2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test - New Updates

2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

2015 Audi A3: That's a Wrap

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on December 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

When we took delivery of our long-term 2015 Audi A3, we already had a Mercedes-Benz CLA250 in the long-term fleet. We wanted to see how these two new compact entry-level lux sedans matched against one another, given how much was riding on their flight or flop.

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2015 Audi A3: Almost Gone and Miss It Already

by Matt Jones, Senior Editor on October 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 is close to hitting the 20,000-mile mark, and that means its time with us is coming to an end. It might be gone by the time you read this. And I'm going to miss it. The A3's smart interior layout, subtle styling and great road manners easily made it one my top picks in our fleet.

Don't get me wrong, though. It wasn't perfect. A few things about the A3 drove me nuts.

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2015 Audi A3: Replacing the Odd Man Out

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on October 20, 2015

2015 Audi A3

After Matt Jones had the misfortune to blow out a tire while attending a wedding in Oakland, we decided to put a matching set of tires on our long-term 2015 Audi A3.

Matt replaced the tire on his trip, but replacing a tire on a Sunday meant taking what you could get. This meant a Nitto Motivo instead of the original Continental ProContact TX that suffered the puncture. We decided to replace two tires instead of just the one odd one based on warnings in the Audi's owner's manual. Simply put, having tires with different tread depths can adversely affect the Quattro all-wheel drive system and possibly damage the car.

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2015 Audi A3: Loves a 500-Mile Day

by Scott Oldham, Editor-in-Chief on October 15, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Last Saturday our long-term 2015 Audi A3 and I spent 500 miles together. Such a day of driving can kill a friendship, or worse, end a love affair.

Not this time. The Audi and I are still hot for each other.

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2015 Audi A3: Still Better Than the Benz

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 12, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I came back from the weekend rather impressed with our 2015 Audi A3. It takes the stuff Audi does best — interior design, especially — and puts it in a smaller package with few downsides. In fact, the A3's smaller proportions make it easier to park and maneuver.

As luck would have it, an all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4Matic showed up for testing right after I turned in the Audi's keys. In being able to drive the two back-to-back, I was able to revisit the comparison James Riswick wrote in early 2014.

The short version? The comparison is still right, almost two years later.

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2015 Audi A3: Say Goodbye to the Hideaway Screen

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 7, 2015

2015 Audi A3

One bit of trickle-down tech benefiting our junior 2015 Audi A3 is a power hideaway infotainment screen. Press a button and it quickly tucks into the dash. The feature is neat. It's clean. It's smooth. And it's not long for this world.

The 2017 Audi A4, which I test drove a few weeks ago, didn't have a hideaway touchscreen. Audi skipped the feature on the new car, citing an internal study that showed too few people actually used it on the previous A4. This made me realize that I didn't use it much, either.

And what's true for the upcoming A4 is likely true for the next A3.

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for September — MPG Remains Flat

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 18,608 miles on October 5, 2015

2015 Audi A3

In August and September combined, we drove our long-term 2015 Audi A3 about 2,500 miles and averaged 25.2 miles per gallon of 91 octane. Those miles included a grand mix of environments, from longer highway hauls to the short-trip shuffle on Saturdays.

Mileage for the nine fill-ups ranged from 20.7 mpg to 29.2 mpg.

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2015 Audi A3: What Caused Recent Check Engine Light?

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor @ 16,933 miles on October 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

One of the most groan-inducing experiences of car ownership is seeing the check engine light illuminated in the instrument panel. Unfortunately, one of these beauties popped up recently in our 2015 Audi A3. I wanted to get out from behind my desk for a few minutes, so I volunteered to make the run.

I didn't notice any odd behavior from the car (and I've spent a bit of time in it) during my drive to Santa Monica Audi for a diagnostic check.

