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Audi A3

Overview
Review
OVERVIEW

2015 Audi A3 – 1.8T Premium FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 Auto Trans (Base Trim)

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1 OF 5
2015 Audi A3: Angularfront
RATINGS

Editors Overall Rating

What is this?
This rating is provided by our team of editors based on their extensive professional expertise on Trucks, SUVs, Vans, and Wagons.
We liked
  • Great Interior
  • Spare Teutonic Luxury
  • Sharp Handling
We disliked
  • Front-Wheel Drive
  • No All-Wheel-Drive Option
  • Road Noise
PRICING Fair Market Pricing
What is this?
Fair Market Price is an estimate of a “fair” price that any given new vehicle can be purchased for. This national estimate, updated monthly, reflects recent market conditions (supply and demand) plus a reasonable dealer markup.
$27,657
Finance
Estimated monthly
payment:
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payment:
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MSRP
$29,900
MPG
23 / 33
City/Hwy
ENGINE
1.8L I4
HORSE POWER
170 hp
@ 4,500 rpm
TORQUE
200 ft lb
of torque @ 1,600 rpm
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Audi’s small commuter diesel is big on compact size and smooth thrust on the highway but a bit clunky in town, thanks to less-than-optimal shifting from an automated manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch, and not as much sound deadening as found in Audi’s higher-priced diesels. There’s still plenty to like: The oil-burning A3 is the second most fuel efficient diesel car currently available (the BMW 328d is first), the torque hit off idle is strong, the steering precision is praiseworthy, and its generally compact size makes it handy. The A3 is worth considering for those seeking acceptable power and good economy for their daily drive.

REVIEW

2006 Audi A3 2.0T Long-Term Verdict

Looks like we've fallen in love-with a transmission.

Matt Stone
Sep 26, 2007
Photographers: Julia LaPalme
Photo 2/5
Audi's new-for-2006 A3 compact sportwagon posed three questions: How successfully could this premium German brand descend the vehicular food chain without downgrading its brand image? How good was the VW Group's new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder direct-injection powerplant? And what would it be like living with its innovative Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG)? The answers proved to be pretty good-and above all expectations.
VW/Audi's old 1.8-liter turbo four was tough and put out good power on boost, but it was peaky and short on torque. The new 2.0, with more displacement and a sophisticated direct fuel-injection system, delivers more power over a much wider rev range, curing both of the 1.8's problems. Most auto-clutch manuals tend toward the jerky side, but the DSG's innovative gearset and clutch design suffers no such drama. Pull the upshift paddle, and the next gear hits quickly and cleanly; when hard on the gas, the shifts are accompanied by a race-car-like burp from the exhaust. Downshifts are rev-matched and butter smooth.
Photo 3/5
We put several people behind the wheel, asked them to select the Drive (fully automatic) mode, pedal about, and tell us what kind of trans the A3 employed. All but one was sure it was a conventional automatic. It's that good, and became just one aspect staffers most enjoyed about our year with this car.
The A3 also drew high praise for its exterior design; everyone seems to have gotten comfy with Audi's horseshoe-shaped grille, and the fastback roof and tapering window line make it as handsome a station wagon as you'll find. "Such a great package" commented one editor. "Easy to maneuver and park. Room for five. Good cargo space (I like the cargo nets, too). And fun to drive." The last was a comment written many times into the logbook. No lie: The A3 is quick, relatively quiet, and rides nicely for a car that grips and handles so well.

Our Car
Base price $26,940
Options Sport Package ($1800: leather sport seats, 17-inch wheels, sport suspension, steering wheel controls, spoiler, foglights), Sound Package ($900: Bose Premium); Convenience Package ($675: Homelink, trip computer, rain-sensing wipers); other options ($1235)
MSRP, as tested $31,550
Total mileage 19,943
Avg fuel economy 22.0 mpg
Problem areas Air-conditioning compressor
Maintenance cost $0 (mfr provided)
Normal-wear cost $11 (3 quarts oil)
Recalls None
Audi is known for delivering among the best interiors you'll find in mainstream automobiles. The cabin designs are attractive and functional, all materials are of good quality, and the fit and finish first rate. While you can tell the A3 is positioned a bit downmarket from the models that garnered Audi this reputation, it's still a nice environment. One editor claimed the dash seems "too plasticky for a car costing more than $30K," but that was a minority opinion. All the plastics, leather, and trim wore well, and the car looked in new condition the day it went home. The Bose premium audio system also had great sound (although it could've used even more power); and, goodness knows, this staff loves its XM Satellite Radio, which made the A3 a popular choice for road trips. That said, two editors mentioned the seats grew uncomfortable during long rides.
Photo 4/5
The staff was split on the A3's value message. A few felt that Audi charging an additional $450 for metallic paint, $675 for a convenience package of moderate worth, and another $435 just for Bluetooth connectivity was over the top. They argued that you could get much the same car in the form of a VW GTI four-door for $5000-$7000 less. The rest felt the Audi brand cachet, and the extra equipment you can't get on the VW, made it worth the difference in buy-in.
There was but one service issue, although it surfaced twice. The 5000-mile service came and went with no issues, and then the A/C ceased to blow cold at 13,600 miles. The air-conditioning compressor, condenser, and ancillary system parts were replaced under warranty. Not 500 miles later, the same thing reoccurred. The compressor was replaced again (we had the 15K service done at the same time) and all was well for the rest of the Audi's 20,000 mile visit with us. And while it liked a quart of oil or so in between changes, the A3 proved completely reliable in every other way.
The A3, even though it shares its powertrain and some of its underguts with certain Volkswagens, still comes off as an Audi with credibility. The engine was a joy to drive and returned acceptable fuel economy. It handles and feels as only German cars do. Audis aren't known for A/C problems, so write that issue off as a fluke to this particular car. And the Direct Shift Gearbox demonstrates how good an auto-clutch transmission can be. We'd leave off a few of the options to get the sticker price under $30,000. But that would yield an A3 anyone would be happy with for a long, long time.
Photo 5/5
From the logbook:
"Excellent power and off-the-line torque. The DSG is stellar, so seamless, whether in manual or full auto mode. The throttle blips are addictive."
- Ron Kiino
"Plenty of college grads end up in Golfs or Jettas, making the A3 a perfect car for a few years after school, as they climb the corporate ladder."
- Brian Vance
"DSG is badass. End of story."
- John Kiewicz
"L.A. to Phoenix in six hours, doing 90 most of the way. One full tank of gas. Smooth all the way, although some road noise is obvious. Oh, yeah, and plenty of room for all my camping gear."
- James Dryden
"For the most part, this car is spot on. Acceleration and shifting are so smooth, there's very little turbo lag, and the steering is so responsive. The interior is ergonomic and comfortable, but wish it had seat heaters."
- Julia LaPalme

