2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test - Miscellaneous
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2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

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

2015 Audi A3: That's a Wrap

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on December 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

When we took delivery of our long-term 2015 Audi A3, we already had a Mercedes-Benz CLA250 in the long-term fleet. We wanted to see how these two new compact entry-level lux sedans matched against one another, given how much was riding on their flight or flop.

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2015 Audi A3: Almost Gone and Miss It Already

by Matt Jones, Senior Editor on October 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 is close to hitting the 20,000-mile mark, and that means its time with us is coming to an end. It might be gone by the time you read this. And I'm going to miss it. The A3's smart interior layout, subtle styling and great road manners easily made it one my top picks in our fleet.

Don't get me wrong, though. It wasn't perfect. A few things about the A3 drove me nuts.

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2015 Audi A3: Still Better Than the Benz

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 12, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I came back from the weekend rather impressed with our 2015 Audi A3. It takes the stuff Audi does best — interior design, especially — and puts it in a smaller package with few downsides. In fact, the A3's smaller proportions make it easier to park and maneuver.

As luck would have it, an all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz CLA250 4Matic showed up for testing right after I turned in the Audi's keys. In being able to drive the two back-to-back, I was able to revisit the comparison James Riswick wrote in early 2014.

The short version? The comparison is still right, almost two years later.

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2015 Audi A3: What Caused Recent Check Engine Light?

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor @ 16,933 miles on October 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

One of the most groan-inducing experiences of car ownership is seeing the check engine light illuminated in the instrument panel. Unfortunately, one of these beauties popped up recently in our 2015 Audi A3. I wanted to get out from behind my desk for a few minutes, so I volunteered to make the run.

I didn't notice any odd behavior from the car (and I've spent a bit of time in it) during my drive to Santa Monica Audi for a diagnostic check.

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2015 Audi A3: Best Blown Tire Ever

by Matt Jones, Senior Editor on September 16, 2015

2015 Audi A3

While driving to my brother's wedding in the Bay Area this past Saturday, I blew a tire in our long-term 2015 Audi A3.

The good news is that I was only about 100 yards away from my destination when I heard the "BLAM!" that threatened to put a damper on what promised to be an awesome weekend.

The new Mr. and Mrs. Jones picked a beautiful restaurant in Oakland's beautiful waterfront Jack London Square to exchange vows. But Embarcadero West, the street leading into the parking lot, isn't nearly as beautiful nor is it in the best condition. I was doing about 20 mph when I hit a pothole and boom: damaged sidewall city.

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2015 Audi A3: Right Size and Speed for the Road to Wine Country

August 26, 2015

2015 Audi A3

My mini-vacation mission was simple: drive up north on Pacific Coast Highway, visit wine country, see as much as possible, and hopefully do it in a company car.

Well, luck was on my side as I, a lowly video producer, somehow scored our long-term 2015 Audi A3. At first glance, it's hard to differentiate the A3 to the A4. It's only when you get in that you can see and feel how the interior space is more condensed. But besides the size difference, the other thing that struck me is the interior's minimalist design. Other than the slick-looking screen that slides in and out of the dash, the only other real focal points are the jet turbine-looking air vents.

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2015 Audi A3: Luxury Is a Matter of Perspective

July 29, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I'm new to the whole auto journalist gig. I haven't had the opportunity to drive as many cars as my co-workers and most of the cars I have driven belonged to friends or family, with the occasional rental, taxi or dealership test drive thrown in. That was the only way I could get behind the wheel of something new or different until now.

I recently moved to Santa Monica, near the Edmunds headquarters. I grabbed the key fob to our long-term 2015 Audi A3 and decided to drive around my new city. Sitting in traffic - something I'm growing accustomed to - gave me plenty of time to explore the Audi's cabin.

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2015 Audi A3: Bringing It All Back Home

July 26, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I picked up our repaired 2015 Audi A3 in Boise, Idaho, 900 miles from home. There were several return routes to choose from, and I decided on a modified version of the route our team took when they picked up the 1989 Yugo GVL.

I planned to mirror their trip from Boise to Twin Falls via Interstate 84, then south on U.S. Route 93 to Ely, Nevada. From there I would divert to U.S. Route 6 and Nevada State Route 318 to reconnect with 93, ultimately hitting Interstate 15 near Las Vegas. After a night in Sin City, I'd travel south on I-15 and take I-10 west to the California Route 57 home.

I grabbed a few large bottles of water and began my journey back to California.

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2015 Audi A3: Hitting Its Stride at 15K Miles

July 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3

In the last eight weeks, our 2015 Audi A3 racked-up an easy 5,000 miles. Playing chase car from L.A. to Idaho for the purchase of our glorified 1989 Yugo test car earned us 1,800 miles round-trip, although the return was delayed when the A3 took a hit to its oil pan.

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2015 Audi A3: No Need for Drive Select

June 11, 2015

2015 Audi A3

The "Drive Select" feature in our 2015 Audi A3 is a nice piece of technology. It allows you to adjust the throttle sensitivity, transmission program, steering weight and, if equipped, the suspension settings.