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2015 Audi A3: Short on Rear-Headroom

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on September 29, 2015

2015 Audi A3

After a weekend in our long-term 2015 Audi A3 I realized that it just isn't big enough for me. Well, that's not true. It's definitely big enough for me. I like the way it drives, the driver's seat is snug but not uncomfortable. There's plenty of room for a driver like myself who's only 5-foot-9, but it's definitely not big enough for my friends.

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2015 Audi A3: Air-Conditioning Is Cold As Ice

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on September 24, 2015

2015 Audi A3

This one is pretty simple: the air-conditioning in our long-term 2015 Audi A3 is one of the coldest systems I've ever used. Set the system to "LO" and regardless of ambient temperature, the cabin gets really cold, really fast.

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2015 Audi A3: Best Blown Tire Ever

by Matt Jones, Senior Editor on September 16, 2015

2015 Audi A3

While driving to my brother's wedding in the Bay Area this past Saturday, I blew a tire in our long-term 2015 Audi A3.

The good news is that I was only about 100 yards away from my destination when I heard the "BLAM!" that threatened to put a damper on what promised to be an awesome weekend.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Jones picked a beautiful restaurant in Oakland's beautiful waterfront Jack London Square to exchange vows. But Embarcadero West, the street leading into the parking lot, isn't nearly as beautiful nor is it in the best condition. I was doing about 20 mph when I hit a pothole and boom: damaged sidewall city.

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2015 Audi A3: Right Size and Speed for the Road to Wine Country

August 26, 2015

2015 Audi A3

My mini-vacation mission was simple: drive up north on Pacific Coast Highway, visit wine country, see as much as possible, and hopefully do it in a company car.

Well, luck was on my side as I, a lowly video producer, somehow scored our long-term 2015 Audi A3. At first glance, it's hard to differentiate the A3 to the A4. It's only when you get in that you can see and feel how the interior space is more condensed. But besides the size difference, the other thing that struck me is the interior's minimalist design. Other than the slick-looking screen that slides in and out of the dash, the only other real focal points are the jet turbine-looking air vents.

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for July - Good Gains Over 5,000 Miles

August 17, 2015

2015 Audi A3

It's been a while since the last fuel economy update on our 2015 Audi A3. Since that post in June (for the month of May) we've added almost 5,000 miles to the A3's odometer. Multiple road trips to Idaho and Northern California helped pile on the miles.

As a result, the A3 has increased its lifetime mpg and improved its best fill.

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2015 Audi A3: Fold-Flat Rear Seats Yield Large Cargo Area

August 10, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I put a bike in our 2015 Audi A3 over the weekend (not pictured). I was pleasantly surprised by the cargo space with the seats folded flat. With its front wheel removed, the entire bike (a large 29-inch wheeled mountain bike) fit without rubbing on the front seats. I've put the same bike in certain compact hatchbacks (I'm looking at you Ford Focus) and couldn't say the same.

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2015 Audi A3: Road Trip Turns Compact Sedan Into Favorite Car Ever

August 3, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I wasn't planning to take my daughter to visit her grandparents 380 miles north in California's Central Valley. But they're 90 -as in years old - so anytime it works into our schedule, I figure we'd better make the trip.

Typically for these adventures, I'd drag home an SUV or minivan, something big and comfortable. But since this was a last-minute decision and it was just me and the kid, I instead grabbed the keys to the 2015 Audi A3 that my husband drove home. He was out of town for the weekend, and the A3 has Wi-Fi, a feature I knew would please my teenage travel hostage.

What an awesome decision it was to take the Audi.

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2015 Audi A3: Luxury Is a Matter of Perspective

July 29, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I'm new to the whole auto journalist gig. I haven't had the opportunity to drive as many cars as my co-workers and most of the cars I have driven belonged to friends or family, with the occasional rental, taxi or dealership test drive thrown in. That was the only way I could get behind the wheel of something new or different until now.

I recently moved to Santa Monica, near the Edmunds headquarters. I grabbed the key fob to our long-term 2015 Audi A3 and decided to drive around my new city. Sitting in traffic - something I'm growing accustomed to - gave me plenty of time to explore the Audi's cabin.

