Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Audi A3 VS 2018 Ford Fusion Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Audi A3

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2018 Audi A3

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2018 Ford Fusion

Safety Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Fusion doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Ford Fusion 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 Fusion 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 Fusion have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Ford Fusion:


A3 Sedan





5 Stars

3 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Ford Fusion:


A3 Sedan



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

219 G’s

401 G’s


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

61 G’s

Hip Force

777 lbs.

790 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

16 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 60 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fusion is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

The A3 Sedan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Fusion’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

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

Reliability Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Fusion’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl., 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. and 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine uses 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’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 70 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A3 Sedan Quattro is faster than the Ford Fusion 2.0 Turbo:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98.6 MPH

91.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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









21 city/32 hwy

2.5 4 cyl./Auto




23 city/34 hwy

1.5 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


2.0T ultra/Auto

26 city/35 hwy

21 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto



24 city/31 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto




17 city/26 hwy

2.7 turbo V6/Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A3 Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Fusion:


A3 Sedan


Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the Fusion:


A3 Sedan



70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the A3 Sedan has larger standard tires than the Fusion (225/45R17 vs. 215/60R16).

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 Fusion S’ standard 60 series tires. The A3 Sedan’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Fusion’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A3 Sedan has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Fusion S.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .94 G’s, while the Fusion Sport AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Fusion SE (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Fusion’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the Ford Fusion.

The A3 Sedan is 1 foot, 4.3 inches shorter than the Fusion, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 Fusion’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 standard 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 Fusion doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The A3 Sedan’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Fusion’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Fusion doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A3 Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Fusion and aren’t offered on the Fusion S.

The A3 Sedan has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Fusion and isn’t available on the Fusion S.

The A3 Sedan’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Fusion S doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Both the A3 Sedan and the Fusion offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A3 Sedan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Fusion doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A3 Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Fusion because typical repairs cost less on the A3 Sedan than the Fusion, including $163 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A3 Sedan first among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Fusion isn’t in the top three in its category.

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