3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Audi A3

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Expert's Rating

4.5Excellent

MPG 24 City / 33 Highway
Pros
  • Excellent handling
  • Hatchback practicality
  • Refined drivetrain
Cons
  • Cabin somewhat cramped
  • Windowsills a bit on the high side
  • Interior not as luxurious as competitors
, Automotive Editor -
Audi's most affordable model rewards its owner with both performance and fuel-efficiency while only sacrificing a little cabin space.

Introduction

The Audi A3 began it life in the European market back in 1996 and made its way to the U.S. a decade later. In the compact hatchback market, there was once much to be desired, as they rarely featured premium items like leather interior and premium sound systems. With the introduction of the 2006 A3, Audi helped break the boring-hatchback mold.

The 2013 Audi A3 comes in three trim levels, and they are: 2.0T Premium FrontTrak, 2.0 TDI Premium FrontTrak and 2.0T Premium Quattro. All three trim levels are nearly identical, as they all boast essentially the same features inside and out. Where they differ the most is under the hood and in the drivetrain. The 2.0T Premium FrontTrak is the base level and features the standard four-cylinder engine, manual transmission and front-wheel drive. The 2.0 TDI Premium FrontTrak tosses in a fuel-sipping diesel that gets a stunning 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. Moving up to the 2.0T Premium Quattro resorts the A3 back to its base engine, but tosses in an all-wheel-drive system that was born in bred in professional rally racing.

In all three trim levels, there are six optional packages available: Cold Weather Package, Bluetooth Value Package, Convenience Package, 18” Sport Package, Titanium Sport Package and Premium Package. These packages cost $500, $600, $1,275, $1,400, $2,000 and $2,000, respectively.

As for competition, the A3 has plenty. First up is the high-performance Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback, with its $25,795 base MSRP and its 265-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Next up would be the Ford Focus ST, which comes in at $23,700, can haul some cargo in its hatch and features a powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Also included has to be the 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, which comes in at just $18,495 and features a 148-horsepower engine.

The hatchback segment has really become crowded in the U.S. market as of late, but with its premium features, the Audi A3 has given itself the upper hand.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Audi A3
Starting price
$24,000

2013 Audi A3 2.0T Premium

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a premium five-door hatch under $30K

Starting off the Audi A3 lineup is the 2.0T Premium FrontTrak trim level, which bases out at an MSRP of $27,270. This model comes standard with a 2.0-liter TSFI engine that produces 200 horsepower and connects to a six-speed manual transmission standard. The power from the engine makes it to the front wheels only. Also included are 17-by-7.5-inch rims covered in 225/45R17 rubber. Inside the 2.0T Premium FrontTrak it features leather seating and an AM/FM/CD stereo system with 10 speakers and 140 watts of power. The Premium Plus Package is also available, but its pricing varies with what option the buyer chooses.

2013 Audi A3
Starting price
$24,000

2013 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Premium

Recommended for: Buyers willing to sacrifice speed for a stout 42 mpg highway

The second trim level available on the 2013 A3 is the 2.0 TDI Premium FrontTrak and it carries a base MSRP of $30,250. With this upgrade comes the deletion of the gasoline engine and the addition of a 2.0-liter clean diesel engine that pumps out 140 horsepower. This engine connects to a six-speed automatic S Tronic transmission, which delivers power to just the front wheels. It features the same 17-inch rims wrapped in 225/45R17 tires as the 2.0T Premium FrontTrak model. On the inside, this model also has the same radio and leather seating as the 2.0T Premium FrontTrak.

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