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2015 Audi A3: Bringing It All Back Home

July 26, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I picked up our repaired 2015 Audi A3 in Boise, Idaho, 900 miles from home. There were several return routes to choose from, and I decided on a modified version of the route our team took when they picked up the 1989 Yugo GVL.

I planned to mirror their trip from Boise to Twin Falls via Interstate 84, then south on U.S. Route 93 to Ely, Nevada. From there I would divert to U.S. Route 6 and Nevada State Route 318 to reconnect with 93, ultimately hitting Interstate 15 near Las Vegas. After a night in Sin City, I'd travel south on I-15 and take I-10 west to the California Route 57 home.

I grabbed a few large bottles of water and began my journey back to California.

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2015 Audi A3: Hitting Its Stride at 15K Miles

July 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3

In the last eight weeks, our 2015 Audi A3 racked-up an easy 5,000 miles. Playing chase car from L.A. to Idaho for the purchase of our glorified 1989 Yugo test car earned us 1,800 miles round-trip, although the return was delayed when the A3 took a hit to its oil pan.

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2015 Audi A3: Three Cheers for Three Knobs

July 14, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I'm a simple guy. I like 1980s-era video games. My mountain bike doesn't have a bunch of gears. I use a Crock-Pot. I'm all about simple and easy.

So it should come as no surprise that I absolutely love the HVAC system in our long-term 2015 Audi A3. Three simple knobs to control what should be a simple operation. Simply wonderful.

Turn the knob closest to you to change the temperature. That little knob in the middle controls the fan speed or turns the system off. The knob on the passenger's side controls the passenger temperature. These functions can be done without taking your eyes off the road. Three cheers for simple.

As an added bonus, these knobs look and feel substantial.

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2015 Audi A3: MMI and Muscle Memory

July 6, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I drove our long-term 2012 Audi A8 quite a bit, and I remember struggling at first to get the hang of the Multi Media Interface (MMI) system. What would it be like now that I was in our 2015 Audi A3 for the first time?

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2015 Audi A3: New Oil Pan Gets Us Back on the Road

June 30, 2015

2015 Audi A3

When we last left our 2015 Audi A3, the injured sedan was sitting at the only Audi dealer in Idaho. We had accidently run over a hidden stump just off the road, tore the A3's plastic oil pan and dumped its contents all over the grass. We had it towed to Audi Boise on a Saturday, where it sat over the weekend awaiting inspection on Monday.

Our team continued home but someone still needed to retrieve the car after the repairs. I volunteered and flew out on a Wednesday evening, the same day the work was completed.

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2015 Audi A3: Road Trip Hits an Abrupt End in Boise

June 24, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Our 2015 Audi A3 sedan suffered the ride of shame on the back of a tow truck in Boise, Idaho after suffering damage at the precise moment we arrived at our destination. We were extremely fortunate, however. The nearest Audi dealer was only three miles away.

Even better fortune? Audi Boise is the only Audi dealer in all of Idaho, and their service department was open on this Saturday afternoon. According to Travis, the service manager, the next closest Audi dealers are in Portland, Oregon (429 miles) and Salt Lake City, Utah (345 miles).

I called Audi Roadside Assistance and waited for a flatbed to arrive while the other guys looked at our new long-term acquisition, paid the seller his cash, and retrieved the tires from the Audi's trunk so they could go have them installed.

Oh, right. You want to know what happened.

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2015 Audi A3: The Northern Road to Idaho

June 22, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I don't remember visiting Idaho before. It has never come up. That changed this week. Someone found a unique classic car for our long-term test fleet, and I went along to help get it home in one piece. I figured the 2015 Audi A3 would be the right car for the job. Besides, I had already loaded the trunk with the replacement tires our new acquisition would need.

We chose U.S. Route 395 up California's eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada. It's a slightly more direct route than the interstate options, but the real reason was we figured the scenery would be more beautiful.

This was a good move.

