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Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - January 8, 2013

Expert Rating

4.5 (Excellent)
24 City / 33 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2013 Audi A3 OVERVIEW

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.

Best Audi Deals & Lease Offers In January

Prices for leasing an Audi have increased almost across the board. For example, the A3 now starts at $489/month, a $130 increase in payment compared to last month. A3 offers... View All Audi Lease Deals

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