2011 Audi A3 Diesel Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Audi A3 Diesel

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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.
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Audi A3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automated Manual
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 4200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 30/42 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Audi A3

  • The 2011 Audi A3 makes for a good entry-level luxury car with plenty of utility, but the higher sticker price and expensive options may scare off some buyers.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Upscale interior, enjoyable driving dynamics, versatile interior space, high fuel efficiency from available diesel engine.

  • Cons

    Expensive and underequipped compared to its hatchback competitors, limited rear-seat room for taller passengers, unintuitive navigation controls.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Audi A3 heads into 2011 with only minor trim and wheel changes.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 30
  • cty
/
  • 42
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Reliability issues

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Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

I have owned for 2 years and put 55K miles on my A3 TDI. Bought car for performance and great MPG - commute is 100 miles per day. With 500 miles left on warranty Mechatronics unit went - first time had issues was 25K miles and dealer did software update. (it's roughly$3,200 repair if out of warranty). At 54K miles EGR valve clogged with ash - ($800 repair & AUDI offered no help) I called AudiUSA and got nowhere. DO NOT BUY this car for MPG savings, you'll give it all back in repairs. Overall nice car but, I also own 2 Toyotas and I'm spoiled by the fact that they don't break...I had always heard that Audi/VW reliability issues were a problem, definitely some buyer's remorse on A3



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Outstanding performance

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Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

So far, I am very satisfied with my new Audi A3 Diesel. The performance is really exceptional. It accelerates smoothly and corners very well. I am very happy with the build quality.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Great blend of fun and

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Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

I recently bought an A3 TDI and have enjoyed the first 2k miles. 35 mpg with fairly aggressive mixed city/hwy driving. I like not having to baby it to get good mileage. The car is very stable and composed at highway speeds and in the daily S. Florida rainstorms. If you test drive it, look for two things. 1) Diesel motor tick. It has such a quiet cabin that you may not hear it in a test drive. You'll hear it in your driveway though. Make sure it is not an issue for you. 2) Its truly an automated manual transmission it "catches" when coming to a slow stop, just like a manual does. Those not used to manuals may not like the feel. I love it though and am very happy with the purchase.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Beware of heated seat issues

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Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

In most categories, I love this car. I like the look, the fuel economy, it's fun to drive and has a great stereo. The turbo lag does take some getting used to - When accelerating from a stop, it can take a full second or two for the turbo to engage. It's very responsive once you've started moving. Fuel economy is great and overall, it's really a fun little car. However, you should be aware that the heated seats are basically useless. My dealer explained that they have heard numerous complaints about them and that they perform 'to Spec'. If you Google Audi Heated seats, you'll find several Audi forums discussing the issue. If you love heated seats like I do, know that they don't work.



17 of 45 people found this review helpful

Almost there - but audi

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Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

Any car like this one with an MSRP over $33k should definitely have some common features: garage door opener, power passenger seats, memory settings, auto-dimming mirrors, and automatic headlights. Most of these things cost the manufacturer almost nothing to install, but Audi left them off the A3. This tells me they think the target market is not an upscale or move-up buyer who would expect these things. But I'd bet many other less-expensive vehicles have some or all of these features. All this aside - I really like this car. I was torn between an A3 and a Jetta TDI SportWagen, but went with the Audi because of a few better features. And it looks much better.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Relatively great fun

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Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

I'm coming from the perspective of a family with young kids that has relied on Outbacks and older Nissan/Acura sedans. Our newish Outback serves as our workhorse car, so we felt more free to replace our aging 2nd car with a smaller non-all wheel drive car. We've been very happy with the handling and performance of the A3. I've gone through NE winters with front wheel drive and snow tires, and expect the A3 to do just fine. It feels plenty fast to us, and the handling and responsiveness is a clear cut above what we'd been used to. My wife was a bit hesitant about it after the first test drive, not being used to a diesel engine, but now even she says it's the perfect car for us.



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Full 2011 Audi A3 Review

What's New for 2011

The Audi A3 heads into 2011 with only minor trim and wheel changes.

Introduction

Luxury-branded hatchbacks -- they're the next big thing, trust us. They're really popular in Europe, and what's big across the pond inevitably ends up being the best thing since sliced baguette over here. Take the beret and the musical stylings of Robbie Williams, for instance. Or soccer. See, a luxury hatchback like the 2011 Audi A3 is bound to take off at any minute.

Or not. Actually, if past history is any indicator, we doubt Americans will be embracing the luxury hatchback anytime soon. But if you're more of a Continental sort who realizes the whole hatchback stigma thing is a bit silly, the 2011 A3 is an intriguing choice for an entry-level luxury car. Unlike any other car in its price range, it offers a combination of a lot of utility, a well-made interior, a refined driving experience and an available turbodiesel engine.

Of course, diesel engines are about as popular with Americans as hatchbacks are. Grandpa's oil-burning '82 Oldsmobile saw to that. However, the TDI engine found in the A3 features clean-diesel technology that makes its emissions just as clean as if it ran on gasoline -- in other words, no crud out the tailpipe. It's also relatively quiet and provides punchy acceleration around town. But most importantly, the TDI can achieve 34 mpg in combined driving. That's better than a Toyota Camry Hybrid. If going for the green-handled nozzle at the Shell station is just too different, the A3's gasoline-powered turbo-4 is plenty appealing as well.

