The 2015 Audi A3 sedan is the first of an entire family of models which include the Cabriolet and high-performance S3. More models are coming including the five-door Sportback, TDI and e-tron plug-in hybrid.
It’s built upon the same new modular architecture shared with the 2015 Volkswagen Golf family with all new styling for 2015. While evolutionary in Audi design DNA the look is notably lower and sleeker than before.
Thinner and more horizontally stretched Xenon headlamps and LED driving lights go a long way to a wider look up front. Between them is Audi’s now trademark “singleframe” grille.
At the rear, LED tail-lamps also contribute to a more planted three-quarter view. Standard on our 2.0t sedan is the 17” five star design wheels mounted up with 225/45 all-season tires.
The cabin of the A3 2.0T is everything you come to this brand for. There’s standard leather seats with the driver getting 12-way power adjustments, the passenger adjusting manually. Both offered up comfort and support that well impressed regardless of how they’re adjusted.
Standard equipment overhead was what they call a panorama glass sunroof. Don’t let the name fool you however, its not a full length panel, but is larger than the standard sunroof we normally see.
We had the $500 cold weather package which heats those front seats as well as the side mirrors and windshield washer nozzles. Also optioned inside was the aluminum trim package with the genuine article on dash and doors for another $450.
The center screen infotainment system is what Audi calls MMI. It consists of a pop-up screen on the dash and a console mounted puck and volume knob. It has a learning curve at first but once you master it, works exceptionally well when using on the road.
We did have the $1,900 version of the infotainment program which included navigation with voice control and a single CD player, satellite radio, and Bluetooth capability. I was a bit surprised that an iPod interface was and additional $350 however.
Space and comfort is more than adequate for the front passengers as well as in the back seat. Even through the roofline is lower than some, head room even with my cowboy hat on was never an issue. Trunk space is also not bad at all, improved over last year’s A3.
The design and feel of the interior overall didn’t disappoint. I have always said Audi offers one of the best interiors in the business and this car shows why. Even in their entry level model you get the same level of quality you’d expect in their largest and most expensive ones.
Our A3 is powered by Audi’s latest generation of their 2.0 liter turbo-charged four cylinder engine which now sports direct fuel injection. Consequently the engine is a bit noisier an coarse at idle, but remains smooth and refined later in the rev range.
It’s available only with an S tronic six-speed dual-clutch automatic or more rather a robotic-manual transmission. At least for now, it’s the only box offered, a manual transmission is not available. Power of course goes to all four wheels through Audi’s proven Quattro system.
The powertrain overall is pleasing and offers up very good acceleration, with a published 0-60 time of about 5.8 seconds. The only glaring area of note was that there was quite a bit of drive-train delay built into the drive-by-wire throttle that really could be tuned out.
Aside the drive-train delay the transmission itself works exceptionally well as I have come to expect from Audi. Its shifts are quick and crisp particularly when using the shifter manually. Conspicuous in their absence were steering wheel paddle shifters.
Its all-new chassis uses MacPherson struts up front with variable assist electric power steering. Out back is a four-link independent rear suspension which has separately mounted springs and dampers. All of this connects a new body structure to the road which is stiffer than before.
On the back roads it’s enormously fun to drive, offering up both the sporting reflexes you hope for as well as the solid German feel you spend the money for. Unlike many cars in its class, it enjoys being pushed and invites more.
The 2015 Audi A3 2.0T starts at $32,900, however ours was optioned up to $36,645 including destination. We observed 29 mpg combined in our week, 2 mpg more than the window sticker promised.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2015 Audi A3 its coveted Top Safety Pick + designation. This was due both to the fact it achieve Good ratings across the board, including the new small-overlap test, and the availability of crash prevention technology.
The 2015 Audi A3 makes it to our “I’D Buy It” this week and is awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars for our rating.