About the Audi A3
The Audi A3 is a high-end hatchback that competes with the Volvo C30 and BMW 1 Series. In addition to the car's turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower, a 140 hp, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel (TDI) engine is available.
Transmission options are a six-speed manual, as well as a six-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto-shift manual. Quattro all-wheel drive is only available on the gas-powered 2.0T models.
Audi A3 Evolution
The 2006 Audi A3 included a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, 200 hp, four-cylinder engine. A 3.2-liter V-6, 250 hp engine was added later. Two transmissions were offered with the four-cylinder engine: a six-speed manual transmission and a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) dual-clutch sequential automatic transmission. The V-6 engine was paired with Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive and the DSG, allowing for quick gear changes. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels were standard; 18-inch wheels were an option. .
The 2007 A3 offered an optionally available stereo upgrade and xenon headlights. The 2008 A3 3.2 trim level offered an auto-dimming rearview mirror and Sirius satellite radio. Other options included a Titanium package, which featured black interior trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a black grill. Front-wheel and all-wheel drive were available on all models in 2008. Optional backseat sun shades and an iPod adapter were also available.
The 2009 Audi A3 models carried over largely unchanged, while the A3 TDI model was added for 2012 and coupled with an automatic transmission. The six-cylinder engine was discontinued. The 2011 model introduced an optional sunroof.
Modern Audi A3s
The 2012 model year offered four versions of the Audi A3: The 2.0T Premium (gasoline), the 2.0T Premium Plus (gasoline), the 2.0 TDI Premium (diesel), and the 2.0 TDI Premium Plus (diesel). There were no significant changes from the 2011 model.
The Audi A3's 2.0T gasoline engine provides 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Newly added was Audi's advanced direct fuel-injection system, which provides increased power and efficiency. The engine has been installed in more than 1.3 million Audis worldwide, and has received numerous awards.
The 2.0 TDI clean-diesel engine exceeds emissions requirements in all 50 states, while delivering a lofty 236 lb-ft of torque with 140 horsepower. Its use of high-pressure direct-injection and turbocharging enables it to be a powerful and efficient option.
The 2.0T Premium and 2.0 TDI Premium offer 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels, all-season tires, halogen headlights with daytime running lights, S-line front and rear bumpers, and a rear spoiler. High-quality leather is standard on the wrapped steering wheel and the seats. The stereo offers 140 watts of power, CD, Sirius satellite radio, and plug-in jacks for MP3 players or iPods.
The 2.0T Premium Plus and 2.0 TDI Premium Plus offer 17-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels; all-season tires; xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights; a leather-wrapped steering wheel that has Paddle shifter controls (with the S tronic transmission); and stereo controls on the wheel for easy access. Bluetooth capability is included in this model. A power driver's seat and storage package are also available.
A cold weather package is optional; it includes heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and heated windshield washer nozzles.
All of this is wrapped in a galvanized steel body with anti-corrosion protection. The appearance of the Audi A3 is both stylish and functional. The large hatchback makes loading and unloading easier. The car's low, wide stance gives it substance, as well as a sporty appearance. The Audi A3 is the only all-wheel-drive luxury sport back on the market. A buyer who wants luxury and value in a family vehicle should consider the Audi A3.
Fuel economy is decent. With a manual transmission, the Audi A3 gets 21/30 MPG city/highway. S tronic models achieve 22/28 mpg city/highway; S tronic Quattro offers 21/28 mpg city/highway.
The Audi A3 has a low seating profile, but includes large doors to make entering and exiting the vehicle easier.