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Avg. Price Paid:$9,071 - $13,540
Original MSRP: $25,340 - $33,980
MPG: 23 City / 32 Hwy
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2007 Audi A3 Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Audi A3 was new.

Reviewers praise the 2007 Audi A3's power and versatility. "Audi engineers have certainly achieved their design objective of creating a hatchback with the feel of a sports car," says Kelley Blue Book. "The A3's small size, taut suspension and willing FSI engine make it a blast to drive through curvy stretches, but at the same time its highway ride quality won't make you regret you didn't opt for a more sedate sedan." "The A3 is the kind of car that will pretty much turn every easy bend into a fast corner, because you'll want the extra fun," explains USA TODAY.

The Detroit Free Press says the A3 "has just the right combination of power, weight and balance to make it a hoot to drive." Car and Driver reports, "The A3 evinces Audi qualities we admire -- light steering, a vault-like platform, a fine ride-and-handling trade-off, a Lexus-smooth idle ... heel-and-toe-able pedals, and a willing shifter. Overall, the A3 is one of those special terrier-like cars that are always eager to go."

Acceleration and Power

The 2007 Audi A3 offers two engine options. The 2.0T makes 200 horsepower with an inline four-cylinder spark-ignition engine with FSI Direct Injection technology. It is the first production engine to combine FSI technology with a turbocharger. The 3.2 liter V6 makes 250 horsepower with its spark-ignition DOHC. The 2.0T makes 207 pound-feet of torque at 1800-5000 rpm. The Detroit News likes what it calls the "torquey 3.2-liter V6," which makes 236 lb-ft of torque at 2800-5000 rpm.

The V6 is more powerful, but reviewers find the smaller engine has plenty of muscle. New Car Test Drive says that it "offers superb balance and excellent throttle response that make for a convincing sports car when the road is right." About.com is more effusive in its praise: "There are not enough words in the English language to describe how wonderful the 200 horsepower 2.0T engine is." "It pulls like a draft horse from the get-go," says the Detroit News.

The 2.0T is available with a six-speed manual transmission or with Audi's Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). The 3.2 is only available with the automatic option. Most reviewers, however, don't bemoan the lack of a manual, finding that the DSG is surprisingly responsive. USA TODAY says of the DSG, "It shifts crisply and blips the gas when downshifting, as you'd do if double-clutching a manual transmission to match engine revs with the lower gear you'd just chosen." AutoWeek calls the DSG "so smooth, intuitive, easy to use and efficient that nothing else without a clutch pedal comes close." The Los Angeles Times puts it like this: "From a standing start, punch the go-button and the 3,329-pounder will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, the DSG cracking off three changes with Glock-like precision. Yahoo!" The 2.0 liter engine has an Environmental Protection Agency estimated fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

Handling and Braking

Handling is found to be tight and up to Audi standards. "On the road, the A3 is lively and balanced, with excellent steering and very little unwanted body motion," writes Automobile Magazine. Edmunds comments that "In typical Audi fashion, the ride is comfortably firm and the A3's handling is just as sporty as its larger siblings'. The junior Audi's well-tuned suspension keeps the car buttoned down in the turns, even as midcorner pavement imperfections try to knock it off line." Cars.com concurs: "You get a nice ride with the regular suspension; you feel bumps, but it's not bad."

The steering is praised by most reviewers, with the Los Angeles Times calling it "finely calibrated and well-weighted." Some, such as Cars.com, find it to be "on the light side," but nevertheless find that "it's precise and yields good maneuverability."

The A3 uses a MacPherson front suspension and a four-link independent suspension in the rear. The Auto Channel calls the suspension "conventional in design," but notes that handling, "like powertrain performance, is better in reality than on paper. It is firm and quick without being harsh or uncivilized."

The A3's four-wheel disc brakes are powerful. New Car Test Drive says they are "big enough to handle repeated pedal stabs without overheating," and their "high-tech electronics ensure optimum braking in all conditions." The Electronic Stabilization Program incorporates an anti-lock system with Electronic Brake Force distribution, traction control, engine drag torque control, electronic differential lock, hydraulic Brake Assist, and an extended stability braking system.

Review Last Updated: 5/2/08

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