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2015 Audi A3: Blame the Small Trunk on Quattro

June 16, 2015

2015 Audi A3

You might have second thoughts about the size of the trunk in the 2015 Audi A3 sedan if you just dwell on the rated capacity. As Scott Oldham recently pointed out, 10.0 cubic feet is not a terribly impressive figure. Interestingly, that number goes with the 2.0T version, which is what we have.

Audi says the 1.8T can hold a more respectable 12.3 cubic feet in its trunk. Same goes for the TDI. Why the difference?

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2015 Audi A3: No Need for Drive Select

June 11, 2015

2015 Audi A3

The "Drive Select" feature in our 2015 Audi A3 is a nice piece of technology. It allows you to adjust the throttle sensitivity, transmission program, steering weight and, if equipped, the suspension settings.

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2015 Audi A3: MPG Does Not Improve in May

June 4, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Our long-term 2015 Audi A3, which is all-wheel drive and powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, only traveled a scant 1,300 miles during the month of May. Basically we've been busy testing other cars, but the A3 remains a staff favorite, and one of my personal favorite cars.

Those 1,300 miles of driving were a mix of environments, from longer highway hauls to the short-trip shuffle on Saturday. And mileage for the five fill-ups ranged from 22.5 mpg to 27.8 mpg.

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2015 Audi A3: Hauls Four Slot Mags

June 3, 2015

2015 Audi A3

This set of Craigslist slot mags have been collecting dust in the corner of my garage for about seven years. I bought them for $100 from an old guy in the San Fernando Valley who was using them as lawn art, it seemed, since the early 1980s. I knew they would fit both my '55 Chevy and my '76 Pontiac Trans Am (and now my more recently acquired '69 Camaro) but I didn't really have a plan. I just knew I had to have them.

Well, it's about time I did something with them. But first, they had to go to the polisher. I was sure our long-term 2015 Audi A3 would get the job done, but I figured I'd have to utilize the sedan's 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

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2015 Audi A3: Wither the A4?

June 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Hardly.

But the 2015 Audi A3 is a hot-seller for the Four Ring circus. In May, it outsold its larger sibling by 700 units. Year-to-date, the A3 is outpacing the A4 by more than 3,700 units. The A3 is in fact Audi's best-selling sedan year-to-date (this includes A3 convertible and S3 models as well).

That would seem to indicate that the A3 is doing exactly what Audi hoped it would: bring more buyers to the badge at a lower price, without sacrificing overall quality or cachet.

Can Audi let the A3 cannibalize A4 sales?

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2015 Audi A3: I'd Take It Over the Volvo S60

June 1, 2015

2015 Audi A3

We have three entry-level luxury sedans in our long-term fleet right now: the Acura TLX, the 2015 Audi A3 and the 2015 Volvo S60. I haven't driven our TLX yet, but I've spent more than a week in both the A3 and S60. I like them both, but of the two, I'd buy the A3. Here's why.

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2015 Audi A3: Houston to LA: Brisket, Barflies and a Long Road Home

May 10, 2015

2015 Audi A3

When we last left off, many months ago, we'd spent the day flying to Houston, retrieving our 2015 Audi A3 from the port and knocking out a photoshoot. The next day we awoke to dreary skies, intending to make Lubbock that night, and setting us up for a run through New Mexico, Tucson, and the last leg home.

A flash rain shower outside of Houston let us test the A3's wipers. They worked. Freakishly well and fast, actually, as this was a hole in the sky that slowed interstate traffic to 35 mph. Then, just as abruptly, it ended. We had smooth sailing into the town of Lockhardt, near Austin, where we stopped for a late breakfast. Black's Barbecue is legend, but we opted instead for Kreuz Market and a half-pound of brisket, sausage links, mac-n-cheese and mini pecan pies.

