2015 Audi A3

What's new for 2015? The Audi A3 has been fully redesigned for 2015, with a four-door sedan body style that replaces the old hatchback. A new two-door convertible A3 also joins the lineup midway through the model year.

Is a size 6 Manolo Blahnik inferior to a size 9? Is a caramel mocha latte any less tasty because you opted for tall rather than venti? The answer is no, and it goes to show that size isn't always an indication of an object's excellence.

In the past, cars have certainly not followed this model. Bigger was better, small was cheap and undesirable. Today, however, the 2015 Audi A3 is the best example of a new, smaller and more fuel-efficient premium car that provides a similar level of quality, equipment and driving experience to its bigger, more elite siblings. A commensurately lower price also puts luxury brands like Audi within reach of newer and/or younger car shoppers.

Although there was a previous-generation A3, its hatchback body style and overall design gave the impression of a really nice compact car done up in leather and fancy gadgets rather than that of an authentically luxurious machine worthy of a higher asking price. The all-new 2015 A3, by comparison, aligns more closely with the American definition of a luxury car. Basically, the A3 sedan looks and feels like an A4 or A6 that got left in the dryer on high heat. The same is true of the A3 convertible and its mini-me relationship to the Audi A5 convertible. Much like the A5, the A3 goes with a fabric soft top instead of a folding metal roof. In the end, though, the A3 offers the most luxury-branded equipment, refinement and prestige for the least amount of money. It goes to show there's certainly no shame in getting the small one.

Exterior Highlights
Four-door compact sedan or two-door convertible, available in Premium trim level which can be enhanced with the Premium Plus or Prestige option packages

The 2015 Audi A3 comes either as a four-door compact sedan with seating for five or a two-door convertible called the Cabriolet, with seating for four. There is one main trim level, Premium, which can be enhanced with the Premium Plus and Prestige option packages. Both the sedan and convertible can be equipped with either four-cylinder engine, denoted by 1.8 TFSI or 2.0 TFSI. The sedan also gets the option of the 2.0 TDI (diesel) engine. Trim levels for the sedan and convertible have essentially the same equipment, with the exception of the convertible's folding fabric top.

The base Premium trim levels comes standard with 17-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, automatic wipers, cruise control, a sunroof, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the MMI electronics interface (with center console controls and dash-top rising screen) and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite and HD radio, and an SD card slot. The Cold Weather package adds heated front seats, side mirrors and windshield washer nozzles. Eighteen-inch wheels and an iPod interface are available separately.

The Premium Plus includes all those optional items as standard and adds keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone climate control and an eight-way power passenger seat (with four-way power lumbar). The Premium Plus Convenience package adds power-folding side mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors (including interior) and ambient interior lighting. Also for Premium Plus is the Driver Assistance package that adds a blind-spot monitoring system, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors and an automated parking system.

Optional on both Premium trims is a navigation system, which also includes a larger display screen, an enhanced touch-activated controller, voice controls and a color trip computer display. The Premium version automatically includes the iPod interface, while the Premium Plus version gets Audi connect (WiFi hotspot, various Internet-based smartphone applications).

The Prestige includes all of the above optional equipment, plus LED headlights, an "S line" exterior appearance package and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. The Advance Technology package adds adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system and a front collision warning and braking system.

For Premium and Prestige A3s, a Sport package is available that adds front sport seats, steering wheel shift paddles and adjustable vehicle settings known as Drive Select. A3 sedans can also be equipped with rear side airbags.

Simplistic beauty, top-notch materials, intricate details, MMI display, jet-engine inspired air vents, finely crafted switchgear

While the 2015 A3's exterior closely resembles that of other Audis, the interior establishes a new course and leaves a more lasting impression. Though some may prefer flashier cabins adorned in swaths of wood or metal, the ultra-modern A3 is beautiful in its simplicity. Yet when you look deeper beyond its broader, minimalist look, you begin to appreciate its top-notch materials and intricate details like its ornate, jet-engine-inspired air vents, finely crafted switchgear and the fluid action of the MMI display as it rises from and lowers back into the dash.

Every A3 includes that screen, but its display size depends on whether you opt for navigation. So, too, does the rotary controller. Without nav, it's just a knob. With it, there is a pad on top that allows you to write letters with your finger when entering a destination. It's cool and it works.

Every 2015 Audi A3 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front knee airbags, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and automatic seatbelt tightening and window closing (Audi Pre-Sense) in the case of a potential frontal collision. Rear side airbags are optional for sedans.

© Copyright | DealerActive  |  Dealers  | Terms