Here’s our review of the 2015 Audi A3 TDI!
Audi first introduced the A3 to the US market for 2007. Here in the US it basically began the premium small car market. There weren’t any other players at the time, except for perhaps Mini one size down, but that’s more a niche player. Since that time though the competition has caught up. Every high line manufacturer either now offers a small vehicle or is planning to shortly. So luckily Audi has released an all new generation to protect it’s market share.
Audi released the all new A3 last year and while the styling is more evolutionary, it can more than hold it’s own. What is all new however is the new sedan bodystyle, where as the last generation was only a hatchback, now you can have both. In true Audi fashion the exterior is plane of gentle arches with clean lines that give the A3 a very tailored look. Led by Audi’s signature grille, I’d say the design language lends itself well to the new small sedan with an overall impression of being handsomely sophisticated.
That simplicity and sophistication also carry over to the A3’s new interior, which is very progress compared to it’s fore barer. The interior is very minimalistic with just a slim strip of climate and secondary controls besides the gauge cluster. All other controls are controlled through Audi intuitive MMI screen but the overall effect give the interior a very clean look. The A3 boasts impressive interior quality with soft-touch and top-notch materials everywhere. The back seat might be best suited for kids, but that also make this small sedan a great city car which is probably the true mission of this vehicle.
Under the hood the new A3 excels even more, but even better, it stands out amongst it’s peers. The TDI we tested sports a 2.0L Turbo Diesel 4-cylinder with 150-hp and 236 lb-ft. of torque. It’s mated to Audi’s well lauded S-tronic with 6-speeds in the A3. The real story behind the TDI though is fuel economy. While the official ratings are 31 city/44 highway, real world averages are often higher. In our week with the A3 I averaged 41 MPG in mixed driving and often saw readings in the mid-50’s on the highway.
On the road you’d think the A3 is a slow with that kind of impressive fuel economy, but that’s not the case. After a quick pause as the turbo spools, the TDI accelerates with authority and has abundant power in almost the entire rev range. Off the line the transmission may not be the smoothest, but gear changes are imperceptible and the power flows without any interruptions. The steering offers decent feedback even though it’s an electrically assisted steering rack and the ride/handling balance are perfect for the A3’s mission. Likewise NVH and road/wind noise are kept low.
Audi has also kept the A3’s starting price low. The TDI version starts at $32,600 for the fairly well loaded Premium version that comes standard with leather seating, panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth, HD and Satellite Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, Audi pre sense, and xenon front lighting. Audi’s A3 family also offers other body styles and power trains to suite almost everyone’s needs. Regardless of your choice, the Audi A3 is definitely worth a look.