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2015 Audi A3: Subwoofer Dial Controls the Low

May 8, 2015

2015 Audi A3

My daughter likes to remind me that she's all about the bass, no treble, and I tell her that's great if she wants to play in a good rhythm section someday. It worked well enough for Charles Mingus, Ron Carter and Carol Kaye, after all. I then like to remind her that the Volkswagen group does great, old school-style digital audio controls better than anyone, like in our 2015 Audi A3 and our long-term GTI of days past.

That's about when she fixes me with a quizzical stare, says I'm weird, and I realize that I'm on a fast track to no longer being the coolest guy in her world.

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2015 Audi A3: Lifetime MPG Ticks Up in April

May 5, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Here is the April fuel economy for our 2015 Audi A3. Last month we covered 1,717 miles, which is right on pace with our monthly goal. We would have missed the mark if not for a weekend over-and-back to Phoenix to visit family. Take the jump for an A3 fuel economy recap.

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2015 Audi A3: Our Car Avoids VW Fuel Pump Recall

May 1, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Volkswagen is recalling more than 6,000 vehicles for possible fuel-pump failure, and some 2015 Audi A3 models are included in that sweep.

In its recall summary, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that "improper nickel plating of the components within the fuel pump may result in the fuel pump failing. If the fuel pump fails, the vehicle will not start, or if the engine is running, it will stop and the vehicle will stall, increasing the risk of a crash."

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2015 Audi A3: Crumb-Catching Seats

April 30, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Although I'm only 5-foot 7-inches tall, I love the extending bottom seat cushions in our 2015 Audi A3 test car. The extra few inches of thigh support makes for a much more comfortable driving position.

But what I don't like is the constant gunk that falls into those cracks.

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2015 Audi A3: Squeaky Center Console Lid

April 28, 2015

2015 Audi A3

On the way to school, my kid lifted the lid on the 2015 Audi A3's center console to attach her iPhone to the handy power cord inside. I didn't hear any noise when she initially lifted the lid, but when she closed it, we both heard a loud squeeeeak. So I moved the lid up and down one more time.

It sounded like this:

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2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: Better Long-Haul Comfort Than Our Luxury Kia

April 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic

A few months ago I drove our long-term Kia K900 round-trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix. It was a trip that my cemented my impression of the car as underwhelming. Recently I took our long-term 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic on the same route. Call it a comparison test of sorts.

And you know what?

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 7, 2015

2015 Audi A3

In addition to the usual day-to-day duties, our long-term 2014 A3 has spent some time with editor Brent Romans and made a day trip out to the desert.  

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2015 Audi A3: Nimble Handling

April 1, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I've driven our 2015 Audi A3 quite a few times the past three months. Most of that time has been spent commuting, kid schlepping and general life stuff. But occasionally I've zipped through a turn quickly and thought to myself, "Dang, this thing is pretty capable."

Just yesterday I made a special trip on some lightly- trafficked roads to learn more about the A3's handling characteristics in further detail.

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2015 Audi A3: Road Trip to Indian Wells

March 26, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Recently, a few of us in the office decided to attend the 2015 BNP Paribas tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. Adjacent to Palm Springs, Indian Wells is about 140 miles from our offices in Santa Monica. This tennis tournament, though not as significant as grand slam events like Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, is still a major tournament with all the top players. I also noticed that Audi was a major sponsor of the tournament this year. Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 seemed like a natural fit to drive to the event.

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2015 Audi A3: Wi-Fi Speed Test

March 24, 2015

2015 Audi A3

The 2015 Audi A3 is one of the first vehicles to offer a 4G LTE connection as part of its $2,600 MMI Navigation Plus package. This package includes things like the MMI interface knob with handwriting recognition, a color driver-information display and Audi Connect.

Audi Connect is the suite of programs that take advantage of the high-speed connection to provide things like Google Earth, Google Voice search and social media integration. It also creates an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices.

The idea is that maybe you need to get some work done on your laptop while at an offsite. Or maybe you have kids in the back that would be quiet if only they could watch some cartoons on an iPad. Seems like a handy enough feature, but is it actually good?

I ran an informal test to find out.