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2015 Audi A3: Wither the A4?

June 2, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Hardly.

But the 2015 Audi A3 is a hot-seller for the Four Ring circus. In May, it outsold its larger sibling by 700 units. Year-to-date, the A3 is outpacing the A4 by more than 3,700 units. The A3 is in fact Audi's best-selling sedan year-to-date (this includes A3 convertible and S3 models as well).

That would seem to indicate that the A3 is doing exactly what Audi hoped it would: bring more buyers to the badge at a lower price, without sacrificing overall quality or cachet.

Can Audi let the A3 cannibalize A4 sales?

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2015 Audi A3: I'd Take It Over the Volvo S60

June 1, 2015

2015 Audi A3

We have three entry-level luxury sedans in our long-term fleet right now: the Acura TLX, the 2015 Audi A3 and the 2015 Volvo S60. I haven't driven our TLX yet, but I've spent more than a week in both the A3 and S60. I like them both, but of the two, I'd buy the A3. Here's why.

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2015 Audi A3: Houston to LA: Brisket, Barflies and a Long Road Home

May 10, 2015

2015 Audi A3

When we last left off, many months ago, we'd spent the day flying to Houston, retrieving our 2015 Audi A3 from the port and knocking out a photoshoot. The next day we awoke to dreary skies, intending to make Lubbock that night, and setting us up for a run through New Mexico, Tucson, and the last leg home.

A flash rain shower outside of Houston let us test the A3's wipers. They worked. Freakishly well and fast, actually, as this was a hole in the sky that slowed interstate traffic to 35 mph. Then, just as abruptly, it ended. We had smooth sailing into the town of Lockhardt, near Austin, where we stopped for a late breakfast. Black's Barbecue is legend, but we opted instead for Kreuz Market and a half-pound of brisket, sausage links, mac-n-cheese and mini pecan pies.

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2015 Audi A3: Our Car Avoids VW Fuel Pump Recall

May 1, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Volkswagen is recalling more than 6,000 vehicles for possible fuel-pump failure, and some 2015 Audi A3 models are included in that sweep.

In its recall summary, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that "improper nickel plating of the components within the fuel pump may result in the fuel pump failing. If the fuel pump fails, the vehicle will not start, or if the engine is running, it will stop and the vehicle will stall, increasing the risk of a crash."

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2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: Better Long-Haul Comfort Than Our Luxury Kia

April 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic

A few months ago I drove our long-term Kia K900 round-trip from Los Angeles to Phoenix. It was a trip that my cemented my impression of the car as underwhelming. Recently I took our long-term 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic on the same route. Call it a comparison test of sorts.

And you know what?

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2015 Audi A3: Road Trip to Indian Wells

March 26, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Recently, a few of us in the office decided to attend the 2015 BNP Paribas tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. Adjacent to Palm Springs, Indian Wells is about 140 miles from our offices in Santa Monica. This tennis tournament, though not as significant as grand slam events like Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, is still a major tournament with all the top players. I also noticed that Audi was a major sponsor of the tournament this year. Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 seemed like a natural fit to drive to the event.

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2015 Audi A3: Fresh and New Every Time I See It

February 18, 2015

2015 Audi A3

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.

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2015 Audi A3: Surprisingly Great for Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats

February 13, 2015

2015 Audi A3

A couple of months ago I struck up a conversation with a software developer from Mountain View, California. It turned out we had two similar interests: cars and babies. He told me about how he was planning to sell his previous-generation WRX STI hatchback because he had ordered a 2015 Audi S3, which he thought would be more practical for family use. He had even picked out an infant car seat for his 3-month-old son and color-matched it to the Audi's interior.

Ever the bearer of bad news, I congratulated him on the S3 purchase but said, "Don't be surprised if the rear-facing convertible car seat your son will need in a few months doesn't fit so well in the Audi. Those are a lot bigger, you know."

However, after a couple of nights in our identically sized 2015 Audi A3 sedan, I have to eat my words. See, I was way wrong. This car is a parent's dream for installing rear-facing convertible car seats. It's almost like Audi and its seat supplier factored that into the seat design.

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2015 Audi A3: Useful Traffic Alerts

February 11, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I had just parked our long-term 2015 Audi A3 and was preparing to disembark when the alert you see above flashed up with a chime. Drivers sans skill? Welcome to Los Angeles.

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2015 Audi A3: Fuel Economy Update for January

February 4, 2015

2015 Audi A3

In January, our long-term 2015 Audi A3 added 1,195 miles to its odometer while consuming just shy of 45 gallons of California's premium 91-octane gasoline. All up, this equates to 26.7 mpg for the month.

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2015 Audi A3: Get the Driver Assistance Package for the Rearview Camera

January 30, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Our 2015 Audi A3 has a fair amount of equipment on it. We've got the bigger 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the mid-grade Premium Plus trim level, the MMI interface with navigation, and a Sport package.

One feature conspicuously missing, however, is a rearview camera.

