The 2015 Audi A3 Sedan—the first of at least five models from the next-gen A3 family—will arrive in the next few months with an MSRP of $29,900. That price of admission will get you into the smallest sedans sold in the United States, but rest assured that Audi can manage to pack in just about its full array of premium features, and even that entry model offers a truly premium experience, with standard features that include:
- Leather seating surfaces with a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
- A 10-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/HD playback, three-month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio and an SD card slot
- A three-spoke, sport-style steering wheel with integrated controls
- Bluetooth technology for both hands-free calling and audio streaming
- Advanced driver-assistance aides like the Audi “pre sense basic” package, which can detect potential crash situations and then automatically prepare key vehicle systems for a possible impact
- Auto on/off headlights and windshield wipers
- LED daytime running lamps and mirror-mounted turn-signal indicators
- Sporty design cues such as an integrated rear spoiler, matte-black window trim, dual exhaust and Audi’s signature “Singleframe” grille
There’s also a fairly up-level powertrain in the standard 2015 Audi A3 Sedan, which relies on a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with both Audi’s FSI fuel-injection technology and turbocharging. With that unit sending 170 hp and 200 lb.-ft. of torque through an S tronic six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, drivers will see 0-60 runs in a projected 7.2 seconds and a top track speed of 130 mph.
Fuel-economy marks for this model are not yet available, but, oddly enough, the EPA does have numbers for the 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet with the same powertrain; and even with a convertible top disrupting aerodynamics, the A3 Cabrio is listed at a healthy 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway/28 mpg combined.
To put that into context, the current-generation Honda Fit posts an EPA line of 27/35/30. Now, like the Fit, the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan does happen to be a front-wheel-drive car, but unlike the Honda, it requires premium fuel.
Then there’s the size issue …
2015 Audi A3 on the Small-Sedan Length Leaderboard
While there’s certainly been an uptick in interest in smaller cars from premium brands, as evidenced by entries like the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and BMW 1- and 2-Series, it’s important to note that the former is a notable 6.9 inches longer than the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan—and with the exact same price tag—while the latter are coupe-only lineups at this stage.
In fact, a brief review of the industry showed just five other sedans that are shorter than 180 inches in length, with the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan slotting in as shown below:
- Kia Rio—171.9 inches; $13,900
- Chevy Sonic—173.1 inches; $14,170
- Nissan Versa—175.4 inches; $11,990
- Audi A3—175.4 inches; $29,900
- Ford Focus—178.5 inches; $16,810
- Honda Civic—179.4 inches; $18,390
Then, building on the standard model’s clear position as the industry’s only premium subcompact sedan, the four-rings brand offers a range-topping 2015 Audi A3 Sedan that goes full lux with features detailed on the following page.
2015 Audi A3 Sedan: The Premium Peak—For Now
As opposed to the previous-generation, hatchback-only A3, the 2015 roster will eventually include the full gamut of Audi variants, with open-top models, diesel-powered versions, a plug-in hybrid and a hi-po S entry. For now, however, drivers are limited to the standard 2015 Audi A3 and an upgraded version with a bigger, more powerful four-cylinder turbo engine that’s paired with the brand’s hallmark all-wheel-drive technology and a six-speed S tronic gearbox.
Here, enthusiasts will enjoy 220 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, along with 0-60 sprint times of 5.8 seconds and relatively robust EPA grades of 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway/27 mpg combined. A number of other premium amenities also are included in the car’s $32,900 MSRP, but that’s still not the top-of-the-line model. In the 2015 Audi A3 Sedan with the Prestige package and 2.0-liter powerplant, pricing starts at $41,700, although that outlay does include standard content like:
- Audi MMI technology with navigation, voice control and handwriting-recognition
- Six complimentary months of Audi connect service
- Bang & Olufsen audio that boasts 14 speakers and 705 watts of power
- Audi’s “side assist” lane-change feature and “Parking system plus” with rearview camera
- Advanced keyless entry and start
- 12-way power-adjustable and heated front-row seats
- Full LED headlights and taillights
- Heated windshield-washer nozzles
An S line appearance package with unique front and rear fascias, aluminum side sills and fender badges, complemented by aluminu