The next A3, to be launched in 2012, will make a leap forward. The 2012 Audi A3 ranks 2 out of 9 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 107 published reviews and test drives of the Audi A3, and our analysis of reliability and safety data. It is based on VW’s new “Modularer Querbaukasten” (MQB) architecture, meaning “modular transverse matrix.” As the name suggests, it’s the Volkswagen Group’s new modular transverse-engine platform, which is slightly longer and wider than the current A3 platform and designed to take further cost out of the many variations offered by Volkswagen and its Audi, SEAT, and Škoda subsidiaries.
At the end of the day the A3 is a luxury car, and when it comes to luxury you usually have to pay extra for features. That said, the A3 comes reasonably well-equipped for its segment but if you want some niceties be prepared to pay for them said Thecarconnection.
The good news is that even in base ‘Premium’ trim you get 17-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, sportier S line body trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery on the seats, a 10-speaker (yes, 10 speakers!) stereo, and dual zone climate control.
Pay a little more for the ‘Premium Plus’ and you get Audi’s funky LED detailed headlamps with bright xenon bulbs. You also get an ambient lighting package for the cabin, controls for the audio volume, Bluetooth phone and audio seek functions on the steering wheel, and a powered driver’s seat.
The downside is that several tech features that are increasingly included as standard on much more affordable cars—like a Bluetooth hands-free interface—remain optional on the A3. Bluetooth is offered as part of a $600 Bluetooth Value Package (that doesn’t seem like value to us) on the base A3, though as mentioned above it’s included as standard in Premium Plus models. But otherwise the options list is very long, including a Sport Package that’s more than appearance (it also includes a sport suspension) and an open-sky sunroof. But on top Premium Plus models, you can quickly load the A3 up past the $40k mark.
The 2012 Audi A3 is available with either a gasoline (2.0T) or a diesel (TDI) engine. The A3 2.0T is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, as is a six-speed manual transmission, but a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission (known as S tronic) is available. With all-wheel drive, S tronic is standard said Edmunds.
In performance testing, an A3 2.0T with the six-speed manual went from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds — a reasonably quick time among similarly powered entry-level luxury cars. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the manual, and 22/28/24 with S tronic. Adding all-wheel drive drops mileage by only 1 mpg in the city.
The A3 TDI features a 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder that produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. S tronic is standard, but all-wheel drive is not offered. Audi estimates a 0-60 time of 8.9 seconds, which is on the slow side, but fuel economy is exceptional, with estimates of 30/42/34.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not tested the 2012 Audi A3 yet, it does well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. It earned the top score of “good” in front, side, rear and roof strength tests, which make the 2012 Audi A3 an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
On Rankingsandreviews, The 2012 A3′s standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-pressure distribution, electronic differential lock and hydraulic brake assist. The Audi A3 also has pinch-protection for all four windows, a feature that prevents small fingers from getting caught in power windows. Rear side airbags are optional.
Gallery 2012 Audi A3
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