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2015 Audi A3: 5,000 Miles

January 28, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Approximately three months into the year-long test of our 2015 Audi A3, we've cleared 5,000 miles. Based on our updates so far, the remaining nine months should be pretty great.

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2015 Audi A3: Getting Some Compliments

January 23, 2015

2015 Audi A3

When Dan and Kurt drove our then-new 2015 Audi A3 from Houston to Los Angeles back in November, they observed that the A3 was pretty invisible on the roadway. No real head turns, no thumbs-up, no cell phone paparazzi. I suppose this shouldn't be a surprise. The A3's styling is pretty similar to Audi's other sedans, and that familiarity just isn't going to wow the motoring public when you're moving along at 65 mph.

That said, I've gotten quite a few compliments about our A3 when the car's been parked.

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2015 Audi A3: Quiet and Enjoyable on the Highway

January 20, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Audi builds some fantastic highway cruisers. Los Angeles to New York? Sure, no problem if you've got the keys to, say, an A8, A6 or Q7. But along comes the new entry-level 2015 Audi A3. Some concern would be justified. How much of the traditional luxury sedan experience do you still get from this $29,900 (base price) vehicle? Well, at least in terms of my highway driving experiences with our long-term car so far, a pretty decent amount, I'd say.

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2015 Audi A3: Tutorial Videos in the MMI

January 16, 2015

2015 Audi A3

I was poking around the menu of our 2015 Audi A3 and wondered what "Service Wallet" was. It turns out it should be called "Tutorial Materials" or something similar. Dive on in and you'll find a wealth of information, including but not limited to the proper use of the S Tronic automated manual transmission. There's a thorough explanation of how the transmission works (with nifty cut-away video) and how to use it properly. Pretty cool Easter Egg.

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2015 Audi A3: Option Envy on Display

January 15, 2015

2015 Audi A3

Even if our 2015 Audi A3 was my own car, looking down at all those button blanks would always make me wonder, "What option or feature did I not get on this car?" I had had enough, so I checked the owner's manual to find what labels might adorn this line of fixed blocks.

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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.

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2015 Audi A3: Plenty of Rear Passenger Space

December 30, 2014

2015 Audi A3

Even though the 2015 Audi A3 is the smallest sedan in the company's range, it still offers a surprisingly roomy rear seat. In fact, one look at the official specs reveals some surprising numbers.

According to Audi, the A3 offers 35.1 inches of rear seat legroom. A meaningless number until you consider that the Audi A4, which has a nearly 7-inch longer wheelbase only has 35.2 inches of legroom.

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2015 Audi A3: No Need for the Touchpad

December 23, 2014

2015 Audi A3

One of the trick new features in our 2015 Audi A3 is a touchpad built into the control knob of the user interface, otherwise known as MMI in Audi speak.  The touchpad allows you to draw numbers and letters when you're inputting an address instead of scrolling though the on-screen keyboard. It's a neat trick, but not all that useful.

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2015 Audi A3 vs. 2015 Cadillac ATS Comparison Video

December 18, 2014

2015 Audi A3 vs. 2015 Cadillac ATS

Automotive journalists and automotive enthusiasts tend to think of cars in strict segments. This SUV "competes" with that SUV because it's based on a truck-based platform, this sport sedan "competes" with that sport sedan because they both have rear-wheel drive. Apples must compete with apples, plums must compete with plums. 

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2015 Audi A3: Crash Test Scores

December 15, 2014

2015 Audi A3

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) awarded the 2015 Audi A3 the top score of 5 stars in its overall safety rating. It scored four stars in the front crash test and rollover crash test, and five stars in the side crash test.

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2015 Audi A3: Clean Climate Controls

November 20, 2014

2015 Audi A3

This should hardly be worth mentioning in a modern luxury car. I'm talking about simple, easy-to-use climate controls that can be used at a glance. Seems obvious, but plenty of cars get it wrong. Our 2015 Audi A3 is not one of them.

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2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: Important Message

November 17, 2014

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic

Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic has an important message for me.

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2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: Houston to L.A., Day One

November 11, 2014

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic

Texas. The unending plains state. Vast. Huge. Maybe the only state in the nation more self-absorbed than California. It's ironic that we're here to pick up one of Audi's most diminutive models in America.

We had two options: Wait several weeks for a truck to haul our new 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic long-termer back from Texas, or fly to Houston and ride it across the plains and southwest ourselves in a weekend. Around this office you only need the flimsiest of excuses for a road trip. Kurt Niebuhr and I raised our hands.

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2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic: Drive Refinement

October 29, 2014

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic

Our long-term 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro S Tronic is a new, front-wheel-drive-based entry-level sedan from a German automaker. Our long-term Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 is a new, front wheel-drive-based entry-level sedan from a German automaker.

Despite these similarities, they are, in fact, different. I know, amazing stuff, right?

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2015 Audi A3: Introduction

October 23, 2014

2015 Audi A3

After giving the Mercedes-Benz CLA a try for a year, we figured the new A3 would be an interesting follow-up. With a base price of just over $30K, the A3 costs roughly the same and offers similar equipment and space. But does it offer something the Mercedes doesn't?

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