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2015 Audi A3/S3

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/9/2014 Erick Ayapana

Vehicle Overview

The 2015 Audi A3 and S3 is an all-new model and ditches its predecessor's hatchback body style for a traditional sedan. Despite the slight loss in cargo area and practicality, Audi predicts the sedan will resonate with more American consumers and should help boost sales of the entry-level luxury compact that enters a tougher segment thanks to new players such as the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 and CLA45 AMG. That said, the upcoming A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid will arrive in hatchback form.

Offered with an extensive choice of powertrains, the 2015 should appeal to a wide range of customers from the budge-minded to the performance seekers. The base model, front-drive A3 is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4 that makes 170 hp, while those wanting all-wheel drive will have to step up to the 220-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four. Both engines are mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The upcoming high-performance S3, also powered by a turbocharged inline-four, will make an estimated 295 hp and a new diesel engine is on the way, too, as well as the aforementioned plug-in hybrid.

The A3 is sold in thee trim levels starting with the Premium model, which comes standard with leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, xenon lights, and split folding rear seats. The 2015 A3 Premium plus adds aluminum accents, an advanced key system, dual climate control, heated front seats, and 18-inch rims. Finally, the top-of-the-line Prestige gets full LED headlights, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, navigation, and an S line appearance package.

New for 2015

The 2015 Audi A3 and S3 is an all-new model that slots below the A4 sedan. Offered with a number of four-cylinder engines, the 2015 A3 arrives on the heels of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and other compact luxury sedans such as the Acura ILX.

UPDATE: Audi has also added a convertible variant called the A3 Cabriolet, which has seating for four. Two turbocharged I-4s are available, the 170-hp 1.8-liter and 220-hp 2.0-liter. All-wheel drive is only available with the 2.0-liter; the 1.8-liter is only offered in front-wheel drive. The car’s power-retractable soft top can be opened and closed at speeds of up to 31 mph. Fuel economy is respectable for the class at 24/35 mpg city/highway for the 1.8-liter and 24/32 mpg for the 2.0-liter.Competitors include the upcoming 2016 Buick Cascada as well as the BMW 2 Series Convertible.

You'll Like

  • Standard leather seats and panoramic sunroof
  • Improved infotainment system
  • Available Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity

You Won't Like

  • Conservative exterior styling
  • Hatch only offered on hybrid model
  • Thirstier than the CLA250

Key Competitors

  • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  • Acura ILX
  • Buick Verano
  • Lexus CT 200h

Sum Up

4 star Audi's smallest offering gets big upgrades.

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