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2010 Audi A3

Overview
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2010 Audi A3 Review

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The 2010 Audi A3 has succeeded where others before it have failed. Conventional wisdom says Americans don't purchase small premium-luxury hatchbacks, and the lackluster sales of earlier entrants, such as the BMW 318ti and Mercedes-Benz C230 coupe, seem to lend credence to the theory. Yet, despite all odds, Audi's A3 has caught on, offering four-door versatility wrapped in a sleek package that forgoes a trunk in favor of a rear hatchback. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the A3 is priced well below $30,000, offers the choice of gasoline or diesel engines and is fitted with many of Audi's trademark features, such as quattro all-wheel drive and the revolutionary S tronic direct shift gearbox.

You'll Like This Car If...

Hungering for a European sports sedan like an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but can't quite justify the expense? If so, the 2010 Audi A3's taut handling, sophisticated design and hatchback versatility, at a price lower than those worthy machines, could make this car a keeper.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For some reason, American buyers have not traditionally warmed to vehicles with a utilitarian four-door hatchback configuration. And if you are the type who buys vehicles for sheer size and interior room, other models will better satisfy you for the price.

What's New for 2010

For 2010, Audi drops the 3.2-liter V6 engine option, replacing it with an all-new 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel engine. Available only with front drive and automatic transmission, the new A3 TDI is expected to exceed 40 mile per gallon highway. Other changes include the addition of last year's S line exterior equipment on all models, while Premium Plus models now feature standard HID head lamps. New options include wood interior trim, leather and alcantara seats and a revised Titanium Sport Package.

Driving the A3

Driving Impressions Audi engineers have certainly achieved their design objective of creating a hatchback with the feel of a sports car, and while it might seem odd to the uninitiated, the S...

tronic-equipped version is actually sportier than the manual shift model, because the shifts arrive with racing-inspired quickness. The A3's small size, taut suspension and willing FSI engine also make it a blast to drive through curvy stretches, but at the same time, its highway ride quality won't make you regret you didn't opt for a more sedate sedan. The seats offer good support, and the rear-seat area is surprisingly spacious, but some folks might be disappointed by the size of the rear cargo area. The dash is one of the most clear to understand we've ever encountered and the switches and controls are intuitive.

S tronic direct shift gearbox (DSG)
Inspired by auto racing technology, the S tronic transmission facilitates lightning-fast gear changes thanks to its electro-hydraulically controlled twin-clutch design. Automatic shifts through the six gears are so quick and well-timed that even the most skilled driver might wonder why she or he should shift manually. The S tronic is so efficient that it delivers better EPA fuel economy numbers than does the manual gearbox.

Rear Side Impact Airbags
Available as optional equipment, these additional airbags add another layer of safety for rear seat occupants.

2010 Audi A3 Details
Interior

When it comes to the interior treatment, the 2010 Audi A3 demonstrates it truly is a "premium" compact. The overall design is decidedly upscale, and the aluminum-surrounded round front air vents are among several touches that echo the stylish Audi TT. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has a satisfying heft, while the gauges housed in a simple binnacle are easy to scan. Aluminum rotary knobs on the automatic climate control system and several other aluminum pieces give the interior an aeronautical feel. Rear-seat passengers are treated to better accommodations than one might expect in a compact car, and the folding rear seatback features a pass-through for carrying longer items. Wheelwells intrude a bit into the rear cargo area, but it is exceptionally well-finished, with a cargo net to secure loose items.

Exterior
2010 Audi A3 photo

The 2010 Audi A3's droop-nose grille treatment gives it a strong family resemblance to its larger Audi brethren, the A8, A6 and A4. With wheels thrust out to the corners and a tapered tail, the A3 has a purposeful, sporty look, emphasized by new wheels and tires that fill the wheelwells. The sloping rear window adds to the aggressive appearance, but the trade-off is less interior cargo space. The rear hatch opens easily but seems relatively narrow, and justifiably so, since this is, after all, a small car. Clear-glass headlamp covers and available xenon headlamps give the A3 an exclusive demeanor.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The declared objective of the A3 was to offer the same high levels of standard equipment found in larger premium automobiles, so this vehicle doesn't skimp. Standard items include dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter and sun sensor, leather seating, 140-watt stereo with 10 speakers and SIRIUS Satellite Radio 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, Hill hold assist, power windows and central locking with remote. Safety features such as the electronic stability program (ESP), front seats with active head restraints, remote keyless locking, front and side airbags for driver and front passenger and the Sideguard airbag system are all standard on the A3.

