2015 Audi A3: Say Goodbye to the Hideaway Screen
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 7, 2015
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.
It's a cool thing to show off to friends. It might even help sell a car at a dealership. But it's superfluous. Anybody who's built a racecar can attest: A part that doesn't exist saves money and doesn't break.
But even further, its existence as a fancy hand-me-down from pricier Audis contrasts against the absence of features that come standard on less expensive cars. Over the weekend, I caught myself asking, "They can hide the screen but can't put a camera on the trunk?"
I'm for removing it, but I hope doing so doesn't continue the trend of German luxury cars with displays that look like phablets held on by a cheap windshield mounts. The Mercedes-Benz CLA and BMW 320i already excel here.
Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor