2010 Audi A3 Review


Pros & Cons

  • Upscale interior, enjoyable driving dynamics, versatile interior space, available diesel engine.
  • Expensive compared to its hatchback competitors, limited rear-seat headroom and legroom for taller passengers.
List Price Estimate
$3,722 - $6,353

Used A3 for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 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.

Vehicle overview

The 2010 Audi A3 can mean a lot of things to different people. Straddling the line between wagon and hatchback, while also delivering a blend of utility, prestige and excitement, one would think this jack-of-all-trades car would be in high demand. Instead, sales have been lukewarm at best since the A3 showed up in stateside showrooms in 2005. More likely than not, lackluster sales have been due to the A3's high base price, expensive options and the fact that its hatchback design is unappealing to most Americans.

But let's set that aside for the moment. On the positive side, A3 buyers will get the type of understated upscale cabin that Audi is known for, as well as sporty exterior styling that's a cut above most cars on the road. You also get available all-wheel drive and the added cargo-carrying versatility of the hatchback body style. In the interest of increasing the car's appeal, Audi has given the 2010 A3 some significant changes, most notably regarding engine choices. The range-topping V6 model is no longer available, and a high fuel economy clean-diesel engine joins the ranks. The diesel is pretty much the same as the one found in the Volkswagen Jetta and can get about 40 mpg while also being emissions certified for all 50 states.

These improvements, along with the stately interior and brand prestige, are what help set the 2010 Audi A3 apart from non luxury-brand hatchback/wagon competitors like the VW Jetta and GTI, Mazdaspeed 3, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback and Subaru Impreza 2.5GT. And as long as you keep your A3's option pricing low, the car's added expense should be worth it. But a loaded-up A3 isn't as appealing in terms of value, and at that point you might as well start checking out more desirable luxury wagons like Audi's own A4 Avant.

2010 Audi A3 models

The 2010 Audi A3 four-door hatchback is offered in two trim levels: Premium and Premium Plus. Premium models include 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, full power accessories, cruise control, a trip computer and a 10-speaker audio system with a single-CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. Stepping up to Premium Plus trim adds xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, aluminum interior trim, a power driver seat, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth.

Optional extras for the Premium and Premium Plus A3 include a Cold Weather package (including heated front seats, mirrors and windshield nozzles) and a Sport package that includes 18-inch wheels, high-performance tires, sport seats and a sport-tuned suspension. On the A3's Premium Plus trim level only, you can also add the Convenience package (automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, upgraded Bose stereo and auto-dimming rearview mirror), the Titanium Sport package (it's just like the regular Sport package but with special exterior details) and a navigation system with the MMI controller and either a six-CD changer or an iPod interface. Stand-alone options available for all A3s include aluminum or black roof rails, wood interior trim and a panoramic sunroof.

2010 Highlights

For 2010, Audi has dropped the A3's 3.2-liter V6 from the lineup, added a diesel engine, made wood interior accents available and included S line features across all models. Trim levels are now listed as Premium and Premium Plus.

Performance & mpg

For 2010, the Audi A3 sees some changes in the powertrain lineup. The previous 3.2-liter V6 is no longer offered, but a four-cylinder 2.0-liter diesel is new and utilizes clean-diesel technology. It produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine from previous years returns; it produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.

Gasoline-powered A3 models are offered with either front-wheel drive or Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Diesel-powered versions will only be offered with front-wheel drive. Front-wheel-drive gasoline models can be equipped with either a six-speed manual transmission or Audi's quick-shifting S tronic automated dual-clutch six-speed manual gearbox, the latter of which has manual or fully automatic modes. AWD models and the diesel are limited to the S tronic transmission.

In a recent test, we accelerated a front-drive A3 fitted with the 2.0-liter turbo and six-speed manual from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds -- about average among the competition. The EPA estimates fuel economy for this model at 21 mpg city/30 highway and 24 in combined driving. The S tronic is rated at 22/28/24 mpg and the forthcoming diesel should make an impressive 30/42/34 mpg. Audi A3 2.0Ts sold in California and California-emissions states meet the more stringent PZEV tailpipe emissions standards. Fuel economy estimates for the A3 TDI are 30/42/34.


The 2010 Audi A3 follows in the footsteps of the rest of the Audi line by offering a full complement of safety features that includes front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and stability control. Seat-mounted side airbags for rear passengers are optional. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the A3 its highest score of "Good" in frontal-offset and side-impact tests.


The 2010 Audi A3's 2.0-liter gasoline engine provides ample power and is well-matched to either transmission choice. When driven hard, front-wheel-drive models have some difficulty making full use of available power due to wheelspin -- a problem that AWD variants don't have.

Like many Audis, the A3's suspension tuning is on the firm side to enhance performance, yet there's still enough compliance to soak up road imperfections. Whether commuting in heavy traffic or cruising down the highway, the A3's cabin remains pleasantly refined. Tight-fitting doors, windows and a streamlined shape all serve to quell wind noise to almost luxury sedan standards.


The 2010 A3's cabin is typical for most Audis, which is to say understated in design with high-quality materials and craftsmanship. There are a bit more hard plastic pieces compared to other Audi models, 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 its traditional, easier-to-reach location on the center console. The window controls mounted on the driver's door are situated a bit too far aft and the handbrake tends to bump into the center armrest when operated. The front seats are comfortable, but shorter drivers may have difficulty reaching the pedals due to a lack of forward seat travel. Rear seats are also comfortable, but taller passengers may run out of legroom and headroom -- especially if the car has the optional sunroof.