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2015 Audi A3: Best Air Vent Design

March 20, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I agree with Josh. Not only do I like the way the air vents look in our 2015 Audi A3, but I like the adjustability of them.

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2015 Audi A3: Audio Review

March 12, 2015

2015 Audi A3

There's a wicked-awesome guitar solo at the 2:50-mark in the Red Hot Chili Peppers song, "Strip My Mind." If you were living under a rock in 2006 and missed the Stadium Arcadium album, I recommend you stop reading this and go listen to it now. It's a double album (sub-titled Mars and Jupiter) and it's an excellent way to spend 123 minutes.

I'll wait.

Last week, I drove to work in our long-term 2015 Audi A3 with Stadium Acradium pumping through the Audi's speakers the only way it should be played: at full volume. It wasn't quite 9:00 a.m. by the time I parked at the Edmunds garage, and I should've been in the throes of a full-blown air-guitar solo. I wasn't though and it was the Audi's fault.

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 6, 2015

2015 Audi A3

February is the shortest month and not exactly prime road-trip season. Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 consumed 40.8 gallons of fuel over 957 miles. We managed to earn a new "worst" fill of 17.8 mpg, and with the other three stops at the pump, the monthly fuel economy worked out to 23.5 miles per gallon, just a tick under the EPA estimate for city driving.

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2015 Audi A3: Driver Space

March 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Both Brent and Ed have written about the surprising amount of rear passenger space in our 2015 Audi A3.

For a small car, I'm surprised by how much space is allocated for the driver. I know I'm short-legged, but I checked with some of our taller editors and they agree.

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2015 Audi A3: Parting Thoughts on Life With a Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat

February 19, 2015

2015 Audi A3

After installing a rear-facing convertible car seat in the rear center position of our long-term 2015 Audi A3 sedan, I observed that due to the backseat's relatively narrow dimensions, it would be a squeeze to have an adult ride on either side of the car seat.

Over the weekend, I became that adult.

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2015 Audi A3: Fresh and New Every Time I See It

February 18, 2015

2015 Audi A3

With the exception of the R8, Audis have looked pretty much the same for the last 10 years. I feel like I should be tired of this design by now, and on a car like the A6 (which I feel is too big to be fun on a good road, yet too small to be out-and-out luxurious), I really am tired of it. Yet, our long-term 2015 Audi A3 sedan looks fresh and new to me every time I walk up to it.

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2015 Audi A3: Surprisingly Great for Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats

February 13, 2015

2015 Audi A3

A couple of months ago I struck up a conversation with a software developer from Mountain View, California. It turned out we had two similar interests: cars and babies. He told me about how he was planning to sell his previous-generation WRX STI hatchback because he had ordered a 2015 Audi S3, which he thought would be more practical for family use. He had even picked out an infant car seat for his 3-month-old son and color-matched it to the Audi's interior.

Ever the bearer of bad news, I congratulated him on the S3 purchase but said, "Don't be surprised if the rear-facing convertible car seat your son will need in a few months doesn't fit so well in the Audi. Those are a lot bigger, you know."

However, after a couple of nights in our identically sized 2015 Audi A3 sedan, I have to eat my words. See, I was way wrong. This car is a parent's dream for installing rear-facing convertible car seats. It's almost like Audi and its seat supplier factored that into the seat design.

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2015 Audi A3: Useful Traffic Alerts

February 11, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I had just parked our long-term 2015 Audi A3 and was preparing to disembark when the alert you see above flashed up with a chime. Drivers sans skill? Welcome to Los Angeles.

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for January

February 4, 2015

2015 Audi A3

In January, our long-term 2015 Audi A3 added 1,195 miles to its odometer while consuming just shy of 45 gallons of California's premium 91-octane gasoline. All up, this equates to 26.7 mpg for the month.