Optional Equipment

The A3 option list includes a Cold Weather Package featuring heated seats, mirrors and windshield washer nozzles; a Sport Package adds sport seats, sport suspension and 18-inch wheels and the Titanium Sport Package adds leather and alcantara seats, piano black inlays and headliner, black grille surround and unique seven-spoke 18-inch wheels. Stand-alone options include rear side-impact airbags, aluminum roof rails, walnut wood inlay, DVD navigation and the Open Sky power moonroof.

Under the Hood

Audi's FSI direct-injection gasoline engine with turbocharger powers the A3 2.0T. It can be fitted with a conventional six-speed manual transmission or the optional S tronic direct shift automatic and with front or quattro all-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter engine is remarkably tractable, with nearly none of the turbo lag that afflicts some other turbocharged engines. The 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel doesn't have as much horsepower, but its significantly greater torque makes it almost as quick as its gasoline cousin while delivering superior fuel economy. Too bad Audi doesn't offer quattro with the TDI, but with traction and stability control, the front drive TDI should still perform admirably in all weather conditions.

2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (manual), 22/28 (automatic), 21/28 (quattro)

2.0-liter in-line 4 turbodiesel
140 horsepower @ 4200 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750-2500
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/42

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2010 Audi A3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 134 Ratings for the 2006 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Best car I've ever owned

By on Thursday, May 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Just plain high quality."

Cons: "You pay for quality."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have the tdi. Maintenance costs are moderate to high, but the tightness of the transmission, the completely thought through components and system integration make it a delight to drive. The S-line transmission make country driving more fun, and stuck in traffic it is quiet and smooth. It was about $7or 8K more than the Jetta hatchback, but worth it because the finishes, components, electronics, etc. are more durable. I've had it almost 2 years now and nothing has broken, fallen off, or worn down. Finish is still as new. The power of the diesel engine is gratifying. It has the power to zoom out of a tight situation while going 80."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best Car Ever

By on Monday, May 12, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Crashed it

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome"

Cons: "Maintenance cost."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the best car I have ever owned. It handles amazing and gets great milage. It stores a ton of stuff and people and still looks cool."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

love the way it drives.

By on Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I owned the car for three years now. It's fun to drive. I owned a 2.8 before and having the 2.0t is the best set up audi designed. Go and test drive one for yourself I know you will love it!!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great all-around car!!

By on Sunday, March 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great handling, lots of cargo space"

Cons: "A bit more expensive than competition"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I thought all cars were compromises, but this car does it all!! This is a fantastic city car with a very small turning radius, yet the 4-door hatchback fits five passengers plus tons of stuff. The 2.0 Turbo engine is a lot of fun, particularly when paired with the 6-speed manual transmission. The engine produces way more power than necessary to get this car moving faster than you might realize, and the handling on the highway as well as winding mountain roads is superb, as you would expect from a German make. This is also a great winter car; I have driven the Audi through 10 inches of fresh snow and seen a Range Rover (perhaps with summer tires?) struggle to climb an icy road that this car conquered with ease. Overall, I could not be happier with a car!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Loved the drive over the 8.5 years I've had car

By on Friday, February 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, safety in small pkg"

Cons: "premium gas, expensive tires, clip breaks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I will miss this car when I trade it in, but the paint oxidation and broken visor clip for the 4th time and the repair bills are just adding up. It has been fun to drive and I enjoyed the convenience of the hatchback, my dogs have loved it too."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I will be sad to have to trade it in....

By on Friday, January 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my A3 TDI new in 2010. Handles great, great mileage, looks great. The cold weather package is a must in cold climate and works like a charm. Now for the negative: I had the battery give out on me just recently but it was covered in the 4 year warranty. Also had the waterpump replaced as I was losing coolant. Tires do wear out quickly, I have to replace mine at 25K. I do not think that this is Audi's fault, the conti procontacts that are on it just do not have a long life. Despite the few issues above, I love the car. It worked well for us and was our "go to" car (our other car is a Jeep) until the second baby came along, now it is just too small. I am looking to buy another Audi but I will be very sad to have to give up this one. As of note, Audi has a great customer service, so any troubles I ever had were handled in a completely satisfactory way."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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