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2011 Audi A3

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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.

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
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 142 Ratings for the 2006 - 2012 models.

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

2007 Audi A3 2.0t FSI 6 SPD FWD Review.

By on Sunday, December 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 121,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun, truelhy quick, great design, good build"

Cons: "frequency and cost of repairs, handling in rain/sn"

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

"I am an owner of a 2007 Audi A3 2.0t FSI FWD 6 SPD. I feel like other people in this fed are not reviewing the right car. I absolutely love/hate my A3. My A3 was only serviced at the dealership up until 84,000miles in May of 2012. At which time it had some major repairs. These cars/engines have known problems with the piston rings. By this time the car had had a complete engine rebuild. Pistons, turbo, o2 sensor, other sensors, timing belt(by choice, cam followers, other parts the dealer wasn't clear about or was confused themselves, turbo. Im sure im leaving something out. Since then I found an amazing Audi,VW,VOLVO mechanic. We have replaced both back wheel bearings twice and the driver side again a third time. This car uses the VW bearings instead of an Audi one like moth other Audis. We have replaced dust caps and ever other part that could be causing the wheel bearings to go out. Audi has issued new torque specs foe the bearings. I have replaced the front axels. Only go with the updated AUDI part. All after market Cv kits or axels didn't leave the car feeling its best. The car gets somewhere around 21-25 mpg I have no idea what that guy is talking about his modified A3 gets 40mpg? Don't believe that. The car is a blast to drive and has a good sized interior for a small wagon. The armrest is in a horrible place and scratches the paint off of the e brake over time. You will want to buy good brake san dif any upgrades come , brakes rotor and suspension are what would ad the cheapest and quickest fun upgrade. Most engine upgrades are price$$$$ and require too much attention for my taste. Exhaust is fun but I engine the stock sound. This little car purrs. It suffers from a little torque steer and the fwd front engine do make it a little front heavy in corners. Upgrade those springs and struts! Over all really fun car. You should have somewhat deep pockets. and expect repairs before 100,000. You must be good about oil changes and general upkeep like most german makes. Oh yeah.. coil packs! Those will be giving you trouble. No brand really does better. I run Bosch at the moment and the car seems to kill batteries every few years with no diagnosable power drain. I use interstate batteries best quality battery. Despite the problems and down time I love my Audi. Power to weight this thing moves and is a blast to drive in the mountains where I live."

Great Sport Wagon

By on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fuel Economy, quality, fun to drive"

Cons: "small"

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

"We have had this car for approx 3 years and have had zero problems. The TDI is a great platform and the mileage is great on it. Its smooth, powerful and handles great. Of course the back seat is small but the hatch area in the back is plenty roomy for carrying cargo."

problems---

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "nice car but...."

Cons: "major issues were under warranty except alignment"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Under warranty the following were replaced/repaired (bought car new 2011) 1. Blower motor fan for ac/heat 2. Turbo, car is a TDI 3. Alignment at 5000 miles--uneven tire wear after warranty 1. replaced ignition switch---twice!"

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

You want this car

By on Friday, July 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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: "Excellent to drive, high quality, powerful."

Cons: "No USB power."

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

"I've had this car since Fall 2012. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong with it. No little electronic problem, no chipping of a vent, no deterioration of the finishes. It looks and drives brand new after over 2 1/2 years. That said, it is a very intelligent car. Carefully study the programming, particularly the tire pressure setting process, is important. It it a delight to drive, especially down winding country roads using the S drive (manual) capability, though I usually use the auto around town. It is comfortable for long distances, easy to get around in in the city and gas milage is generally around 40 MPG. The torque of the TDI engine makes getting out of tight road conditions and passing always a surprise at the power. Maintenance is not that bad if you can find a good garage with mechanics trained and certified in Audi and VW auto mechanics. The dealership is 2x as expensive. It was expensive, but a good value between quality and cost. The TDI Jetta was cheaper but it was also lower quality."

5 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Very well put together and no problems

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, great fuel economy"

Cons: "cost a bit more than other smallish wagons"

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

"I've had this car since new and have put quite a few miles on it. It's fun to drive and gets good fuel economy, avg of 40 - 42 typically. It handles very well as evidenced by the poor kid in the Mustang who tried to keep up driving the back roads of WV. I've since chipped the engine & transmission, upsized the anti sway bars, put an S3 intercooler on and installed larger diameter rotors. Still gets >40mpg if I keep my foot out of it but now has closer to 165hp and 340 ft/pds of torque."

8 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Terrible gearing, terrible gas mileage, designed l

By on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice package, wife wanted a compact,nice car"

Cons: "Worst gearing design on a car in last 25 years!"

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

"10 mph in first gear, 2650 Rpm at hiway speed, worst car design I've ever seen. Love our A4, which has less power but lower rpm at speed, thus the A4 gets way better mileage. We will not buy another Audi due to experience with this one!"

18 people out of 50 found this review helpful

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