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2015 Audi A3 TDI Debut

Redefining an entry level diesel car

2015 Audi A3 Research Click to hide

What's New

The Audi A3 is a favorite in Europe, but how will it fare in the U.S.? Audi is banking on a new entry level compact sedan to lure in buyers looking to ease their way into the luxury market. This model may not have much interior space, but it has all the styling worthy of the Audi name. To give consumers options, the A3 will be available in two turbocharged gas versions as well as a 2.0-liter TDI, which promotes Audi's commitment to clean diesel. Audi boasts a number of high-tech features for the new model, but we will have to wait to see if the interior materials and driving performance matches the rest of the Audi lineup.

Who It's For

While the base A3 is available for under $30,000, those choosing the TDI version will be paying a few thousand dollars more for better fuel economy and fewer trips to the pump. The A3 TDI will still be an economical choice for buyers wanting a luxury car that feels sporty and elegant. Supposedly Americans don't want diesel, but Audi actually gets a large portion of its sales from its diesel models. Ultimately, it boils down to the preference of the buyer.

The Audi A3 TDI may compete against the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class entry level sedan, although the Baby Benz does not come with a diesel engine. The A3's closest competitor is likely to be the $33,000 Lexus CT200h hybrid model, which achieve upwards of 40 mpg and comes with an adequate amount of luxury features.

Key Features

Despite its position in the entry level luxury car market, expect some advanced features and technologies.
  • MMI multimedia technology
  • Standard panoramic glass sunroof
  • Bang & Olufsen audio
  • 4G LTE connectivity
  • Standard leather

What We Think

We are pleased at the number of available features on this model, and we see a large market for entry level luxury cars. But expectations for this model are high, as A3 buyers are not willing to see Audi cut corners just because it is a less expensive model. Considering the amount of attention Audi has put into this model, however, there is no reason to think it won't offer buyers what they are looking for. The final test will come down to the drivability and overall comfort of the car.

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Lou Ann Watson
Lou Ann Watson

c'mom, audi…been waiting two years for this car and you're not even offering a hatch now. bring that three door stateside, i don't want a watered down golf tdi. a3 is sharp car, but turtle-like rollout is awful. benz and bmw beating you to the punch