Saturday Road Test – Audi A3

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Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S tronic

Lots of Fun

By Ron Amadon

DICKERSON, MD. –  The A3 received a complete redesign for 2015, and for those who live to drive, this is about the best use of $39K you can find on the sedan market.

Climb in and the first thing you notice is a seating position that is lower than one might expect in a sedan, almost like that of a sports car. Go rural, and the confidence building handling really stands out helped by a 6 speed S tronic transmission that was quick to react to the driver’s slightest whim. Yet, even with that fine cornering ability, the ride was not sports car stiff evidenced by its performance on Maryland roads that have not been yet visited by pothole police.

The 2.0T is rated at 220 horsepower at 4,500 to 6,200 rpm with 258 lb-ft of torque from a low, low 1,600 rpm to 4,400 rpm. Audi quotes a 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and that felt about right.  It is an inline four with turbo direct injection in a front mounted transverse arrangement. Top track speed is 130.

Those seeking additional performance can opt for the S3 with a turbo four churning out 292 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm with 280 lb-ft of torque at just 1,900 rpm and a run to the mile a minute in less than five seconds.

A warmer than normal day allowed me to open the sunroof and I can report it was on par regarding noise level, but spectacular in letting in the smells and sounds of nature after a cruel February in these parts. During its time with us, the sunroof cracked and disintegrated onto the sunshade below. That required a few days back in the garage for a new one that seemed to operate just fine.

To celebrate, the pictures were taken with the roof open on a marvelous day along the shores of the Potomac River.

The interior had a very upscale feel with excellent fit and finish with audio and navi systems that were easy learn, in fact, easier than the majority of such systems on the market. Audi’s MMI system is displayed on a screen that pops up from the top center of the dash and is controlled by a large knob on the center console and buttons on either side of it for navigation, radio, media and phone.

I would like the A3 better with a full size spare, but those have gone the way of portholes on a Buick and the trunk is on the small side anyway.

The 2.0T Quattro S tronic Premium Plus was well equipped with 18” 10-spoke-designer wheels, with all-season tires, heated power front seats with 4-way lumbar, heated exterior mirrors, and some extra trim for $2,550 extra.

The test car also had a $2,600 MMI-navigation plus package. That included a CD/DVD player with HD radio, Navi with voice commands, MMI touch, a color driver information display and “Audi Connect” with online services for six months. A Premium trim package included xenon headlights that were fantastic, LED daytime running lights, automatic wipers, sunroof, and leather upholstery among other goodies.

Then add on the “Monsoon Gray” metallic paint for $550 and that raised the ante from a base A3 price of $29,900 to $39,495.

The warranty is 4 years, 50,000 miles.

It may only seat two in the real world, but this is one fun set of wheels for both long interstate excursions and back road travel.

One more note:

You can impress your friends when you tell them the A3 uses the “Modularer Querbaukasten” architecture, or underpinings – except in Indiana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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