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Thursday, April 09, 2015

2015 Audi A3 - Review






PRICE : 2015 A3 Premium                 1.8 TFSI   $29,900
PRICE : 2015 A3 Premium                  2.0 TFSI   $32,900
PRICE : 2015 A3 Premium Plus 1.8 TFSI $32,800
PRICE : 2015 A3 Premium Plus 2.0 TFSI   $35,800
PRICE : 2015 A3 Prestige                  1.8 TFSI   $38,700
PRICE : 2015 A3 Prestige                  2.0 TFSI   $41,700


The compact A3 Sedan is the smallest and least expensive member of Audi's North American lineup. Designed as a successor to the A3 hatchback, the sedan aims to deliver buyers a more compact alternative to the A4 while retaining a traditional four-door body style preferred by American drivers. Buyers looking to trim their fuel budget can order the A3 Sedan with a diesel-burning turbo four while those after a sportier driving experience will likely opt for the range-topping S3.

Stretching 175.5 inches long, 70 inches wide and 55.7 inches tall, the A3 Sedan looks like a shrunken A4 when viewed from the outside. It wears an aggressive look defined by sharp headlights, lightly sculpted flanks, pronounced wheel arches, a discreet spoiler integrated into the rear hatch and triangular tail lamps.

The A3 benefits from Audi's expertise in the field of lightweight construction and the lightest version tips the scale at just 2,755 pounds thanks to a body made largely of hot-formed steel and an aluminum hood. It shares its modular MQB platform with the Europe-only A3 hatchback and several other Volkswagen products including the seventh-gen Golf.



EXTERIOR









A3 sedan is the very first compact sedan coming out of the Ingolstadt factory. It is seen as an important product for emerging markets like India and was showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo.India is a big market for small, compact cars like the A3 sedan. The car is based on Volkswagen MQB platform and boasts of a maximum wheelbase of 2626 mm and an overall length 4458 mm which promise loads of cabin space.

The exterior styling of the A3 sedan is typical Audi with a hexagonal front grille flanked by angular headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights that are unmistakably Audi. Like all Audi cars, the side profile is rather undramatic. Tail lamps have been slightly tweaked on the A3 and get LED turn signals. Overall a balance and minimalist design.



INTERIOR














With a maximum wheelbase of over 2.6 meters, the cabin of the new A3 sedan is sufficiently spacious for a small family. The car can seat five adults on seats wrapped in premium leather.The dashboard is completely new with round HVAC blowers and a slender center console that adds a touch of sportiness. The Audi MMI system operates via a controller on the center console and a screen that rises from the dashboard.

The Audi A3 sedan was first unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor show. Audi has released details of the A3 sedan that will be available in the American market. Stateside, the Audi A3. Audi A3 gets two petrol engines. One is a 1.8-liter TFSI with an overall output of 170 horsepower and 271 Nm of torque which is available right from 1600-4000 rpm.

The other more powerful engine is the 2.0-liter unit which is capable of 220 horsepower and 350 Nm of twisting force that adds to the surge from 1600-4400 rpm. Top speed is limited to 209 kph. The base-spec A3 sedan completes the dash from 0-100 kph in 7.2 seconds while the more powerful model completes the same in just over 5 seconds, courtesy of its lightweight construction.



SPECIFICATION


Year:2015
Make:Audi
Model:A3
Engine:1.8 TFSI
Horsepower @ RPM:170 @ 4500
Torque @ RPM:200 @ 1600
Displacement:1.8 L
0-60 time:7.2 sec.
Top Speed:130 mph (Est.)



FEATURES







BANG & OLUFSEN AUDIO
We're suckers for a sweet stereo, and the A3's optional 705-Watt, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen unit certainly qualifies. We've loved the sweet B&O audio found in Audi's larger vehicles, so it's a real pleasure to see that excellence trickle down to the brand's most frugal offering.

AUDI ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL WITH STOP & GO
Not only can the new A3's adaptive cruise control automatically maintain a pre-selected distance from the car ahead, it can bring the vehicle to stop if needed. Your daydreaming commutes just got a little safer.



EQUIPMENTS






Standard Equipment :

Filling out the generous standard equipment roster are leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and a 7-inch audio/information screen controlled by Audi's MMI interface. S3 variants add standard Quattro all-wheel drive, 18-inch alloys, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a sport-tuned suspension. The absence of a standard backup camera is a surprising omission, but otherwise the safety equipment list looks good, featuring a suite of electronic stability assists and eight airbags, including front-occupant knee airbags.

