The Audi A3 is one of the smallest vehicles sold by Volkswagen’s luxury brand, Audi. Manufactured in Germany, Hungary, China, and India, it shares a platform with Volkswagen Golf, and is designed to compete with other compact luxury sedans including the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, Lexus IS, Acura ILX, and Lexus CT hybrid.
Like the vehicles it competes with, the A3 hits the ground running with a range of top notch crash scores and safety features, including side airbags and ESC, as well as frontal crash protection in the latest models. In fact, it’s one of the few vehicles with superior levels of rollover protection at every trim level, which is why I’ve ranked it as one of the safest luxury cars you can choose to keep you safe during a rollover.
As a result,even if you aren’t an executive or business-type, the Audi A3 is worth considering if you’re a parent interested in one of the safest sedans money can buy. As a result, I got up close and personal with the initial generation of the A3 to see just how car-seat friendly it would be for interested families.
Before looking at which car seats did and didn’t fit in the A3 in 3 across setups, it’s worth reviewing a bit of car safety, in terms of which kinds of seats to use and when.
For me, the most basic and essential part of car seat safety involves rear-facing. It’s the safest position we know of, and the longer our kids rear-face, the safer they’ll be, regardless of what kind of vehicle they travel in. I recommend keeping children in rear-facing infant or convertible seats as long as possible (ideally until 4!), then keeping them harnessed in forward-facing seats for several years more (ideally until 8!), and then only switching them out of booster seats when they pass the 5 step test (which typically happens between 10 and 12). The goal is to keep kids in the safest kinds of seats for as long as possible to increase their odds of surviving serious car crashes.
With that all in mind, I got to work with my seats to create what I believe to be the most detailed 3 across guide for the Audi A3 on the Internet. If you find the list helpful when shopping for car seats, you can shop through my Amazon link below. I’ll add more seats as I test them over time.
You can access the complete 3 across guide for every vehicle here and the complete list of recommended seats here. The Canadian car seat guide is here. 3 across car seat images are taken by yours truly or are courtesy of Wikipedia.
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Audi A3
Guaranteed 3 across installations:
Clek Fllo (x3).
Clek Foonf (x3).
Diono Radian RXT (x3).
Diono Radian R120 (x3).
Diono Radian R100 (x3).
Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).
Combi Coccoro (x3).
Tips and Tricks:
The current generation A3 is 175 inches long and just under 71 inches wide, which means you won’t have too many seats to choose from when it comes to 3 across setups. However, even though the back row isn’t the widest, it’s definitely wide enough for several of the narrower seats as long as you’re willing to use your seat belts instead of LATCH for the installation. Remember that seat belts are as safe as LATCH, and in some cases, safer, depending on the weight limits of your car seats.
Because the A3 is also a rather short vehicle, you’re quite likely to find yourself compromised on front-to-back space, especially if you’ve got taller drivers or passengers. If you’re interested in which safe seats take up the least space, you’ll want to check out my front-to-back comparison chart for rear-facing convertibles.
If you find the information on car safety, recommended car seats, and car seat reviews on this car seat blog helpful, you can bookmark and shop through this Amazon link. Canadians can bookmark and shop through this link.