$25,340 – $33,980 MSRP
$23,404 – $31,561 Invoice
21 / 27 MPG City/Hwy
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As with other Audi models, the A3 is now available in S-line trim, which is a performance package that adds more aggressive tires, a sport-tuned suspension, and sportier trim pieces inside and out. The S-line is optional on 4-cylinder A3 2.0T and standard on 6-cylinder A3 3.2 models.
First introduced in 2006, the A3 is Audi's first foray into the American small-car market in many years. Though based on the same "A" platform as the Volkswagen Rabbit, GTI, and Jetta, the A3 has a unique shape thanks to its wagon-like 5-door hatchback body. Inside, the A3 is similar to other Audis, with a low-glitz, driver-oriented dashboard and red-illuminated gauges. Audi offers two versions of the A3. The 2.0T is powered by a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine with FSI direct fuel injection and a turbocharger. It drives the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed S tronic transmission. The 2.0 is notable for its low-end torque: peak pulling power of 207 lb.-ft. is available from 1,800 up to 5,000 rpm. The A3 3.2 uses a narrow-angle, 3.2-liter V-6 with 250 hp and 237 lb.-ft. of torque, available exclusively with S tronic and quattro all-wheel-drive hardware.
The S tronic is Audi's version of VW's Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). Essentially a pair of 3-speed manual transmissions with a fully automated clutch, S tronic offers the convenience of an automatic with near-instant up and downshifts. Drivers can shift the transmission manually (without a clutch pedal) via the gear lever or steering-wheel mounted paddles. The transmission also has two automatic modes-normal and sport. Because the S tronic uses a mechanical clutch in place of a fluid coupeing (such as the torque converter in a traditional automatic), and because it can shift in a fraction of a second, S tronic cars actually accelerate quicker than manual-transmission cars with no appreciable fuel-economy penalty.
As with other Audis, the A3 boasts a full line of standard safety equipment, including front-seat-mounted side air bags, two-row side curtain air bags, and electronic stability control (Audi calls it ESP). The 3.2 model offers optional seat-mounted torso air bags for the rear-seat passengers.
The Audi A3 competes in the Compact Premium Conventional segment, which consists of 15 models. Buyers in this segment look for performance, exterior styling, and quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the BMW 3 Series (120,180 units sold), Acura TL (71,348), and Infiniti G35 (60,741). The Audi A3 sold 8,040 units in 2006, an increase of 49.2 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact Premium Conventional segment include the Cadillac CTS, Lexus IS Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, and Acura TSX. Joining the segment in 2007 is the Lincoln MKZ.
|2.0T Sportback (M6)||6 speed manual||$25,340||200-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl||23/32|
|3.2 (S-tronic)||6 speed automatic with auto-shift||$33,980||250-hp / 3.2L 6-cyl||21/27|
$29,305–$31,175 Base MSRP
18/26 MPG City/Hwy
$28,090–$30,090 Base MSRP
22/30 MPG City/Hwy
$29,925–$36,385 Base MSRP
17/26 MPG City/Hwy
$51,425–$51,425 Base MSRP
15/24 MPG City/Hwy