3/4 Front Glamour 2015 Audi A3
MPG 24 City / 33 Highway
, Automotive Editor -


Audi has sold its current-generation A3 hatchback in the ‘States since the 2006 model year, but that model has never taken off with buyers despite offering German luxury car quality at an affordable price. Audi seeks to remedy all that with the new-for-2015 A3, which drops in showrooms as an all-new 4-door sedan model that’s just slightly smaller than the current A4.

In creating the new A3, Audi seeks to push its entry-level model upward in luxury to better fit with the company’s brand image. The car’s platform is shared with the new MkVII VW Golf, but Audi has made sure feature content is befitting of a luxury car, with leather interior, a panoramic sunroof and bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps all coming standard. The car’s styling is reminiscent of current Audi products, which is not a bad thing as the design language translates well from every angle to the new smaller shape, highlighted by an aggressive new front end language that resembles the 2015 TT roadster and coupe lineup.

At launch, buyers will have the option of two engines, each offered in the Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels. The base 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder outputs 170 horsepower and 200 lb-ft. of torque and comes with FronTrak front-wheel-drive. Upgrading to the 2.0T model brings a powerful 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder pushing 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, along with Audi Quattro Haldex all-wheel-drive. Either engine comes mated to a 6-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automanual transmission; no traditional manual is planned for a U.S. release. A high-performance S3 with 290 horsepower and Quattro will also be available.

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