U.S. News Best Cars named the 2015 Audi A3 the Best Upscale Car for the Money. The criteria used for the awards involve a scoring system that combines value and quality data. The average price paid for the vehicle and five-year total costs of ownership are used to determine value. The quality score is taken from the U.S. News car rankings that are the most current at the time the awards are announced. The number of positive reviews also affects the quality score.
With a base price of $29,900, the A3 sedan begins Audi’s A3 lineup. Its key features include leather seats, 12-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, dual-zone climate control, a sunroof, LED daytime running lights, automatic xenon plus headlights and LED taillights. It also features rear split folding seatbacks. Individuals who like to listen to music as they drive will appreciate the 10-speaker audio system that includes satellite and HD radio as well as Bluetooth.
Overall, the redesigned A3’s interior is made from some of the best materials in its class and its layout is impressively user-friendly. Seating capacity on the sedan is five. The vehicle is also available as a convertible. However, the seating capacity is reduced to four on convertible models.
A 12-way power seat on the passenger side is optional as is heated front seats on both the driver’s and passenger’s sides. Other options for the vehicle’s interior include lane departure warning, forward collision warning, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, proximity key and push-button start. Other available features include Audi Connect, a navigation system that utilizes Google Maps and 4G LTE connectivity. Buyers who want an upgrade from the standard 10-speaker audio system can choose a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen system that includes iPod integration.
The 2015 Audi A3 comes equipped with a standard 170-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that, according to reviews, produces more than adequate power for acceleration. According to EPA fuel economy ratings, drivers can expect 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Buyers can upgrade to an all-wheel-drive version that includes a 2.0-liter engine producing 220-horsepower and gets 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg highway. The base model is reported to have responsive steering, agile handling and a smooth ride, while the all-wheel-drive version provides additional grip on the pavement for even better handling. All A3s come with a six-speed automated manual transmission that shifts seamlessly.
Drivers who long for even more power than what is available on the basic A3 sedan can opt for either the high-performance Prestige or Premium Plus model with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that has an output of 292 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel drive is standard on both of these models. Acceleration from zero to 60 is 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph. Estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. List price for both models begins at $41,100.
Safety features for the 2015 Audi A3 include driver’s and passenger’s side air bags, side head and regular side airbags and rear air bags for the head and body. Turn-signal mirrors and blind spot monitors are present to aid drivers in making turns or changing lanes. Four-wheel disc brakes are part of the anti-lock braking system which includes brake assist. Additional safety features include electronic stability control, child safety locks, a tire pressure monitoring system and auto-leveling headlights. These vehicles come with a 4-year/50,000 mile limited warranty.