3 Things We Learned About the New Audi A3: Review
I recently spent some time behind the wheel of Audi’s entry-level sedan the 2015 A3. It was OK, for the most part, which is a good thing considering I'm Audi's exact target market; a 20-something, skinny jean wearing, Whole Foods shopping "millennial," for lack of a better word. But the problem is that with a starting price of a mere $29,900, the A3 may be the cheapest car in the lineup, but it sure as heck isn't the most plentiful. So in order to cope with this lack of luxury, I fitted myself with a $37,195 A3, which included more knobs and switches. And while I found it both intriguing and insanely, beautifully simplistic, there was one big problem that I had. You'll see what I mean at the end. PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan Beautiful Simplicity
Like I said, the first thing you notice about the Audi A3 is that it's a beautifully simple little sedan. It goes perfectly well with your designer San Francisco shoebox apartment and ironic mustache. I know, I give Audi a hard time for not being creative enough with its designs, but with the A3, it didn't need to be overly designed to be a great thing to look at. The lines are sharp, the interior is sleek, and the whole thing just feels like a nice, clean place to be.
That being said, it’s a complete 180 from where the competing Mercedes-Benz CLA is. That might be why the A3 is outselling it nearly ten-fold.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet
Quattro Goodness, Turbo Pep
I have to say that Quattro on the A3 is a must. I mean, you're not taking it rallying or anything (yet), but unlike its front-drive younger sibling, the A3 Quattro keeps the car really composed and uses that four-wheel drive advantage against its competitors.
The Quattro all-wheel drive and the 220-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo engine kept the A3 interesting. Dare we say the drive almost felt “dynamic."
PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept
Still Short on Equipment
With those two positives, comes a negative— I know, you were all hoping the Audi A3 was the world's perfect sedan. But not so. For $37K, you get a nice looking, nice driving little sedan. But what you don’t get is a backup camera, you have to pay extra for navigation, and you still have to deal with an old-fashioned key. It may sound petty, but you would still expect all those things in an an Audi, even one that costs less than $40K.
Yes, this is an entry level vehicle, and yes, you get satellite radio, a nifty pop up infotainment screen, leather seats, and one of the sleekest interfaces around. But you can get all those, including a backup camera and push button ignition, in a car that costs much less than that. (See: Mazda 3)
So at the end of the day, I couldn't really bring myself to call this an entry-level luxury sedan. Because it’s missing the whole “luxury” component. But I can say that this is one of the better sedans around, luxury or not.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 Audi A3 TDI Sportback