Optional Equipment :

The new A3 might be the cheapest of Audi's, but it's still quite possible to load one up with a budget-busting array of options. Standouts include LED headlights, heated seats, rear-seat thorax airbags, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, navigation with Google Earth map imagery, and MMI Touch, a clever touchpad conveniently located atop the MMI controller that recognizes handwritten text entry. There are also several dynamic safety features available like active lane-keep assist, blind-zone warning, dynamic cruise control, and a parking-assist package that bundles front and rear parking sensors with a rearview camera. Lastly, S3 models can be had with a $1,500 Magnetic Ride Control suspension system comprised of three driving modes: dynamic, comfort and individual.



PERFORMANCE


The 2015 Audi A3 first arrives in the U.S. in two forms: front-wheel-drive 1.8T models, with their 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine, and 2.0T quattro (all-wheel-drive) models, with a 220-hp, 2.0-liter engine.

Both are turbocharged, direct-injected in-line fours with iron blocks and aluminum heads, and mated to the familiar (VW/Audi) six-speed DSG (automated dual-clutch) gearbox. The calibration of Volkswagen’s familiar six-speed DSG dual-clutch automated gearbox has been softened somewhat for the A3—for better low-speed drivability than we've noticed from this transmission in the past—although if you click over to the transmission's 'S' (sport) mode you get later (and firmer) upshifts, plus eager, rev-matched downshifts.

Audi quotes 0-60 mph times of 7.2 seconds with the 1.8T and 5.8 seconds with the 2.0T, but that may be due to shift points and launch smoothness (there is a launch-control feature in the stability control). In reality these two models feel just as quick in normal driving conditions—although we noted a somewhat raspier note from the 1.8T when pressed. Both engines produce their peak torque ratings (200 and 258 pound-feet, respectively) at just 1,600 rpm, so they're fine being almost lugged and yet can 'waft' up to speed almost like a diesel or big-displacement engine—with nearly no detectable turbo lag—if you tip gently into the accelerator.

The most coveted edition will be the S3. With an uprated version of the same 2.0-liter turbo four and standard all-wheel drive, the S3 should be good for about 296 horsepower, and for a 0-60 mph time of about 4.8 seconds--a performance benchmark just two-tenths of a second shy of the CLA 45 AMG, which sports almost 60 more horsepower.

The A3 runs on a transverse-engine architecture, with a strut front suspension isolated on its own subframe, with a four-link torsion-beam rear suspension used for efficient packaging. The electromechanical steering system is among the best-weighted in the business, with a precision that allows you to easily place the A3 exactly where you want it to be in your lane, although actual road feedback isn’t any more vivid that in most other models of its kind (read: a little dull). Brakes also have a precise, easy-to-modulate feel.

Audi's Drive Select will also let drivers fine-tune the A3's throttle feel and steering effort over the usual auto, sport, comfort, and individual ranges.

As for quattro all-wheel drive, the system in the A3 isn't at all the same as the one that's used in Audi's larger models from the A4 family on up. Instead it's the Haldex clutch-pack-based system that aids efficiency by sending most or all power to the front wheels during most cruising and steady driving situations but can quickly, depending on a wide range of sensor inputs, anticipate and preemptively avoid wheel slippage by sending more power to the rear wheels for traction—as further assisted by the stability control system.



DRIVETRAIN


From the driver's seat, the new A3 feels compact, not in a disconcerting, exposed way, but rather like the unnecessary mass has been removed. Small-car fans will find a lot to like here. The supple ride and quiet cabin help make daily commutes or long-distance travel all the more tolerable. Despite its stable, pleasant demeanor on the freeway, the A3 remains impressively agile in the corners. While the performance-focused Audi S3 rides stiffer, it won't make your daily commute a cringe-worthy affair. Currently, the A3 comes with two turbocharged gasoline powertrains – a front-wheel-drive 170-horsepower 1.8-liter that eagerly sprints to 60 mph in slightly more than seven seconds, or an all-wheel-drive 220-horsepower 2.0-liter that does the run to 60 in less than six seconds. The 2.0-liter TDI diesel offers excellent fuel economy without sacrificing performance. Knocking out gear changes with impressive speed and smoothness, a standard 6-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission rounds out the A3's well-sorted dynamic package.



COMFORT & QUALITY


Yes, we know that the A3 is a small car, and that it's relatively affordable. But while its in-cabin technology (when you check the right option boxes) wows us, we can't help but be a little disappointed with its relative lack of creature comforts and traditional luxury-badge refinement.

The A3's cabin is a bit of a throwback, if you've spent time in the current A4 sedan or Allroad wagon. The new four-door's just 175.5 inches long, and it rides on a 103.4-inch wheelbase. That's more than a half-foot longer overall than a Benz CLA. The Audi's also marginally wider, and it's notable from the back seat how the A3's doors and roofline make its petite back seat more accessible than the one in the CLA.

