2015 Audi A3: Blame the Small Trunk on Quattro
June 16, 2015
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?
Quattro all-wheel drive; Our 2.0T has it, the 1.8T and TDI do not. The lack of rear-drive componentry results in a deeper trunk floor, but I don't have one of those models handy, so I can't attach a number to that.
Scott showed us that his naked slotted rims fit in there, but I was able to up the ante and wedge in a set of four un-mounted tires. Sure, these puny 155/80R13 tires do not go with his vintage rims, but still.
Besides, we've also put luggage in there in the form of standard pieces we keep at our lab. This smaller A3 trunk simultaneously holds one large international checked-baggage suitcase and one carry-one roller bag, the kind that fits into a 737's overhead compartment. Remove the large international bag and the A3's trunk will hold three carry-on bags.
Scott noted the disappearing gooseneck trunk hinges, which are much-appreciated and very slick indeed. But there's also good stuff going on inside the cabin.
Behold the center armrest, which folds down to reveal a flip-down panel that allows something like a snowboard to stick through.
And those 60/40 rear seatbacks fold down separately to expose a full-width opening. They also fold flat, which isn't always the case.
Audi doesn't publish a cargo capacity in this configuration, though. It's common practice with SUVs and hatchbacks, but off the top of my head I can't recall a sedan that provides this figure. So the 2.0T's trunk may be small on raw numbers, but Audi engineers have done everything possible to maximize what they had to work with. The shape is about as usable as it could be, and several nice touches make it that much better.
And if you need trunk space more than you need all-wheel drive, you can always buy a front-drive 1.8T or TDI instead and gain yourself almost 25 percent more capacity.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 11,167 miles