Performance Tested - 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

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  • Pricing & Specs
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  • Long-Term

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.

Vehicle: 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro
Odometer: 4,017
Date: 12/18/2014
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $39,745

Specifications:
Drive Type: All-Wheel Drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed automated manual
Engine Type: turbocharged inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,984 / 121
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 220
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 258
Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): One-piece solid with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink

Tire Size (front): 225/40R18 92H M+S
Tire Size (rear): 225/40R18 92H M+S
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: ContiProContact TX
Tire Type: All-Season
As-Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,347

Test Results: 

Acceleration:
0-30 (sec): 2.2 (w/ TC on 2.8)
0-45 (sec): 3.6 (w/ TC on 4.4)
0-60 (sec): 5.6 (w/TC on 6.7)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.3 (w/TC on 6.3) 
0-75 (sec): 8.2 (w/TC on 9.3) 
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.0 @ 98.0 (w/TC on 14.7 @ 96.4)

Braking: 
30-0 (ft): 30
60-0 (ft): 120

Handling:
Slalom (mph): 66.7 w/ESC on
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.87 (0.85 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 2,100

Comments:
Acceleration comments: Launch control produces dead-consistent back-to-back quarter-mile runs. This is a fantastic engine in a small car. Makes me think the S3 is probably a truly special machine. Launch control is easy to use, too. I ran in "Dynamic" mode, but I'm not certain that's required. Turned off stability control then floored the brake, floored the gas and released the brake. The A3 leaves from about 3,250 rpm but clutch engagement is fairly tame right off the line. Shifts are rapid, of course. And the whole process shaves a full second from the standard 0-60 time.

Braking comments: It might be a compact luxury sedan, but stopping from 120 feet is impressive. Brake feel is good but not great, yet stops are consistent. Directional stability is very good during full-ABS stops. Minimal dive.

Handling comments:
Slalom: This is a truly impressive handling car, especially considering its all-season rubber. Response and control feel through the slalom is remarkable. Bumps which upset other cars don't seem to exist here. I made all runs in "Dynamic" mode which weights up the steering. ESC tuning is excellent in the A3, which manages to be fast and controllable even when the ESC is doing its job.

Skid Pad: Before the front tires overheat, there's a good deal of control over the A3's cornering attitude. Oversteer can be achieved by lifting off the gas pedal. And at .87g, grip is quite good.

Here are the test results versus our previous long-term 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 and 2013 Cadillac ATS. The CLA250 was shod in Pirelli Cinturato P7 all-season tires. The ATS wore Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires.

 

2015 Audi A3

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

2013 Cadillac ATS

Curb Weight as Tested (lbs.)

3,347

3,277

3,515

0-30 (sec.):

2.2

2.6

2.2

0-45 (sec.):

3.6

4.3

3.9

0-60 (sec.):

5.6

6.4

6.4

0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.):

5.3

6.1

6.0

0-75 (sec.):

8.2

9.3

9.4

1/4-mile (sec @ mph):

14.0 @ 98.0

14.6 @ 95.3

14.5 @ 94.1

Skid Pad Lateral Accel (g):

0.87

0.84

0.87

Slalom:

66.7

65.6

67.3

Braking 60-0 mph

120

121

114

Braking 30-0 mph

30

30

29

Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 4,017 miles


2015 Audi A3

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

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