Go

2012 Audi A3

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

2012 Audi A3 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Blurring the line between hatchback and wagon, the 2012 Audi A3 combines utility and excitement in a compact design. Despite its entry-level price point, the 2012 A3 offers a variety of upscale amenities and drivetrain options. Ample cargo capacity and available all-wheel drive make the Audi A3 one of the most versatile cars on the road. For years, hatchback designs were unappealing to most American car buyers. Lately, however, shoppers are beginning to appreciate the flexibility offered by hatchbacks, and the Audi A3's recent sales figures are a prime example of the market shift.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a vehicle that mixes practicality with dynamic handling, the 2012 Audi A3 will fit the bill. While there are several sensible alternatives including the Volkswagen GTI and Lexus CT 200h, the 2012 Audi A3 delivers a unique blend of excitement and refinement its competitors simply cannot match.

You May Not Like This Car If...

At first glance, the 2012 Audi A3's near-$30,000 base price may appear attractive, however, Audi's pricing structure and abundance of options can swiftly inflate the A3's price well into the mid-$30s. If you are simply in the market for a sharp-handling, practical hatchback with a price tag under $25,000, the VW GTI or Mazda3 hatchback are worthy alternatives.

What's New for 2012

After receiving a modest refresh in 2009 and the end of its current lifecycle in sight, the Audi A3 remains virtually unchanged for the 2012 model year.

Driving the A3

Driving Impressions Despite 2012 being in the final year of its current lifecycle, the A3 continues to deliver a desirable balance of comfortable ride and sharp handling. The Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering...

is appropriately communicative, while the 4-wheel independent suspension is both predictable and controlled. Opting for the sport suspension and 18-inch wheels will add an insignificant amount of harshness to the A3's otherwise composed ride. Regardless of your preference for manual shifting, we recommend you experience Audi's S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission before committing to the 6-speed manual. The dual-clutch automatic is more responsive when on the throttle and provides lightning-quick shifts, while (obviously) being more convenient in stop-and-go driving.

QUATTRO ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
The jury is in when it comes to the benefits of all-wheel drive. In virtually any road condition, dividing the engine's output among all four wheels provides a level of control not available when only two wheels are driven. We only regret that Audi's quattro all-wheel drive setup 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 seats up, you'll enjoy comfortable seating for four, along with 19.5 cubic feet of 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.

2012 Audi A3 Details
Interior

Despite its entry-level status, the 2012 Audi A3 features a beautifully crafted interior where high-quality materials abound. The base seats are comfortable and supportive, while the available sport seat's aggressive bolsters keep the driver on lockdown during spirited driving. The 2012 Audi A3's interior is easily adaptable, and with sensible ergonomics and logical placement of controls comes a user-friendly driving experience. Tight rear legroom is expected with any compact hatchback, and the A3 is no exception to that rule. The rear seats feature a 60/40 split design and although they do not fold completely flat, they do allow for reasonable cargo versatility.

Exterior

In 2006, the Audi A3 introduced elegant design to the 4-door hatchback segment. The A3, like every Audi model, possesses Audi's signature Singleframe front grille. However, the A3's overall style is particularly unique, a rarity considering Audi's recent designs. The A3's coupe-esque roofline combined with an aggressive nose projects a sense of forward motion. The available 18" Sport Package supplements the A3's aggressive design with 18-inch 5-spoke wheels wrapped with summer performance tires.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Audi A3 comes generously equipped at its sub-$30,000 base price. Standard equipment for its base – which Audi calls "Premium" – trim includes dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating surfaces, fog lights, and Audi concert radio with SiriusXM Satellite Radio, 140 watts of power and 10 speakers. Functional equipment includes cruise control, remote keyless entry, halogen headlights, and Audi's Sideguard airbag system.

Optional Equipment

Audi's Premium Plus model grade adds xenon headlights, an Aluminum Medial inlay in the doors and center console, Bluetooth mobile phone capability, and a power-adjustable driver's seat. Audi's Titanium Sport package provides a lower, firmer suspension for more precise handling, sport seats for better lateral support and piano black interior trim. Those living – and surviving – in cold climates may desire the Cold Weather package, offering heated seats, mirrors and windshield washer nozzles. Standalone options include Audi's Open Sky panorama sunroof, dark walnut wood inlays, navigation, rear side airbags and roof rails.

Under the Hood

Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is perennially regarded as one of the best drivetrains available in its luxury segment. Producing 200 horsepower at 5,100-6,000 rpm, and 207 lb-ft of torque at between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm, the turbocharged four is as flexible as it is fast. If you want to maximize your efficiency, Audi's direct injected 2.0-liter clean diesel is a compelling argument for the non-hybrid drivetrain, with adequate power, generous torque (236 lb-ft at 1,750-2,500 rpm) and a whopping 42 miles per gallon (EPA highway). We only wish Audi would combine its diesel offering with quattro all-wheel drive.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
21/30 mpg (manual), 22/28 mpg (automatic), 21/28 mpg (automatic, quattro)

2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-4
140 horsepower @ 4200 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/42 mpg

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

Buying this car?

2012 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

Share this page
Advertisement
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

Buying this car?


Advertisement