There aren't many luxury cars left that can be had for about $30,000, let alone hatchback models. Certainly, the A3 has a definite utility advantage against regular entry-level luxury sedans like the 2011 Acura TSX and 2011 Volvo S40 as well as the 2011 Lexus HS 250h luxury hybrid. However, compared to some other mainstream hatchbacks, the A3 is a bit shaky in terms of value given its heftier price and lesser feature content. The cheaper Volkswagen GTI, in particular, has the A3's engine and equivalent interior quality, as does the 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI. And if you can live without the extra set of doors, the Mini Cooper S and Volvo C30 are worth a look as well.

So luxury-branded hatchbacks like the 2011 Audi A3 may not actually be the next big thing in this country. But they do make some practical sense... Trust us.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Audi A3 is a four-door hatchback offered in two trims: Premium and Premium Plus. Standard equipment on the Premium includes 17-inch wheels, foglights, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery and a 10-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The Bluetooth Value package adds an eight-way power driver seat (includes four-way lumbar adjustment), a multifunction steering wheel and Bluetooth.

The Premium Plus comes standard with the Bluetooth Value package and adds different wheels, xenon headlights, LED running lights, steering wheel shift paddles (with automatic transmission) and aluminum interior trim. The Audi Navigation System Plus package adds a navigation system, a dash-mounted Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) and the choice of either a six-CD changer or an iPod interface. The Convenience package adds automatic headlights, automatic wipers, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a Bose premium sound system.

Optional on both cars is the Cold Weather package, which adds heated front seats, heated mirrors and heated windshield washer nozzles. Also available are a panoramic sunroof, rear side airbags and a Sport package that includes 18-inch wheels, summer tires, sport-tuned suspension and sport seats. The Titanium Sport package available on the Premium Plus adds special exterior and interior trim to the Sport package.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Audi A3 is available with two different engines. The A3 2.0T features a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. With standard front-wheel drive, a six-speed manual and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission known as S tronic are available. With Quattro all-wheel drive, S tronic is standard. In performance testing, an A3 2.0T with the six-speed manual went from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds -- about average among similarly powered entry-level luxury cars. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the manual, and 21/28/24 with S tronic regardless of front- or all-wheel drive.

The A3 TDI features a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder good for 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive and S tronic are standard. Audi estimates a 0-60 time of 8.9 seconds. That's pretty slow, but EPA estimates stand at 30/42/34, which are exceptional for a luxury-branded car.

Safety

The 2011 Audi A3 comes standard with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, whiplash-reducing front headrests, antilock brakes and stability control. Seat-mounted side airbags for rear passengers are optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, an A3 2.0T with the Sport package came to a stop from 60 mph in a very short 107 feet. In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the A3 received the best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

As with the other cars in the Audi lineup, the 2011 A3's cabin is understated in design, with high-quality materials and craftsmanship throughout. There are a few more hard plastic pieces than you might expect, but they are well-textured to blend in seamlessly. Metallic vent surrounds and knobs further add to the A3's upscale look and feel, as does most of the switchgear.

The A3's cabin isn't without a few minor faults, though. The optional navigation system brings with it Audi's MMI electronics controller, which in the A3 is located on the dash rather than in its traditional easier-to-reach location on the center console. You'll want to just touch the screen to control it, but you'll have to use the knob and its surrounding buttons instead. Also, the driver seat may not have enough travel for shorter folks, while the rear seat is cramped for taller ones.

Luggage space is ample for large suitcases and golf bags, with a rear-seats-up capacity of almost 20 cubic feet. The 60/40-split rear seats fold down (but not flat) and expand the space to 39 cubes for bulkier cargo. There's also a center armrest pass-through that can accommodate longer items while still carrying passengers back there.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Audi A3's 2.0-liter gasoline engine provides ample power and is well-matched to either transmission choice. The A3 TDI feels quite energetic around town thanks to its ample torque, but it runs out of steam when charging up a highway on-ramp because of its lack of horsepower. The trade-off is exceptional fuel economy, however, which seems worth it for us.

As with many Audis, the A3's suspension tuning is on the firm side to enhance performance, yet there's still enough compliance to soak up most road imperfections. Whether commuting in heavy traffic or cruising down the highway, the A3's cabin remains pleasantly refined and quiet.

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Talk About The 2011 A3

2011 Audi A3 Discussions See all Started By

audiguy11
audiguy11
06-03-2014
transmissions. Unfortunately, this model (A3 TDI) is not available here in the states with a 6-speed manual....


coldrainnsnow
coldrainnsnow
11-10-2010
We have asked a local dealer (Oregon) to prepare a lease offer for an A3 premium plus TDI. Below are the brand new rates from Audi website for the gas model. Since we haven't received info from the d...


jxbst15
jxbst15
06-19-2008
I've been pleasantly surprised by the A3 coming from a MINI Cooper S. This car is just plain fun, and now the question that keeps re-running in my head is why so many people lately are so fixated on ...



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