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.
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.
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!!