2006 Audi A3 Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Audi A3 Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Audi A3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.2 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Audi A3

  • Audi's new four-door hatchback A3 makes a very strong case for combining luxury and sport in a package that's as practical as it is compact. Will America get it?

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Best automatic transmission around, great driving dynamics, versatile interior space, powerful and sophisticated engine.

  • Cons

    Cargo and rear-seat legroom a bit tight, price can get quite steep with dazzling options.

  • What's New for 2006

    Audi brings the A3 four-door hatchback to our shores for 2006.

Full 2006 Audi A3 Review

What's New for 2006

Audi brings the A3 four-door hatchback to our shores for 2006.


The trend in automobiles lately is big, literally. Bigger is better. Why then would Audi try to market a small luxury sport wagon (a.k.a. hatchback) in the land of plenty? The company is betting that a restless slice of the apple pie will gravitate to the A3's combination of driving fun, sensible footprint and nimble driving character. European buyers have no qualms with owning a small luxury hatchback.

The Audi A3 is based on the new Golf platform (which we won't see until later in 2006), but only the four-door hatch will be offered here. One glance at the A3 and it's clear the vehicle is Euro-inspired. The car's exterior proportions are roughly one-third greenhouse, two-thirds lower body, giving it a confident stance that reflects its European moniker: Sportback. The 2006 A3 is meant to expand the brand's appeal to entry-luxury buyers, age 25-40, by offering the sporty proportions of a coupe with the practicality of a wagon.

A pair of feisty power plants see duty in the Audi A3, including a turbocharged inline four and a muscular V6. Transmission choices include a six-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox, which offers manual or automatic operation), and a six-speed conventional manual. With a starting price under $25,000, the A3 2.0T appears to be an upscale bargain. However, a series of attractive option packages can push that tab up around $30 grand, within spitting distance of an A4 Avant. Bigger is not necessarily better in this case, and if the 2006 Audi A3 can meet your needs for interior utility, expect a bargain of a luxury sport wagon.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Audi A3 comes in one four-door hatchback body style, in either 2.0T or 3.2 quattro guise. The 2.0T's generous array of equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch power windows, keyless entry and a 10-speaker, 140-watt audio system with satellite preparation for both XM and Sirius. An optional Sport package provides stiffer suspension tuning, foglights, sport seats, aluminum interior trim, a roof spoiler and leather seating surfaces. The Premium package adds leather, a power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers and HomeLink. Other available extras include xenon headlights, a dual-pane power sunroof, a navigation system and an upgraded Bose sound system. Spring for the 3.2 quattro and both of those packages come standard, as does the Bose audio.

Powertrains and Performance

The heart of the front-wheel-drive A3 2.0T is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It's enough to shoot the A3 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while Audi's six-speed sequential-shifting DSG (Direct-Shift Gearbox) is optional. Offering even more performance is the A3 3.2 quattro, which features Audi's 250-hp 3.2-liter V6 and the DSG transmission as standard. Audi claims a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds for the 3.2 quattro.


A full complement of front and side airbags is standard on the A3, including torso-protecting side-impact airbags for front passengers, and head-protecting, full-length side curtains. Torso side airbags for rear passengers are optional. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and stability control are standard.

Interior Design and Special Features

The A3's interior features a classy combination of styling cues found other Audi cars like the TT, A4 and A6. Materials quality is excellent, and headroom abounds up front. The total interior volume is equal to the previous-generation A4 Avant, and despite the shortened cargo area behind the C-pillar you can still carry 13.1 cubic feet of luggage with the rear seat in place. Fold the 60/40 second row flat and cargo capacity jumps to 36 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

With 200 horsepower on tap, the 2006 Audi A3 2.0T is certainly no slouch on the road. The 2.0-liter four doesn't suffer from turbo lag, and the optional DSG tranny effectively reduces BMW's SMG, Toyota's SMT and Ferrari's F1-style transmissions to second-tier status with its smooth and fast gearchanges. The 3.2 provides even stronger acceleration, and drivers enjoy the same ultra-responsive DSG experience. The electromechanical steering does a superb job of dampening unwanted road vibrations and kickback without marring feedback, and the well-tuned suspension keeps the car buttoned down in the turns, even as midcorner pavement imperfections try to knock it off line. In typical Audi fashion, the ride is comfortably firm, and handling is just as sporty as its larger siblings.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sporty & practical

