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Introduced a decade ago in Europe and brought to the United States in 2006, the A3 is Audi's entry-level model for the North American market. Smaller and lighter than an A4 2.0T Avant Quattro, the front-drive Audi A3 presents a strong argument for buying a bargain sport wagon, provided one goes easy on the options. And just because this is Audi's entry-level car doesn't mean the company cuts corners on quality. The cabin's design and materials are up to the lofty standards Audi has set for the industry, meaning everything fits tightly, moves with precision and looks and feels top-shelf.
The A3 remains an alternative choice -- few luxury automakers bother making small hatchbacks. As such, it's an upscale alternative to more mainstream hatchbacks, a cheaper alternative to a regular luxury wagon and, with the clean-burning diesel engine, an extremely-fuel efficient alternative to hybrids. No matter how you look at it, though, the A3 offers the distinct German flavor of Audi, meaning one of engineering excellence combined with an upscale cabin.
Used Audi A3 Models
The Audi A3 was introduced as a 2006 model in the United States. A 2.0-liter, 200-hp turbocharged inline-4 and front-wheel drive were standard. From 2006-'09 a 3.2-liter V6 engine was available that produced 250 hp. It was outfitted with Quattro (all-wheel drive) and the S tronic transmission standard. Trim levels also corresponded with engine choice (2.0T and 3.2 Quattro). The TDI engine didn't become available until 2010.
There were other significant changes made for '09. The exterior and interior were refreshed, most notably with Audi's signature larger grille and LED running lights. Leather upholstery, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack became standard equipment, while the 2.0T could now be equipped with Quattro. Hill-hold assist was added to manual-transmission-equipped cars. The following year, the V6 was dropped from the lineup while the highly regarded "TDI" turbodiesel engine was added.
If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Audi A3 page.