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2015 Audi A3: Rear Seat Comfort Compared to the A4

February 3, 2015

2015 Audi A3

A few days ago, I took our 2015 Audi A3 in for its 5,000-mile service. I had some time to kill since I was waiting for the car, so I wandered around the dealership showroom checking out the latest Audi hardware. I stopped by an A4. Out of curiosity, I hopped in the back to see how the A4's rear seat compared to the one in our A3.

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2015 Audi A3: First Service Performed

February 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

A few hundred miles before our 2015 Audi A3 cleared 5,000 miles the car started providing notifications in the gauge cluster display that a service would soon be due. This would be our A3's first service and includes an oil change and tire rotation. Audi pays for the first service, too. I booked an appointment at my local dealership, Audi Fresno.

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2015 Audi A3: Get the Driver Assistance Package for the Rearview Camera

January 30, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Our 2015 Audi A3 has a fair amount of equipment on it. We've got the bigger 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the mid-grade Premium Plus trim level, the MMI interface with navigation, and a Sport package.

One feature conspicuously missing, however, is a rearview camera.

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2015 Audi A3: 5,000 Miles

January 28, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Approximately three months into the year-long test of our 2015 Audi A3, we've cleared 5,000 miles. Based on our updates so far, the remaining nine months should be pretty great.

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2015 Audi A3: Getting Some Compliments

January 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3

When Dan and Kurt drove our then-new 2015 Audi A3 from Houston to Los Angeles back in November, they observed that the A3 was pretty invisible on the roadway. No real head turns, no thumbs-up, no cell phone paparazzi. I suppose this shouldn't be a surprise. The A3's styling is pretty similar to Audi's other sedans, and that familiarity just isn't going to wow the motoring public when you're moving along at 65 mph.

That said, I've gotten quite a few compliments about our A3 when the car's been parked.

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2015 Audi A3: Quiet and Enjoyable on the Highway

January 20, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Audi builds some fantastic highway cruisers. Los Angeles to New York? Sure, no problem if you've got the keys to, say, an A8, A6 or Q7. But along comes the new entry-level 2015 Audi A3. Some concern would be justified. How much of the traditional luxury sedan experience do you still get from this $29,900 (base price) vehicle? Well, at least in terms of my highway driving experiences with our long-term car so far, a pretty decent amount, I'd say.

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2015 Audi A3: Tutorial Videos in the MMI

January 16, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I was poking around the menu of our 2015 Audi A3 and wondered what "Service Wallet" was. It turns out it should be called "Tutorial Materials" or something similar. Dive on in and you'll find a wealth of information, including but not limited to the proper use of the S Tronic automated manual transmission. There's a thorough explanation of how the transmission works (with nifty cut-away video) and how to use it properly. Pretty cool Easter Egg.

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2015 Audi A3: Option Envy on Display

January 15, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Even if our 2015 Audi A3 was my own car, looking down at all those button blanks would always make me wonder, "What option or feature did I not get on this car?" I had had enough, so I checked the owner's manual to find what labels might adorn this line of fixed blocks.

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2015 Audi A3: Performance Tested

January 13, 2015

2015 Audi A3

From the simple luxury of its cockpit to the wonderful driving dynamics, it is easy to see why the 2015 Audi A3 is one of our favorite entry-level luxury sedans. Having hard data to back up our driving impressions is crucial to objectively analyze a car, and the A3 gives its competitors a real workout on the performance front. We brought our new A3 to our test track to get a full picture of how the luxury subcompact fares against our old long-term Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz CLA250.

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2015 Audi A3: Checking Tire Pressure

January 8, 2015

2015 Audi A3

We recently tested our 2015 Audi A3 and part of the pre-flight check-in procedure is to check and/or inflate the tires to the recommended values. Often, this means opening the driver's door (or fuel-filler door), checking the placard for the recommended pound-per-square inch (psi) and setting front and rear pressures.

