2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: Drive Refinement
October 29, 2014
Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic is a new, front-wheel-drive-based entry-level sedan from a German automaker. Our long-term Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is a new, front wheel-drive-based entry-level sedan from a German automaker.
Despite these similarities, they are, in fact, different. I know, amazing stuff, right?
For me the first thing that jumps out is the A3's refinement. I'm not referring to interior trimmings, rather the car's demeanor on the road. In particular the A3's ride quality and transmission are light-years better than the CLA's.
The A3 is really compliant, and doesn't get knocked around by bumps like the CLA. Even big impacts do little to unsettle this small sedan. Where the CLA's ride tuning feels nervous and unfinished, the A3's has polish. As for handling I will hazard a guess that the CLA will edge out slightly higher numbers, but that in the real world the A3 will be more rapid point-to-point due to its ability to better absorb road insults.
Our A3's dual-clutch gearbox is better at being in the right gear at the right time than does the CLA's. The Audi's calibration simply seems smarter. Again, polished; as though the engineers that developed it had the time necessary to make it right.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor