2015 Audi A3: Fresh and New Every Time I See It
February 18, 2015
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.
Maybe Audi's smaller cars just wear the design better. Although the A3 is predictably much wider than right-size sedans of the past, namely the original A4 and the E46-generation BMW 3 Series, it's about the same overall length as those cars (with a similar wheelbase to that now ancient A4).
More important is how the A3 makes you feel once you're in the driver seat. When I think about the weak, torque-deprived base engines in those old sedans I used to like so much, it's just stunning how quickly Audi's modern entry-level sedan moves out in traffic and delivers you to 60 mph. What's more, it's just so easy now. You don't have to work a clutch (though I've always liked that extra work) or run the engine hard. The power's just there, and although the dual-clutch automated manual transmission often has its own agenda, it's ultimately a willing partner in going rather fast.
I also like the way this car rides for the most part. It's a stiff overall setup with our car's low-profile 225/40R18 tires (all-season though they may be), but the A3 is composed over bumps and ruts and I like how controlled it feels around turns. The steering is pretty good, too. It's precise and adds to the sensation that you're driving a sport sedan. Obviously, the 292-hp S3 is the true sport sedan in this family, but our long-term A3 offers quite a bit of performance to justify its high-$30Ks price tag.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 5,917 miles