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A3 3.2 quattro 4dr Wagon AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6A)

I cross shopped this car against the Subaru Legacy GT/ WRX, and Audi S4 V8. The Legacy felt bland and the WRX unrefined. While the V8 S4 with it's 300hp was the best motor, the interior was small and the A3's hatchback trumps it for practicality. The A3 S-line comes with all the bells and whistles: Sirius XM, Bluetooth, heated driver and passenger seats, twin glass roofs, self leveling HID lights etc. Audi continues to make cars with handsome interiors. Of course the famed Quattro drive makes winter driving a breeze. Performance is brisk for 250Hp and launches are surefooted with AWD. Brakes haul down the car in an instant with little fade.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Love my a3

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I bought my car in November 05 when it first hit the dealer. I've had no problems other than a couple factory recalls (and I never had a problem, but took it in anyway) and recently, a misfire in cyl 3 code which seems to pop up. New plugs and coils, so not sure what the issue is. I still get 32MPG on the highway, and yes, that is actual with cruise set @60MPH. I get my car serviced as required. I did have an issue with the front sunscreen. That is a cheap part they could have done better with. I just put 62k, and still going strong. It still has pep, and still looks brand new inside and out. Power when I need it....overall, the car has been great.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Only one problem...

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

My 2006 A 3 2.0 T the only problem (after four yrs.) are the sunshiled clips. I take the car to every service on the book. Does somebody knows where I can buy those clips (used) ? Just the clips. They cost around 90.00 each at the dealer & about 450.00 of labor.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

What a dissapointment!!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Have had this car for 5 years now and I'm completely dissapointed in the craftsmanship and performance of this car. So far I have had to replace: fuel pump, water pump and thermostat, air conditioner evaporator, left tail light bulb (about a dozen times) even though dealer swears there is nothing electrically wrong. Sun roof shade clips break just by looking at them. In addition, the paint on most of the dash board control buttons is flaking out and the paint in the pillars between the doors is about to fall off. Probably one of the worst cars I have ever owned.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Good service, junk car

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Vehicle: 2006 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

Owned certified pre-owned 2006 A3 for 2 months. Heres my timeline, you can be the judge. Week 1 - Heater Blower Motor Dies, Replacement is louder then stereo can go Week 2 - Engine Misfires in Cylinders 3, Car in the shop for a week. Week 3 - Coolant not working AUX fan comes on to cool engine, caused by freezing coolant (improper mix) Week 4 - Engine Light Flashes, Misfire in 3 & 4, Car in shop for week Week 5 - Engine light solid coming off and on Week 6 - Full Coolant Leak, caused by cracked housing from freezing. (another improper mix) Week 7 - Misfires between gear changes (2nd and 3rd gear) Week 8 - Engine Light Solid, returned car to dealership for FULL refund

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

Great car let down by

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I wanted a fun-to-drive car, with a bit more luxury. The A3, being based on the GTI, should be fun-to-drive, and come with nice Audi touches, so I thought this was the car for me. The Audi comfort touches are all there, but sadly, the fun-to-drive was not. The major problem is that in Drive mode, the DSG transmission like to conserve fuel, so it keeps rpm low (1500rpm). This means that when you need power, it takes a long second or two to kick down 2-3 gears to get going, which really really kills the fun-to-drive factor. On Sport mode, it's nice and aggressive (never drops below 3000 rpm), but for daily driving, it's a little too "caffeinated."

Talk About The 2006 A3

2006 Audi A3 Discussions See all Started By

My audi a3 2.0 turbo (2006) didn't start and we read its computer and gave us 2 codes: 1) U0100 (ECM MODULE); 2) P0688 (RELEY COMPUTER DATA). Do you have an idea of what the problem is by analyzing th...

What information do you have on the lease program for 2007 A3 models?...

I love my A3 (2006). I got it with one of the first DSGs they had here in tree town. And the roads here are crap. Midwest winters and salt are not good for the roads. But this is a great car to drive ...

Read more about the 2006 Audi A3

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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