2015 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Technik. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony
Odometer at pick-up: 1,139 km
Odometer current: 1,403 km (264 km by Autos.ca)
Observed Fuel Consumption: 9.6 L/100 km
The 2015 Audi A3 is one of the most highly anticipated vehicle launches this year. A small, efficient sedan from an aspirational brand, cutting edge technology and design with a hint of sporty dynamics, it is a car that will resonate with a new generation of buyers as well as those that have moved past the minivan, SUV and crossover crazes.
It doesn’t require a leap of lifestyle like an electric car, though it will offer a hatchback plug-in variant in the near future, but still is a timely launch and attractive mix of qualities.
Prices range from $31,100 for a base front-wheel-drive model powered by Volkswagen group’s effective new 1.8L turbo, delivering 170 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque (really, they couldn’t find one extra lb-ft?) paired with a six-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission. This is the only transmission available with the A3 lineup, even if you upgrade to the 2.0L turbo with Quattro all-wheel drive (and the 2.0T is only available with AWD), boosting power to 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, which starts at $35,900. Freight and PDI is a standard $1,995.
Although you’d be tempted to go for the base model and its smaller power plant for efficiency, EPA ratings suggest it is a wash, estimating the 1.8T FWD at 10.2/7.1/8.7 L/100 km for city/highway/combined driving, and the 2.0T Quattro AWD at 9.8/7.1/8.7.
The entry level trim is designated Komfort and is available with both 1.8T FWD and 2.0T Quattro drivetrains, offering such standard features as auto climate control, auto headlights and rain-sensing wipers, eight-way power driver’s seat with four-way lumbar support, leather seating, heated front seats, split folding rear seats, cargo pass-through, power sunroof (though they call it panoramic, it’s not a very large roof, so it really doesn’t measure up to those found on SUVs and wagons), heated power mirrors with integrated turn signals. The entry level A3 should still satisfy technophiles and audiophiles, with the MMI interface controlling a 10-speaker audio system that can play the usual radio and media, with standard Bluetooth and Sirius satellite radio. Standard wheels are 17-inch rims with 225/45R17 all-season tires with the option to go up to 18s.
The first trim upgrade is the Progressiv line, adding $3,500 to either the 1.8T ($35,900) or 2.0T Quattro ($39,400), and increasing equipment levels with xenon headlights (and offering optional adaptive headlights or LED headlights on 2.0T models), LED taillights, dual-zone auto climate, eight-way front passenger seat with four-way lumbar adjustments, auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Wheels get a slight bump to 18×8 inches with 225/40R18 tires.
Progressiv trim also opens the door to certain feature packages, including the $1,500S Line Package (S line badges, S line sport suspension, Audi exclusive 10-spoke 18-inch cast aluminum wheels with titanium finish, brushed aluminum trim, sport seats, leather-covered flat-bottom three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel with paddle shifters and black interior headliner) and $1,000 Convenience Package (proximity keyless entry and push-button start and rear parking sensors). 2.0T Progressiv models can be specified with the LED headlights for $1,050, which are adaptive, with additional lamps to illuminate even more extreme angles. We will cover the lighting tech in depth in a later update.
2015 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Technik 15″ wheel & dashboard. Click image to enlarge
Top Technik trim is available only with the 2.0T Quattro drivetrain (and later with the 2.0 TDI) and rings in at $42,300, adding proximity keyless entry and start extended navigation features, hand-writing recognition on the MMI controller, 705W 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, front and rear parking sensors and back-up camera as well as Audi Side Assist blind-spot monitoring system. In addition to the same sporty S line Package, you can add to the safety quotient with the $1,400 Advanced Technology Package (adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go feature and Active Lane Assist).
A variety of premium paint finishes are available for $800, three shades of leather at no extra cost, and a tire pressure monitoring can be added for $350 or rear side airbags for $450.