Luggage space is ample for large suitcases and golf bags, with a maximum capacity of almost 20 cubic feet. The 60/40-split rear seats fold down (but not flat) for bulkier cargo and the center trunk pass-through can accommodate longer items.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Audi A3.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

bittersweet: sweet to drive, bitter to maintain
2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)
I bought this car used, from a low volume dealer (shady, I know) with 54k on the odometer. It was a terrible purchase, even at a price I thought was great. It was leaking coolant the third day home, and required over $5k in repairs the first year. It was out of warranty, buyer beware, etc. I still like the car. It is expensive to fix, but when it is good, it is really good. Nothing cruises at highway speeds like a German car. Plenty of power, even on a high mileage engine. One thing I learned during the first year of ownership is this: don't take it to a dealership for service, period. You will overpay, in a ridiculous way. Example: bent rim, new wheel: $825. Really. I bought four new wheels and tires on tirerack.com for a hundred more than that, and they were lighter rims, and look better. That is just one example. The best thing you can do is learn to do your own maintenance/repairs and be vigilant. Read the online forums and watch the youtube tutorials. You will have to buy all new tools with a german car though. It is nothing like an American or Japanese car, which I have previously owned. Lots of starbolt fasteners. Even the wheels are held on by lugbolts (17mm) instead of lugnuts, which freaked me out the first time I rotated the tires. Most used car ownership experiences have a few repairs involved, especially once you break six figures on the odometer. For an Audi/Volkswagen, the parts are expensive and the service at the dealership is outrageous. I suppose I knew that going in, but that first year was rough. The interior is holding up pretty well and it looks like a much newer car than it is. The front seats are supportive and comfortable even on long road trips. The leather has held up well with a minimum amount of creasing and no cracks. The seatback on the passenger side did randomly detach at one point, but I was able to fix it with a pair of pliers and some glue. The navigation system is one of the least user friendly I have ever used, with a very cumbersome amount of effort to program a destination. It works fine once you get it programmed I guess, but I just navigate on my phone to avoid the headache. The bluetooth is easy to program at least, but it doesn't stream audio to the radio. The system does have an input for an aux cord though, and my wife likes the satellite radio. The sound is great. The performance is the best part about the car. It is a GTI in a fancy suit. Plenty of power to keep the driver entertained and with the S-line sport package you get great steering feel and confidence during cornering. Under aggressive acceleration I get a lot of wheel slip, which is the only gripe I have. Even with grippy summer tires, you have to baby the throttle a little bit. Most drivers probably aren't as lead footed as I am though, so it may not be an issue for most. The transmission is as high end as I have ever driven (manual), with smooth clutch engagement and a shifter that slides into gear like a hot knife through butter - so smooth. It feels very refined, but is every bit the sport hatchback when you want to play. The exterior of the car has also held up very well. The paint is still glossy like new. The styling on this car was well ahead of its time, and it doesn't look even a little dated. My wife fell in love with it because of the looks, and she hates hatchbacks. I get compliments on it all the time. You take the good with the bad. The Audi has been a bittersweet ownership experience. Sweet to drive but bitter to keep it running.
A lot to like
I love the car. It does very well at providing both exceptional fuel economy, and the visceral experience of driving a performance car. While not a rocket, the car is fit for the fast lane and is really fun to drive.
2010 audi a3 2.0t quattro titanium pkg.
Had the car almost 2 months now and cant stop driving it. I make excuses to take it out for spins all the time. The car is pretty rare i have only seen one in my town which makes it pretty exclusive. i have had people follow me just to ask me questions about it. It is definitely one of those cars which look better in person. Pictures do not do it justice. The interior is very classy and understated. the exterior has good lines and looks like it will age well. The performance is excellent though it is hard to compare it with anything, its sort of in a class of its own. The grip is amazing i was surprised on how nimble it was, especially having quattro and using launch control from a stop.
JJ ,09/01/2010
This is a great little car. Have had it for 7 months and am very pleased with it. I bought it primarily for it's fuel efficiency and not disappointed, averaging 45 mpg hwy & 37 city. Car is comfortable, quiet and has fairly good handling. The A3 has a clean exterior (sport wagon look) and a well laid out interior. Audi builds a quality car and while the A3 is their entry level vehicle, my opinion is that they did a fine job with the A3. It is pricier than the VW Jetta TDI but the detail level between the cars warrants the higher price.

Features & Specs

21 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
22 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
21 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
21 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
200 hp @ 5100 rpm
See all Used 2010 Audi A3 features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2010 Audi A3

Used 2010 Audi A3 Overview

The Used 2010 Audi A3 is offered in the following submodels: A3 Wagon, A3 Diesel. Available styles include 2.0T Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2.0T Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 2.0T PZEV Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2.0T Premium quattro 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 2.0T PZEV Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), and 2.0 TDI Premium 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Audi A3?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Audi A3s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Audi A3 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Audi A3.

Can't find a used 2010 Audi A3s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Audi A3 for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $16,668.

Find a used Audi for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $20,980.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi A3 for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $11,402.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $20,487.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 Audi A3?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Audi lease specials
Check out Audi A3 lease specials