Entry-level luxury; efficient diesel available; a small car with lots of utility
The Audi A3 is unchanged entering the 2013 model year, though a full redesign is expected soon.
For drivers wanting utility and luxury in a smaller, efficient package, the A3 fits the bill. The "Sportback" 5-door body style offers the spaciousness of an SUV on a platform shared with its Volkswagen cousins the Golf and Jetta. The TDI clean diesel engine is capable of 42 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA, and the gasoline engine gets 28 mpg on the highway. High-end touches such as leather seating and a 10-speaker stereo are standard equipment on both Premium and Premium Plus trim levels.
The five-seat Audi A3 is a premium hatchback that competes with the Volvo C30. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the A3 are available in the 2.0T (gas) trim level. A 2.0 TDI diesel model comes only with front-wheel drive.
There are two Audi A3 engines available for 2013. Both are 2.0L 4-cylinders, but one is a TDI clean diesel engine, while the other is a direct-inject gasoline engine. The diesel engine can make 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, plus a 30-mpg city and 42-mpg highway fuel rating. The turbo-charged gasoline engine trades some of that green credibility for performance, with 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. It still manages 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive.
Regardless of the engine or trim level--Premium or Premium Plus--there's plenty of standard safety features, such as anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic brake-pressure distribution and electronic differential lock. Front airbags and tire pressure monitoring are standard; the only optional safety features are rear side airbags.
The Premium trim level comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, cruise control and a 10-speaker, 140-watt sound system with automatic volume adjustment. Premium Plus adds a couple of items, such as an 8-way power driver's seat and Bluetooth connectivity. Both trims have standard 17-inch wheels, but 18-inchers are optional, as are wood interior trim, a sunroof and an upgrade to a Bose stereo.
A couple of packages are available for the Premium A3. The Cold Weather package heats the mirrors and windshield washer nozzles, plus the heated seats feature six levels of warmth. The Sport Package beefs up the side bolsters on the seats for more support while cornering, plus summer performance tires on 18-inch rims and a firmer suspension setting. The Premium Plus trim offers two more packages: the Convenience Package, which includes rain-sensing wipers and light-sensing headlights, and the Titanium Sport Package, which adds sport suspension, Piano Black interior inlays, black front grille and Alcantara inserts in the seats
- Turbocharged gas or diesel four-cylinder engines
- Available all-wheel drive
- Available dual-clutch transmission
- Optional Open Sky sunroof
- Coupelike silhouette
- 140-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (diesel)
- 200-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (premium)
- 6-speed manual w/OD
- 6-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual
2013 Audi A3 Parts and Accessories
The A3's single-frame tapered grille dominates the front end. The profile gets flatter toward the rear, like a coupe. Round wheel arches enhance the A3's stance.
Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18-inch alloy wheels
- Dual exhaust outlets and wraparound taillights
- Optional bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with LED daytime running lamps
- Chrome accents
A low seating position couples with a tall, wide center console. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather on all models. Round air vents have aluminum surrounds, and there's aluminum trim on the door and glove box handles. Wide-opening rear doors are intended to ease entry and exit. The available Open Sky two-section glass sunroof includes separate shades for each section.
Interior features include:
- Standard dual-zone automatic climate control
- Standard leather seating surfaces
- Standard satellite radio and MP3 jack
- Optional power driver's seat
- Optional Bluetooth connectivity
- Optional wood trim
Audi's turbocharged 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder produces 200 horsepower and 207 pounds-feet of torque. Front-drive gas models can have a six-speed manual gearbox or the S tronic six-speed dual-clutch automatic with a manual-shift mode. The all-wheel-drive gas-engine A3 comes only with the automatic.
The turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder that powers 2.0 TDI models makes 140 hp and 236 pounds-feet of torque and comes only with the dual-clutch automatic and front-wheel drive.
Mechanical features include:
- Electromechanical steering offers speed-dependent power assistance
- Standard hill-hold assist helps control vehicle on steep grades
- Optional sport suspension
Rear-seat side-impact airbags are optional.
Standard safety features include:
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags
- Active front head restraints
- Electronic stability system
- Antilock disc brakes