Flash Drive: Audi A3 2.0T S-Line
This 2008 review is representative of model years 2006 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
Sporty, compact and fun to drive, the A3 makes a strong argument for “less is more.” Despite its relatively diminutive dimensions, Audi’s entry-level model packs plenty of performance and utility under its stylish 5-door skin. Inside, trademark Audi design cues are reminiscent of the TT: cool without being stark; attractive, yet understated. On the road, the 2.0-liter turbo-four delivers smooth, tractable power throughout the rev range. It’s plenty strong for in-town hustling, but like the rest of the car, doesn’t scream for attention. Rear seat legroom is a touch tight for adults, so drop the rear seats instead and enjoy near wagon-like versatility. Seats up or down, the A3 delivers signature Audi style in an intelligent, entertaining and economical package. – Kim Wolfkill
The A3 is a stylish 5-door that proves hatchbacks don’t have to be cheap, basic transportation. The power in our turbocharged A3 came on smoothly and was plentiful for moving this little car quickly. It also delivered impressive fuel economy, as I saw around 25 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Most importantly, the A3 is still an Audi. Shutting the doors results in a solid thud, handling is quite good, the interior features high-quality materials, and the A3 wears the trademark Audi grille. The A3 is an excellent option for someone looking for something small, efficient but with a high level of style and performance. –Perry Stern
The Audi A3 may just be the perfect combination of sporty but practical in a stylish European package. Powered by one of the best engines ever—Audi’s turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter Four—our test car also had the Titanium package’s 18-inch titanium-colored wheels, black grille and black window trim. Save for the Misano Red Pearl Effect paint, it makes for a stealth package. The A3 is fun to drive while still delivering excellent fuel economy, the electrically-assisted steering is linear and precise, and the A3 handles about as well as a front-driver can with virtually no torque steer. Both practical and fun, the A3 delivers a premium driving experience in an economical package. – Mike Meredith