2011 Audi A3 Wagon Review | Edmunds.com
 

2011 Audi A3 Wagon

 
 

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Audi A3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automated Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/28 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.

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (3 total reviews)


Wish i had never bought

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0T Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

Unfortunately, I bought a 2010 A4 CVT (no CVT for me anymore). I was so dissatisfied with the car we traded it with just under 1000 miles for a Jetta Wolfsburg turbo. A little over a year later, the VW was traded for a CRV and we bought an A3 outright. It was a bit of a gamble - driving to Atlanta from Orlando to pick it up - but well worth the journey. We bought it certified with 4K miles and turned around and drove it home. A little fatigued we didn't fully appreciate the long trip (and the road noise is a little, I stress little, much) but now that we're back home we're tickled. The manual is responsive, the steering firm, the look is mature but not pretentious. This is a driver's car!!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Just what i needed

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0T PZEV Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)

I just bought the car a few weeks ago. I got the Premium Plus with convenience, titanium, and open sky packages. The car rides amazingly smooth. Love the responsiveness. I was between the Audi A3 and BMW 328i wagon. The A3 is the right size, gets great gas mileage and its just a great car. I also got an amazing deal on the car (below invoice pricing). I left behind a 2010 Honda Accord which lacked performance and guzzled gas like nothing. I plan to have this car for years to come. I'm new to the Audi family so I still have some tricks to learn but for a 4-cyl twin-turbo I have to say I'm impressed. The car is very easy to use; there is no complicated guessing or confusing buttons. Very nice.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

So far so good

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Audi A3 2.0T Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I was cross shopping the A3 with a GTI with sunroof and Nav. The cars are similar on paper (engine etc.) but have a very different personality to drive. The A3 is more refined and feels lighter to drive. I like the lower roofline of the Audi. The extra sound insulation helps too. GTI is a better value for bang for the buck but the Audi feels more polished. I got the A3 with Premium Plus and Titanium Sport. The PP is a must for the xenons and LED DRLs. The Ti sport interior is fantastic and the ride height is perfect in my opinion. The one feature that annoys me is the inability to scroll through the presets using the controls on the MFSW.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 Acura TSX and Volvo S40 as well as the 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 VW 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.

Talk About The 2011 A3

2011 Audi A3 Discussions See all Started By

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 ...


a3fan2
a3fan2
05-17-2010
I also have a 2006 A3 Quattro. My first set of OEM Pirellis wore out at 17,500 miles and were very noisy. My second set were Kumho Ecstas which lasted about 25,000 miles so my 3rd set were also Kuhmos...