By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/14/2012
Somewhere between small wagon and sporty hatchback is the 2013 Audi A3. While its $28,000 starting price doesn't exactly feel entry-level (it can go as high as $40,000 with all the option boxes checked), the A3 isn't supposed to compete with the VW Golf or Subaru Impreza. It's a genuine Audi through and through, filled with luxury features and high-end engineering every bit as real as that found on more expensive Audi models. From its quattro all-wheel drive to its available diesel engine, the A3 is like no compact on the market. Hatchbacks may still struggle to make inroads in America, especially with older buyers, but if there is one car that can change hearts and minds on the subject, it is the 2013 Audi A3.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're seeking a compact wagon with the virtues of all-wheel drive or superior fuel-efficiency, there are a number of choices. But, if you want one that also delivers dynamic handling, upscale refinement and an enviable pedigree, the 2013 Audi A3 tops a very short list.You May Not Like This Car If...
The 2013 A3's $28,000 entry price may seem reasonable, but Audi's pricing structure and abundance of options can swiftly inflate an A3 into the $40,000 range. If you crave a sharp-handling, practical hatchback with a price tag closer to $25,000, the VW GTI or Mazda3 hatchbacks are worthy alternatives.What's New for 2013
There are no major changes to the 2013 Audi A3.Driving It Driving Impressions
Despite 2013 likely being the final year of its current lifecycle, Audi's 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 not available with the 6-speed manual transmission or the diesel engine.
The 2013 Audi 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. With the rear seats folded, travel options (for two) are unlimited, providing secure, accommodating storage for any number of activity-oriented pursuits.