Automotive

2016 Audi A3 offers a step above entry-level luxury

2016 Audi A3 offers a step abo...
Strong body lines just below the belt and across the bottom of the doors, create a dynamic presence for the 2016 Audi A3
Strong body lines just below the belt and across the bottom of the doors, create a dynamic presence for the 2016 Audi A3
View 19 Images
Powering the 2016 Audi A3 are a choice of three engines and a six-speed automated manual transmission
1/19
Powering the 2016 Audi A3 are a choice of three engines and a six-speed automated manual transmission
The technology screen in the A3 is Audi’s MMI system, whose screen rises out of the dashboard on startup and sinks back down when shut off
2/19
The technology screen in the A3 is Audi’s MMI system, whose screen rises out of the dashboard on startup and sinks back down when shut off
Inside, the compact Audi A3 is as roomy as a car this size can be without skimping on any of the luxurious accoutrements luxury buyers will expect
3/19
Inside, the compact Audi A3 is as roomy as a car this size can be without skimping on any of the luxurious accoutrements luxury buyers will expect
Turbine-resembling (and highly adjustable) air vents, well-trimmed leather, and quality materials adorn the cabin
4/19
Turbine-resembling (and highly adjustable) air vents, well-trimmed leather, and quality materials adorn the cabin
Lower-cost does not translate to cheap in the A3
5/19
Lower-cost does not translate to cheap in the A3
As with any compact sedan, the back seat is cramped in the A3
6/19
As with any compact sedan, the back seat is cramped in the A3
The A3, because of its small size, is very nimble and is as refined as any Audi in the fleet
7/19
The A3, because of its small size, is very nimble and is as refined as any Audi in the fleet
Adding all-wheel drive (“quattro”) to the mix only enhances the Audi A3’s good nature on the road
8/19
Adding all-wheel drive (“quattro”) to the mix only enhances the Audi A3’s good nature on the road
Upgrading to the Technology Package, as our test model had, added navigation, a better control interface via the command knob, and a brilliant touchpad on top of the control knob
9/19
Upgrading to the Technology Package, as our test model had, added navigation, a better control interface via the command knob, and a brilliant touchpad on top of the control knob
The exterior of the 2016 A3 is right in line with Audi’s sedan lineup, holding a seemingly simple, but dynamic Teutonic appeal
10/19
The exterior of the 2016 A3 is right in line with Audi’s sedan lineup, holding a seemingly simple, but dynamic Teutonic appeal
The rounded roofline and somewhat long hood finish the look to give the car a decidedly European aloofness without becoming smug
11/19
The rounded roofline and somewhat long hood finish the look to give the car a decidedly European aloofness without becoming smug
A nimble nature underpins the A3
12/19
A nimble nature underpins the A3
Audi, known for its sporty offerings with simplicity of design and peppy performance, is well-represented in the little A3
13/19
Audi, known for its sporty offerings with simplicity of design and peppy performance, is well-represented in the little A3
Dynamic at any angle, the simple design of the A3's bodywork is premium
14/19
Dynamic at any angle, the simple design of the A3's bodywork is premium
The A3 is unmistakably Audi
15/19
The A3 is unmistakably Audi
Strong body lines just below the belt and across the bottom of the doors, create a dynamic presence for the 2016 Audi A3
16/19
Strong body lines just below the belt and across the bottom of the doors, create a dynamic presence for the 2016 Audi A3
The bodywork creates a fast paced feel to the Audi A3's profile
17/19
The bodywork creates a fast paced feel to the Audi A3's profile
In every way, the 2016 Audi A3 is a true luxury car with a fun-driving, livable nature
18/19
In every way, the 2016 Audi A3 is a true luxury car with a fun-driving, livable nature
Despite its compact size, the Audi A3 has a powerful presence
19/19
Despite its compact size, the Audi A3 has a powerful presence
View gallery - 19 images

The entry-level vehicles from luxury brands are often the black sheep, offering a lot less for a far lower price tag but allowing those with a bit less in the bank to park a name brand in their garage. With the Audi A3, though, VW's premium nameplate has managed to keep its essence intact by offering a solid little compact luxury car at a reasonable price.

For a week, Gizmag drove the 2016 Audi A3 Sedan in its 2.0T quattro S tronic configuration. At about US$40,500 delivered, with most of the available trimmings, this was a well-heeled little car. Audi, known for its sporty offerings with simplicity of design and peppy performance, is well-represented in the little A3.

The exterior of the 2016 A3 is right in line with Audi's sedan lineup, holding a seemingly simple, but dynamic Teutonic appeal. Strong body lines just below the belt and across the bottom of the doors create a dynamic presence for the car. The rounded roofline and somewhat long hood finish the look to give the car a decidedly European aloofness without becoming smug.

The rounded roofline and somewhat long hood finish the look to give the car a decidedly European aloofness without becoming smug
The rounded roofline and somewhat long hood finish the look to give the car a decidedly European aloofness without becoming smug

Inside, the compact Audi A3 is as roomy as a car this size can be without skimping on any of the luxurious accoutrements luxury buyers will expect. Turbine-resembling (and highly adjustable) air vents, well-trimmed leather, and quality materials adorn the cabin. Lower-cost does not translate to cheap in the A3 and driver and front passenger comfort are paramount.

The technology screen in the A3 is Audi's MMI system, which at its base level comes with some good options. Upgrading to the Technology Package, as our test model had, added navigation, a better control interface via the command knob, and a brilliant touchpad on top of the control knob. That touchpad allows the user to draw letters or numbers when entering navigation information, which is far better than hunting and pecking through an on-screen keyboard.

Adding all-wheel drive (“quattro”) to the mix only enhances the Audi A3’s good nature on the road
Adding all-wheel drive (“quattro”) to the mix only enhances the Audi A3’s good nature on the road

Powering the 2016 Audi A3 are a choice of three engines paired with a six-speed automated manual transmission. The "manual" part refers to the driver-selectable gear option as the transmission is otherwise the same as any other automatic. The engine choices are a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter gasoline and a 2.0-liter diesel.

The standard engine is the 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder, which outputs 170 horsepower (127 kW) and 200 pound-feet (271 Nm) of torque. Our 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder upgrades that to 220 hp (164 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm), while the diesel is rated at 150 hp (112 kW) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm). No matter the engine choice, the Audi A3 offers the excellent drive dynamics and precise steering Audi buyers would expect. The A3, because of its small size, is very nimble and as refined as any Audi in the fleet.

Despite its compact size, the Audi A3 has a powerful presence
Despite its compact size, the Audi A3 has a powerful presence

Adding all-wheel drive ("quattro") to the mix only enhances the Audi A3's good nature on the road. The low-end torque curve thanks to those turbos means that the little car jumps quickly into action and pulls ahead easily when pressed. The ride is quiet and comfortable, which is also unusual for this class of car.

In every way, the 2016 Audi A3 is a true luxury car with a fun-driving, livable nature that belies its relatively low price point. Audi has hit the mark with this little compact.

Product Page: Audi A3

View gallery - 19 images
0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!