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2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Update 1: A3 1.8T

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/5/2015 Motor Trend Staff, Christian Seabaugh

When most cars join the MT garage fleet, they have little to no miles on them, necessitating what can be an onerous break-in procedure. Take our 2015 Subaru WRX STI, for instance. Breaking that blue beast in required keeping the engine under 4,000 rpm for the first 1,000 miles while avoiding constant engine speeds. Our old 2013 Nissan GT-R: No revving the engine over 3,500 rpm or quick steering or abrupt braking for the first 300 miles, no rapid acceleration in first through third gears under 600 miles, and after that, drive with the engine speed kept near the redline until you hit 1,200 miles on the clock.

My new 2015 Audi A3 1.8T had no such issues.

Aside from the fact that it showed up to our office with nearly 8,000 miles on the odometer, breaking in the A3 would have called for little more than avoiding wide-open throttle and the upper third of the little 1.8-liter's powerband for the first 600 miles and then gradually increasing the engine speed until 1,000 miles tick by. Easy.

Audi A3 prices, photos, and reviews

2015 Audi A3© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Audi A3 Seeing as our new (well, pre-used) Audi arrived broken in, I took it out for our weekly test day. The A3's 1.8-liter, turbocharged I-4, which is shared with vehicles such as the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, and Passat, makes 170 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the related V-Dubs, the A3's mill is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The pairing is good for a 7.1-second run to 60 mph and a 15.5-second quarter mile with an 89.2 mpg trap speed. The 60-0-ft stop takes 112 feet. The last A3 1.8T we tested was a bit quicker, hitting 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, completing the quarter mile in 15.4 seconds at 89.4 mph, and completing the 60-0 braking test in 106 feet. The 30-pound weight difference between the two cars (my long-termer is the heavier one) might account for the difference, but I suspect the stock Continental SportContact 2 tires are to blame.

2015-Audi-A3-18T-front-three-quarter-in-motion-03.jpg 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Update 1: A3 1.8T

Although our A3 was a bit slower than the last one we tested in straight-line performance, it matched the other A3's handling prowess, lapping the figure eight in 26.7 seconds at 0.67g average and averaging 0.88 g on the skidpad.

2015 Audi A3© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Audi A3 Soon after test day, I handed off the A3's keys to our Emissions Analytics squad for Real MPG numbers. The A3 performed rather well. EPA-rated at 23/33/27 mpg city/highway/combined, the Audi achieved 24.4/35.6/28.5 Real MPG. That's a 6 percent improvement on city and combined cycles and an 8 percent improvement on the highway.

Outside the test track, I'm still getting to know my A3. So far I love the quality and quietness of its interior and its baby-soft leather and really nice-feeling switchgear — I've even so far managed to avoid being annoyed by the 3 million blank buttons on the center stack. My only annoyance to date is the lack of an extendable sun visor, as it doesn't do enough for tall drivers when fighting off sunshine from the left side of the car.

More on our long-term 2015 Audi A3 here:


2015 Audi A3 1.8T
BASE PRICE$30,795
PRICE AS TESTED$36,645
VEHICLE LAYOUTFront-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE1.8L/170-hp/200-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION6-speed twin-clutch auto.
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)3,138 lb (60/40%)
WHEELBASE103.8 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT175.4 x 77.2 x 55.7 in
0-60 MPH7.1 sec
QUARTER MILE15.5 sec @ 89.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH112 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION0.88 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT26.7 sec @ 0.67 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON23/33/27 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY147/102 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB0.73 lb/mile

2015 Audi A3© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Audi A3
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