2015 Audi A3: Wi-Fi Speed Test
March 24, 2015
The 2015 Audi A3 is one of the first vehicles to offer a 4G LTE connection as part of its $2,600 MMI Navigation Plus package. This package includes things like the MMI interface knob with handwriting recognition, a color driver-information display and Audi Connect.
Audi Connect is the suite of programs that take advantage of the high-speed connection to provide things like Google Earth, Google Voice search and social media integration. It also creates an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices.
The idea is that maybe you need to get some work done on your laptop while at an offsite. Or maybe you have kids in the back that would be quiet if only they could watch some cartoons on an iPad. Seems like a handy enough feature, but is it actually good?
I ran an informal test to find out.
I parked the A3 about two blocks from the Edmunds office. According to the car, the A3 had one bar more of reception than my phone, which, in theory, gave it a slight edge. Pairing a device was as simple as finding the hotspot and entering the password.
I ran the speed test on the left on my iPhone 6, using the Verizon LTE network — very solid numbers. The test on the right also used my phone, but on the Wi-Fi signal. The download speed dropped by roughly 73 percent! I was still able to run Netflix on my phone, but Web pages did load noticeably slower with the in-car Wi-Fi.
Audi uses AT&T as its cell provider, so there could be some variation in network speeds. There's likely also a drop in speed when on Wi-Fi, whereas the phone has a more direct connection.
For now, we're on the six-month complimentary trial period, but it'll be tough to justify paying for the additional data once the trial is over. Data prices range from $20 per GB in a month-to-month plan up to $499 for 30 months and 30 GB.
Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 6,725 miles