Audi A3 Review
The 2015 Audi A3 ranks 10 out of 14 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Audi A3, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2015 Audi A3 offers a long list of standard and available features, as well as nimble handling and lively turbocharged engines, critics say.
According to test drivers, the base 2015 A3 1.8T's turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers ample power for merging onto the highway. They say the A3 TDI's turbodiesel four-cylinder engine delivers about the same performance as the 1.8T's, but with much better fuel economy. The A3 2.0T and performance-oriented S3 come with larger turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Front-wheel drive is standard in the 1.8T and TDI trims, while the 2.0T and S3 trims have all-wheel drive. All trims come standard with a six-speed automated manual transmission. According to the EPA, the base 2015 Audi A3 gets 23/33 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, while the TDI gets 31/43, which is excellent. Reviewers agree that the base A3 has a smooth ride, agile handling and responsive steering, while all-wheel drive models are even more dynamic, thanks to their additional grip.
Automotive journalists report that the 2015 Audi A3 has an impressive list of standard and available interior features. The A3 also has some of the nicest cabin materials in the class, according to critics, as well as a handsome design and a user-friendly infotainment system. However, reviewers say the A3 has less rear-seat head- and legroom than most upscale small rivals, and its trunk is small for the class. Standard features in the 2015 Audi A3 include leather upholstery, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, Bluetooth and Audi's MMI infotainment system. Available features include a 12-way power-adjustable passenger's seat, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, push-button start, iPod integration, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, navigation and Audi Connect, which uses a 4G cellular connection to provide a Wi-Fi hot spot and Google Maps views for the navigation system.
- "The 2015 Audi A3 is the benchmark for a new, smaller segment of entry-level luxury sedans. It's definitely small, which may be an issue for some, but it's no less luxurious or rewarding to drive than pricier Audis." -- Edmunds
- "Mercedes-Benz broke new ground with the CLA. Audi walked the same path, with more commitment, and made a better car. The A3 feels like it has more interior space, an airier cabin, more comfort, and fewer blind spots for the driver. It's also a sharper handler." -- Road and Track
- "Audi has caught on to America's aversion to hatchbacks. The result of this realization is a quick course correction, a proper sedan that is also a blast to drive. With a wide array of powertrain, luxury and technology options, the A3 offers something for everyone at an attractive entry price." -- Left Lane News
- "Both sporty and welcoming, the A3 may be small but it's a pleasure to live with – its standard panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights and leather seating only sweeten the deal." -- Kelley Blue Book
Other Cars to Consider
The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class impresses reviewers with its athletic handling, and they say its well-appointed, quiet interior looks like it belongs in a more expensive car. Additionally, the turbocharged four-cylinder CLA250 uses less fuel than the base A3.
Reviewers write that the Buick Verano has a very comfortable ride and a luxurious interior. It also has one of the largest trunks in its class, and critics add that its available turbocharged engine is quite powerful.
Details: 2015 Audi A3
The 2015 Audi A3 is offered in five-seat sedan and four-seat Cabriolet (convertible) body styles. Trims range from the base A3 1.8T Premium sedan, which comes with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, to the A3 2.0T Prestige convertible, which comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. A diesel-powered A3 TDI trim and a high-performance S3 trim are also available. All A3 trims come standard with a six-speed automated manual transmission. The Audi A3 has been completely redesigned for 2015.