The new 2011 Audi A3 ranks number 2 in upscale small cars. This ranking is based on analysis of different published reviews and Audi A3 safety and reliability data. The 2011 Audi A3 has so much to talk about, especially a TDI trim with an impressive fuel economy that no other car can match.
The main disadvantage of Audi A3 is the high price tag. Although 2011 Audi A3 is a very good car says “Automotive Press” It has a great combination of quality, attractive styling and sporty performance that every shopper dreams. Another plus is that Audi A3 is the safest car to drive in the market, especially in upscale small cars category. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the last year Audi A3 as “Top Safety Pick” and there are not much significant changes in 2011. Audi offers optional TDI diesel engine to provide exceptional fuel economy.
The ratings show 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway, which no other can match. With all these plus points, reviewers are not happy because of a price tag. The best alternative to Audi A3 is less expensive Volkswagen GTI, which cost $4,000 less than A3. There are so many features in Audi A3 like navigation system, sun roof, and rear side airbags. The Audi A3 comes in two trims; premium and premium plus. These have two different engine options 2.0 cylinder gasoline engine and 2.0 cylinder TDI diesel engine. The famous Audi Quattro all wheel drive is available in only gasoline models. Audi carried over the 2010 model to 2011.
Audi A3 Price;
Average Paid: $27,184 – $30,738, MSRP: $27,270 – $30,850, Invoice: $25,361 – $28,690
Audi A3 Ratings;
Audi A3 Performance: 4.5 (Very Good)
Audi A3 Exterior: 4.3 (Good)
Audi A3 Interior: 4.0 (Good)
Audi A3 Safety: 5.0 (Excellent)
Audi A3 Reliability: 3.0 (Below Average)
Power & Performance
With acceptable engine power, quick handling and good braking, the Audi A3 is an excellent car to drive. Fuel economy is an added advantage, especially if you opt for TDI diesel engine. Perfect handling and quick responsive braking are key features of Audi A3. The Audi all wheel drive system Quattro is not available in diesel models. Reviewers are not happy with front wheel drive because the car becomes unstable at hard corners.
The sports package adds more firm sport suspension and sport seats that take driving experience to whole new level. The 2011 Audi A3 comes with two engines that you can select from; a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder and 2.0 liter TDI diesel engine. The standard gasoline provides sufficient horsepower of 200 and 207 pound feet of torque. The TDI diesel engine is sluggish and doesn’t offer that much power with 140 horsepower and 236 pound feet of torque. However, the diesel engine offers the best fuel economy that no other vehicle can match. It shows the fuel economy of 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway with the TDI diesel engine. The gasoline engine with manual transmission shows 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is also good. Both the engines provide the best fuel economy in upscale small car class.
Moreover, if you are planning to purchase TDI diesel engine, it will cost you $3,000 more. Test drivers say the 2.0 liter engine offers the sufficient power. Audi A3 comes with six speed manual transmission and optional S tronic automatic transmission. The transmission is smooth and is good when cornering. The electronic stability control system is an added advantage, which helps in perfect balance and safety. This system only involves when the car requires more stability and control.
Interior & Exterior
The 2011 Audi A3 has a good reputation for quality and design. The only negative point is difficult to use the optional navigation system and cramped back seats. Most of the reviewers are not happy with rear seats, especially if you are tall. However, the back seats are also comfortable. Audi A3 offers standard leather seats and optional heated front seats with Cold Weather package.
The 2011 Audi A3 has so many features, but the high price tag reduces the advantage. The standard features on Premium model include leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, Sirius Satellite Radio, and 10-speaker audio system. In Premium Plus model, there is eight way power driver seat and Bluetooth. There are optional Dark Brown walnut wood inlays, which cost about $400. There is also Bose premium sound system available in Premium Plus model only. The optional navigational system comes with MMI control, which is difficult to use.
However, the optional features increase the price even more. There is sufficient cargo capacity in Audi A3 with 19.5 cubic feet space and with rear seats folded 39.0 cubic feet. The Audi A3 Premium Plus model comes standard with Storage Package. In which you will get side pockets, floor tie downs, and bag hangers.
Audi A3 gives a sportier look, which makes it more attractive. The exterior styling is attractive and perfect for people looking for upscale small car. There are attractive LED daytime running light, which makes A3 more appealing. There are S line front and rear bumpers, rear roof spoiler and fender badges to make A3 attractive.
Safety & Reliability
The 2011 Audi A3 is the safest car to drive, but 2011 model has not been crash tested. However, there are not many changes in 2011. Audi A3 has received a top score Good in frontal offset, side impact, rear crash protection and roof strength tests. There are many standard safety features in Audi A3 like Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution, Electronic Differential Lock, anti-lock brakes, Hydraulic Brake assists, front airbags, Side guard head curtain airbags for all passengers, and front thorax airbags.
Audi A3 comes with limited vehicle warranty for four years or 50,000 miles. There is twelve years corrosion protection warranty in 2011 Audi A3. The first schedule maintenance is free for 5,000 miles or 12 months.
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