[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you have always wanted to own an Audi, but found them just a little too pricey, then the all-new 2015 Audi A3 Sedan just may be the ticket for you. It’s compact, sporty, fun to drive and comes with a price tag that won’t leave your bank account empty.
The A3 is easily recognizable as an Audi with its signature Singleframe grille and available full LED headlights. Two versions of the A3 are offered initially — the base model 1.8 liter 170 hp TFSI for $29,900 and 2.0 liter 220 hp TFSI for $32,900. Cabriolet, TDI clean diesel and Sportback e-tron gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV) models are in the pipeline. The Q3 Compact SUV is also in showrooms.
Both the 1.8 and 2.0 engines are mated to the standard Audi six-speed Stronic transmission, which has excellent shifting flexibility for smooth and fast acceleration with virtually no interruption to the power flow. The optional Audi drive select system lets you adjust throttle response, shift points and the electromechanical steering effort. Similar to other Audi models, Audi drive select has four settings — Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual.
The A3 front suspension is a MacPherson strut design with A-arms and aluminum pivot bearings joined to an aluminum subframe, while the electromechanically assisted steering system operates easily with various assistance systems while reducing mechanical drag for greater efficiency. In the four-link rear suspension, which utilizes a steel crossmember, the springs and shock absorbers are mounted separately.
The electronic stability control (ESC) also includes an electronic differential lock. When driving through curves, it can brake the inside front wheel very slightly to help minimize understeer and improve traction.
The 2015 Audi A3 premium compact sedan also has the latest in consumer technology and is long on luxury, design and performance. It comes with standard leather seating surfaces and excellent ergonomics. A “wraparound” dash design incorporates an innovative three-dimensional inlay concept surrounding the driver and front passenger. And there’s an ultra-thin MMI display with an electronically retractable screen, the terminal housed in the center of the dashboard. A graphics processing unit (GPU) generates three-dimensional images used in all online, voice control, media navigation and telephone functions.
You also can order the A3 Sedan with a standard panorama glass sunroof and bixenon headlights.
Two luxury packages are offered, Premium Plus and Prestige. Premium Plus includes exclusive 18-inch, 10-spoke Audi wheels, an aluminum interior package and keyless entry, all for an additional $2,550. The Prestige package includes everything in Premium Plus, as well as a sportier look with the S Line exterior kit, the Driver Assistance package, Audi MMI Navigation Plus, Audi Connect and a high-end Bang & Olufsen audio system, all for another $8,450.
[author image=”http://www.samaonline.org/Ron.jpg” ]Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.[/author]