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for November and December

January 7, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

We missed last month's fuel economy update, so this report sees almost 2,000 miles added to our 2015 Audi A3's odometer. Our A3 didn't take any big road trips during that time. It was on mixed city and highway duty. Still, the miles-per-gallon average seems to be holding rather steady. Here are the most recent stats:

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2015 Audi A3: Infotainment System Fritz-Out

January 6, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I was driving to an Edmunds testing session in our 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic just a few days ago when the infotainment system had a minor meltdown (the photo you see here is a near-reenactment of the event, not the actual event).

I had a CD going in the glove box player, and it was 21 seconds into Shovels and Rope's "Kemba's Got the Cabbage Moth Blues" when the song stopped and a high-pitched warning sound reverberated throughout the cabin.

Now at this point you might be asking, "Who the heck still listens to CDs?" Answer: Old Man Monticello, at least when I get a new one in and before I transfer it to my iPod.

To that point, I ask, "Who the heck still puts CD players in glove boxes in 2015?" Answer: Audi.

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2015 Audi A3: Best Dashboard Vents in Recorded History

January 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

The 2015 Audi A3 has the best dash vents in the history of dashboards. Seriously, it does. These little ducts are adjustable in any direction, consume minimal dash space, and can be completely shut off by turning the chrome trim ring. Also, they look like they belong in an airplane.

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2015 Audi A3: Plenty of Rear Passenger Space

December 30, 2014

2015 Audi A3

Even though the 2015 Audi A3 is the smallest sedan in the company's range, it still offers a surprisingly roomy rear seat. In fact, one look at the official specs reveals some surprising numbers.

According to Audi, the A3 offers 35.1 inches of rear seat legroom. A meaningless number until you consider that the Audi A4, which has a nearly 7-inch longer wheelbase only has 35.2 inches of legroom.

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2015 Audi A3: No Need for the Touchpad

December 23, 2014

2015 Audi A3

One of the trick new features in our 2015 Audi A3 is a touchpad built into the control knob of the user interface, otherwise known as MMI in Audi speak.  The touchpad allows you to draw numbers and letters when you're inputting an address instead of scrolling though the on-screen keyboard. It's a neat trick, but not all that useful.

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2015 Audi A3 vs. 2015 Cadillac ATS Comparison Video

December 18, 2014

2015 Audi A3 vs. 2015 Cadillac ATS

Automotive journalists and automotive enthusiasts tend to think of cars in strict segments. This SUV "competes" with that SUV because it's based on a truck-based platform, this sport sedan "competes" with that sport sedan because they both have rear-wheel drive. Apples must compete with apples, plums must compete with plums. 

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2015 Audi A3: Still Rockin' the 30-Pin

December 17, 2014

2015 Audi A3

In 2012, Apple introduced the iPhone 5 which ditched the 30-pin connector and replaced it with the skinny, multi-directional Lightning port. It was a functional win, but apparently, Audi doesn't agree. Our 2015 Audi A3 still has a 30-pin.

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2015 Audi A3: Crash Test Scores

December 15, 2014

2015 Audi A3

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) awarded the 2015 Audi A3 the top score of 5 stars in its overall safety rating. It scored four stars in the front crash test and rollover crash test, and five stars in the side crash test.

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2015 Audi A3: All the Power It Needs

December 5, 2014

2015 Audi A3

I'm sure the Audi S3 is fun and all with its 292-horsepower engine, but the 220-hp 2.0-liter in our 2015 Audi A3 feels like the perfect fit for this car.

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2015 Audi A3: More Trunk Space Than You Might Think

November 21, 2014

2015 Audi A3

On paper our 2015 Audi A3 looks like it has a trunk that's too small to fit much of anything. The official number is 10 cubic feet, which is nothing for a modern sedan. There are convertibles that offer similar space and even our slope-backed Mercedes-Benz CLA boasts over 13 cubic feet.

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2015 Audi A3: Clean Climate Controls

November 20, 2014

2015 Audi A3

This should hardly be worth mentioning in a modern luxury car. I'm talking about simple, easy-to-use climate controls that can be used at a glance. Seems obvious, but plenty of cars get it wrong. Our 2015 Audi A3 is not one of them.

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