But in all fairness, the CLA and its intentionally compromised, coupe-like layout are a low bar to go up against—and versus most other small luxury sedans, the A3 feels a little cramped.

Comfort is adequate from the front seats, but these aren't the superb, super-supportive seats of Audi's larger models. The lower cushions of the seats in the A3 (even those of the available sport seats) are surprisingly short—not what we expect from a European car—and we found that the hard edges next to the forward portion of the center console dug into the sides of right knees, bothering not just taller drivers like this one but average-height drivers as well.

As for the back seat, there's decent space back there if you don't happen to have someone tall in front; otherwise, headroom is on the tight side—and will be for anyone around 5'10” and above.

Power seats are included for the driver only, and you won’t see ventilated or cooled seats, or a heated steering wheel, anywhere on the options list (these two latter items are pretty common on option lists nowadays, but it seems like nearly all smaller luxury sedan buyers have to deal with more compromised, manual passenger-seat adjustments).

Cabin refinement meets the minimum that one might expect of a premium-brand small car, but we wouldn't go so far as to call the A3 especially quiet or refined. There's quite a bit of road roar in the cabin, and you feel the coarse thrum of the engine as you're lugging along at city speeds; the engine vibrations aren't as isolated away as in a Mercedes CLA—or a Buick Verano, for that matter.


ENGINE



Powered by either the 1.8-liter or the optional 2.0-liter, the new A3 sedan pulls with welcome gusto. Strangely, the more-powerful all-wheel-drive 2.0-liter A3 is rated one mpg higher in city driving than the 1.8-liter. The 2.0-liter's supposed efficiency advantage should also serve as consolation for cold-weather Audi A3 buyers who are forced to pay for more power just to get all-wheel drive. For the fuel-conscious, the new 2.0-liter TDI diesel offers excellent fuel economy with little penalty in performance. The range-topping S3 pairs a 292-horsepower version of the aforementioned 2.0-liter engine with the A3's standard 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Note: Everyone has to pay extra at the pump, as premium fuel is required throughout the A3/S3 lineup.

1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4
170 horsepower @ 4,500 rpm
200 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 mpg (sedan), 24/35 mpg (cabriolet) 

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
220 horsepower @ 4,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/33 mpg (sedan), 24/32 mpg (cabriolet)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
292 horsepower @ 5,400-6,200 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900-5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
150 horsepower @ 3,500-4,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/43 mpg



SAFETY


he 2015 Audi A3 has all the standard safety features that you’d expect to see in a small, premium-brand sedan; and just like most vehicles in this class, there’s room to spend more on active-safety options that might help you avoid an accident altogether.

Audi says it's maximized interior space and boosted crash performance by moving the front wheels forward by about 1.5 inches. The A3 doesn't rely on body along to protect passengers, though: it has pre-collision restraint preparation (as part of a system called pre sense basic), simulated torque vectoring on the front wheels via its anti-lock brakes, and a passel of optional safety technology, including blind spot monitors and adaptive cruise control that maintains a traffic crawl with a tap of the cruise's resume button.

Add the Advanced Technology package, and you add active lane assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.

While the A3 didn't quite manage five-star ratings in all categories from the federal government (it earns only four for frontal impact), it's already earned Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with top 'good' ratings in all categories of testing—including the tough new small overlap frontal impact test.



FUEL ECONOMY


The 2015 Audi A3 lineup is just as fuel-efficient as mass-market compact cars -- and models with quattro all-wheel drive don't sacrifice much efficiency.

Front-wheel-drive A3 sedans have the 1.8-liter (1.8T) engine, and get ratings of 23 mpg city, 33 highway, while those with quattro earn a slightly better 24 city, 33 highway.

That’s quite the opposite of how it usually is, with AWD models usually lagging their front-wheel-drive counterparts by as much as 2 or 3 mpg. Credit the A3’s Haldex clutch-pack-based system, which sends power to the rear wheels only when its needed—typically not when cruising at a steady speed.

It’s also most likely a matter of gearing; models with the 2.0T engine have somewhat taller gearing that may help when you ease up off the accelerator at any speed.

In an early drive experience covering two different A3 2.0T sedans, over nearly 200 miles of rapid driving along hilly, curvy two-lane roads, we saw trip-computer-indicated averages on both cars of about 26 and 27 mpg—giving us confidence that most people will be able to achieve these cars’ 27-mpg EPA Combined rating.

The size of the fuel tank is different between the two as well—13.2 gallons for the 1.8T or 14.5 gallons for the 2.0T. And by the way, premium fuel is listed as recommended on both engines



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By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal




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