3's starting price is $42,900.