Seat Time: 2015 Audi A3 Sedan

March 14th, 2014 at 4:49pm

Audi A3 Sedan

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Manufacturer: Volkswagen AG
Make: Audi
Model: A3 Sedan
Model Range: 4-door sedan
Competitors: Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
Trim Levels: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige
Price Range: 1.8L TFSI: $30,795-$41,795; 2.0L TFSI: $33,795-$44,795
Made in: Hungary
Drivetrain: 1.8L Turbocharged 4-cyl., 170hp, 200 lb-ft; 2.0L Turbocharged 4-cyl., 220hp, 258 lb-ft; 6-speed dual clutch transmission
EPA Ratings: (All Estimates) 1.8L: 23 city/33 hwy/27 combined; 2.0L: 24 city/33 hwy/27 combined

Read on for Sean McElroy‘s final impressions of this vehicle

Notable Features:

  • _F9R8481-EditFirst vehicle with 4G LTE
  • Good rear-seat head and leg room
  • Good suspension setup, which handles spirited driving well
  • Touch pad incorporated into rotary control knob
  • All-new interior and exterior design

Final Impression:
This vehicle is seven years in the making and is the first Audi ever designed specifically for the American market. It will replace the A3 Sportback in the U.S. and gets a whole new interior and exterior. You can see the VW influence in the exterior styling, but it’s still distinctly Audi, especially that new front grille. On the inside, I liked that there’s not a whole lot of clutter to distract the driver, giving it that feeling of a real driver’s car and thanks in part to the retractable infotainment screen. And, of course, everything is wrapped in leather and aluminum. Although, as a whole, I thought the interior looked a bit jumbled because there are multiple different surface textures even where you would not expect them to be different.

The A3 Sedan will offer the next-generation of the Audi Connect system, which includes things like Facebook, Twitter and internet radio stations. It’s also the first vehicle to offer 4G LTE. And along with its Nvidia GPU it allows for faster updates to the navigation, which uses Google Earth and Street View, as well as traffic info. Audi has partnered with AT&T for the 4G LTE service and will give customers the first six months free with unlimited data. After that, a customer can pay $99 for a 6-month/5GB subscription or $499 for a 30-month/30GB subscription. Unfortunately, we were unable to test these services due to lack of reception in the hills of California.

Our tester was equipped with the 2.0L engine with quattro all-wheel drive. It was a really nice engine with good performance, but I found that I had to really dip into the throttle to get it to respond like I thought it should. However, most of that was cured once I shifted into sport mode. The suspension was set up good, handling everyday and spirited drivng very well.

Overall the A3 Sedan is a very nice car and after hearing John’s impressions about the Mercedes CLA, I think the two vehicles compare very well to one another.

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