NEW FOR 2009:

– 2.0T model now available with Quattro all-wheel drive
– New side mirrors with integrated turn signals
– LED daytime running lights with bi-Xenon headlamps
– Redesigned grille, taillamps, instrument cluster and centre stack
– New Premium trim line for 2.0T models

For 2009, the Audi A3 receives some new styling features, including a redesigned grille and taillamps, turn signals integrated into the side mirrors, LED daytime running lights on models equipped with bi-Xenon headlamps, and a new centre stack and instrument cluster with white contrast display. The big news is that the 2.0T, previously only a front-driver, is now available with Quattro all-wheel drive.

The A3 hatchback is available as the 2.0T, with 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and as the 3.2, with 3.2-litre V6. The 2.0T is available in front-wheel drive, with a six-speed manual transmission or optional "S-tronic" six-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG), or with Quattro all-wheel drive and the DSG; the 3.2 comes only with Quattro and the DSG. The 2.0T models come in a base model or in Premium line, while the 3.2 comes in a single trim line.

Features on the 2.0 T models include 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, heated mirrors, heated washer nozzles, variable intermittent wipers, heated leather seats with manual adjustment and power lumbar support, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, floor mats, and CD/MP3 stereo with audio input.

The 2.0T Quattro model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, and rain- and speed-sensitive wipers.

The 2.0T Premium models build on the 2.0T models with 17-inch alloy wheels, rain- and speed-sensitive wipers, auto-dimming rearview and sideview mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, power sunroof, and power driver’s seat.

The 2.0T Premium Quattro also adds bi-Xenon headlamps.

The 3.2 adds six-CD/MP3 stereo and Sirius satellite radio.

With rising fuel prices, drivers have been getting into smaller vehicles but still demanding the amenities of larger, more luxurious ones, and this is where the A3 shines. Extremely practical, nicely-sized and with a choice of two engines, it offers outstanding luxury and excellent fit-and-finish. Although the price is relatively high for the segment, changing market conditions are bringing compacts like this to the forefront.

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