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2011 Audi A3

Overview
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2011 Audi A3 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.1

For those that - in the '80s and '90s - embraced VW's GTI, but now regard it as too sophomoric for their current, more senior status, the Audi A3 might satisfy. With its compelling combination of a 4-door hatch's sport and utility, polished exterior, refined interior and available all-wheel drive, Audi's A3 constitutes a car for all seasons. And with two stellar powerplants - a 2.0-liter turbocharged four or 2.0-liter turbo diesel, you can go quickly with economy (gas), or go economically with the urge of over 230 pound-feet of torque (diesel). At its 2006 introduction its success wasn't a given; now in its sixth model year it seems to have gained the affection of both the enthusiast and the marketplace.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you enjoy the comfort and composure typical of a European sport sedan, but also demand some degree of versatility, the A3 is hard to fault. And while VW's GTI rides on the same platform - and has a similar level of detailing inside - the Audi delivers a level of maturity its corporate sibling can't match.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although its under-$30,000 base price might be seductive, Audi's pricing structure can quickly elevate the A3 into the mid-$30s. In short, shopping the A3 isn't for the financially faint of heart. And if you're one of the millions genetically averse to the concept of owning a hatchback, you're probably no longer reading this, anyway.

What's New for 2011

With the introduction of the 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel for 2010 (and elimination of the V6 option), changes in 2011 are largely cosmetic. New chrome trim, a couple of new wheel designs (including a new 5-spoke alloy for the Titanium Sport package), and two new blues: Scuba and Deep Sea.

Driving the A3

Driving Impressions Despite its age, the A3 continues to achieve a desirable balance of comfortable ride and composed handling. The Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering is appropriately communicative, while the all-independent suspension is...

both compliant and controlled. Opting for the sport suspension and 18-inch rims will compromise the ride/handling balance slightly, but in no iteration of the A3 does a "boy racer" element override the feel of near luxury. And regardless of your preference for manual shifting, experience Audi's S tronic dual clutch option before committing to the 6-speed stick. It's more responsive when on the throttle, while (obviously) more convenient in stop-and-go operation.
Favorite Features

quattro All-wheel Drive
Forget the snowbelt/sunbelt debate over the benefits of all-wheel drive. In virtually any road condition, dividing the engine's output among all four wheels provides a level of security not available when only two wheels are driven. We only regret that Audi's quattro is no longer available in the U.S. market with the 6-speed manual transmission.

Hatchback Versatility
The A3's 5-door configuration almost exponentially expands the utility of the A3 platform. With the rear seat up you'll enjoy comfortable seating for four, along with adequate luggage space for overnight travel. When folded, the travel options (for two) are unlimited, providing secure, accommodating storage for any number of activity-oriented pursuits.

2011 Audi A3 Details
2011 Audi A3 photo Interior

Audi has, for well over a decade, provided the benchmark for interior design and detail. And despite its entry-level (for Audi) price point, the A3 fully upholds that tradition. Elements of the Audi TT can be seen in the A3's instrument panel, both variants of the steering wheel (Premium and Premium Plus) are appropriately tactile, and alloy accents are sprinkled strategically throughout the cockpit. With four doors, rear seat passengers enjoy easy access and, once seated, a reasonable amount of room. If you're carrying cargo rather than people, the rear seats fold (60/40), and come equipped with a pass-through for carrying longer items. All materials impart a quality feel, while the car's suspension provides a quality ride.

Exterior
2011 Audi A3 photo

With its relatively small greenhouse, were the A3 a more conventional sedan you might think of it as a 4-door coupe. As a hatch, you can consider it the less-practical offshoot of VW's GTI, or the far less practical cousin of Audi's Q5. But with a trim exterior, wheels pushed to the corners of the car, tires that fill the wheelwells and an almost fastback profile to the rear hatch, what the Audi gives up in overall interior volume is compensated by an elevated level of high style. Its grille provides the face of Audi, and the overall impression is solidly European.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

At its under-$30,000 price point Audi's A3 is comprehensively equipped. Standard equipment for its Premium trim includes dual-zone automatic climate contro, leather seating surfaces and Audi concert radio with Sirius Satellite Radio, 140 watts of power and 10 speakers. Functional enhancements include cruise control, remote keyless entry, halogen headlights and the Sideguard airbag system.

Optional Equipment

Audi's Premium Plus trim level adds xenon headlights, an Aluminum Medial inlay in the doors and center console, Bluetooth mobile phone prep and a power driver's seat. Audi's Sport package provides a lower, firmer suspension for more precise handling, sport seats for better lateral support and 225/40-18 rubber for improved grip. Those living - and surviving - in cold climates may opt for the Cold Weather package, offering heated seats, mirrors and windshield washer nozzles. Individual options include Audi's Open Sky panorama sunroof, walnut wood inlays, navigation, rear side airbags and aluminum roof rails.

Under the Hood

Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged four, with Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI), is perennially regarded as one of the best drivetrains available in its near luxury category. Producing 200 horsepower at 5,100 - 6,000 rpm, and 207 pound-feet of torque at between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm, the turbocharged four is as flexible as it is fast. If you wish to maximize your efficiency, Audi's 2.0-liter clean diesel is a compelling argument for the non-hybrid drivetrain, with adequate power, generous torque (236 pound-feet at 1,750 - 2,500 rpm) and an amazing 42 miles per gallon (EPA highway). We only wish Audi would combine its diesel offering with quattro all-wheel drive.

2.0-liter DOHC in-line 4 turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100 - 6000 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800 - 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
21/30 (manual), 22/28 (S tronic), 21/28 (S Tronic quattro)

2.0-liter DOHC inline 4 turbodiesel
140 horsepower @ 4200 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750 - 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/42 (S tronic FWD)

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2011 Audi A3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 132 Ratings for the 2006 - 2012 models.

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

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!!!"

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!"

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."

Great Car

By on Friday, December 13, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fuel economy, gas mileage, turbo, fun to drive"

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

"We love our Audi A3... It has so many modern conveniences while still being efficient. Tremendous gas mileage, room for friends, room for golf clubs/groceries. Plenty of get-up-and-go with the turbo engine. Just a very smartly engineered vehicle that is perfect daily commutes and road-trips."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love My Little A3

By on Saturday, November 02, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,250

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fuel economy, fun to drive, great styling"

Cons: "Sometimes feels too small"

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

"I've owned my Audi A3 (Premium Plus) since 2010. It was love at first sight. The exterior styling is sporty with a touch of economy. The torque of the turbo diesel make it accelerate like a sports car. The fuel mileage makes driving anything else seem wasteful. The tight handling make me look for roads with curves. The interior is all Audi. Very nicely done. The only complain might be that it's bit noisy on rough roads. The suspension is tight, so those rough roads cause me to apologize to my passengers. But, I love the feel of the road. I've got 75K mile on her now and looking forward to rolling over a couple hundred thousand more. - R"

1 person out of 1 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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