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.
I'm thrilled with the Turbo Diesel engine that is supposed to get very high mileage. Haven't driven it enough to verify yet, but after we break it in a bit, I'm looking forward to seeing if we get the 30/40ish local/highway mpg, or even exceed it.
On a less technical front, I really like the LED daytime running lights that give Audi's a more distinctive look. It was one reason I opted for the Premium Plus package.
It would be nice if tinted windows was a factory option. I'm planning to have a local shop take care of that.
The rating of 3 for reliability is purely because I have no idea what will happen beyond this first week of owning the vehicle.
When considering this particular Audi (and the Jetta sibling), please note that they only have 4.3 inches of clearance.
If you have a >5 inches of unplowed snow, you will problems with these cars in the snow....I learned the hardway.
I have a Pathfinder for winter travel!
I'm wondering how you fared with the A3 TDI through the winter snow storms?
My hubby is seriously considering this car, but has a LONG daily commute, and 4 wheel drive seems to be a MUST for us... unless you think the A3 can REALLY handle driving through significant snow & ice. Thanks in advance for your help!