The A3 is our new favorite among entry-level luxury sedans. For a reasonable price, “it delivers refinement, enough performance to make it fun to drive, cutting-edge technology, and even a little prestige.” Sold in the U.S. previously only as a five-door hatchback, the A3 has been repositioned to compete directly with Mercedes-Benz’s year-old CLA250. The Audi offers limited cargo space and a cabin that’s a bit “austere,” but it betters its chief rival in quickness and athleticism.
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With its “stubby outline” and truncated rear end, it also gives off “an endearing ‘Oh, how precious’ vibe.” Inside, the cabin’s fit and finish impress, though “the second row is a squeeze” and even the leather front seats are “a smidge hard on the bum.” Tire noise is also a problem: To communicate with rear passengers while on the highway, “we resorted to yelling.”
Road & Track
“The closer we looked at the A3, the more we wanted to look elsewhere.” The car “sure is quick,” with an available 2.0-liter four-cylinder that rips to 60 mph “in a jaw-droppingly fast 5.5 seconds.” But it’s “not involving to drive” and seems sized for buyers who are under 5 feet tall.
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