2006 Audi A3 2.0T
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 121.1 cu in/1984 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 200 hp @ 5100-6000 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 207 lb-ft @ 1800-5000 rpm
REDLINE 6500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 16.7 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 6-speed auto-clutch manual
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIOS 4.06:1/3.74:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT;REAR Suspension, front; rear Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 16.2:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 3
BRAKES, F;R "12.3-in vented disc11.3-in disc, ABS"
WHEELS, F;R 7.5 x 17 in, cast aluminum
TIRES, F;R 225/45R17 94Y Pirelli PZero Rosso
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 101.5 in
TRACK, F/R 59.9/58.8 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 168.7.0 x 77.1 x 56.0 in
TURNING CIRCLE 35.1 ft
CURB WEIGHT 3350 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 61/39%
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/M/R 38.1 in
LEGROOM, F/M/R 41.2 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/M/R 54.3 in
CARGO VOL BEHIND, F/M/R 19.5 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 2.4 sec
0-40 3.4
0-50 4.7
0-60 6.4
0-70 8.4
0-80 10.8
0-90 14.1
QUARTER MILE 15.0 sec @ 93.0 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 118 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION Lateral acceleration 0.84 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 26.9 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 2400 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
STABILITY/ TRACTION CONTROL Yes/yes
AIRBAGS Dual front, front side
BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/unlimited
FUEL CAPACITY 14.5 gal
EPA CITY/ HWY ECON 25/31 mpg
MT FUEL ECONOMY 16.4 mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.71 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Premium
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2015 Audi A3

SPECIFICATIONS
$29,900
23 / 33
1.8L I4
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2013 Audi A3

SPECIFICATIONS
$27,270
21 / 30
2.0L I4
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2012 Audi A3

SPECIFICATIONS
$27,270
21 / 30
2.0L I4
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2011 Audi A3

SPECIFICATIONS
$27,270
21 / 30
2.0L I4
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2010 Audi A3

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$27,270
21 / 30
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2009 Audi A3

SPECIFICATIONS
$26,920
21 / 30
2.0L I4
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2008 Audi A3

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$25,930
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2007 Audi A3

SPECIFICATIONS
$25,340
N/A
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2006 Audi A3

SPECIFICATIONS
$24,740
N/A
2.0L I4
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Truck Trend truck reviews
2006 Audi A3 2.0T Long-Term Verdict
Even though it shares its powertrain and some of its underguts with certain Volkswagens, our 2006 Audi A3 still came off as an Audi with credibility. The engine was a joy to drive and returned acceptable fuel economy.
Matt StoneSep 26, 2007
Motor Trend
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Long Term Verdict: 2006 Audi A3 2.0T
Even though it shares its powertrain and some of its underguts with certain Volkswagens, our 2006 Audi A3 still came off as an Audi with credibility. The engine was a joy to drive and returned acceptable fuel economy.
Matt StoneAug 16, 2007
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Fleet Update: 2006 Audi A3
One editor had our 2006 Audi A3 over a 10-day period that took him from Los Angeles to Carson City, Nevada, then over to Sacramento and back to L.A.
Neil G. ChiricoApr 23, 2007
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Long-Term Update: 2006 Audi A3
There's much more to like about the A3 than just its excellent Direct Shift Gearbox transmission.
Neil G. ChiricoDec 1, 2006
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Positive declarations are filling the logbook about our 2006 Audi A3's Direct Shift gearbox: "The DSG is as close to perfect as a sequential manual gets."
Allyson HarwoodSep 1, 2006
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Long known for its luxurious sedans and sporty coupes, Audi has taken the logical next step by combining the two. Result: the 2006 Audi A3, a compact luxury-performance hatchback compelling enough that we quickly added one to our long-term test fleet....
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Audi has three goals with its new A3: (1) target younger and/or first-time Audi buyers who will (hopefully) move up to more expensive models, (2) pursue those buyers with products built around lower price points....
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