Last year, Audi impressed the green car community with a capable diesel engine that earns 42 mpg on the highway. This year, the new 2011 Audi A3 TDI returns as one of the top fuel-sipping options for those in the market for an upscale compact car. Learn what's new on the 2011 Audi A3 and review specs, features and pricing.
What's New - 2011 Audi A3
The 2011 Audi A3 sees few changes over last year. However, several minor cosmetic tweaks help the observant car shopper distinguish the new model from the old one. Outside, the new Audi now boasts a single-frame grille and updated side mirror design. Inside, the new model incorporates an updated gear selector and instrument panel.
2011 Audi A3 Styling
The Audi A3 delivers one of the sportiest and stylish silhouettes in the entry-level luxury car market. A low stance, small size and oversized grille all combine to impact an athletic and modern persona. Compared to the similarly styled (and mechanically identical) Volkswagen GTI, the A3 easily sets itself apart as the upper-crust alternative.
Inside, the A3 returns with an impeccable fit and finish. Audi has long been known for delivering simplified, yet elegant interiors - and the 2011 A3 delivers just that. Front seat passengers will find supreme comfort in the standard leather seats. Rear seat acreage, on the other hand, is a bit on the small side (take a look at the more affordable VW GTI for improved rear passenger seating). In terms of cargo space, the Audi A3 delivers a competitive 19.5 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats up (39.0 cubic feet with rear seats folded down).
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2011 Audi A3 Performance
There's no denying it - the Audi A3 is a fun car to drive. The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder revs with 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. of torque. Vehicle dynamics are further improved by a firm suspension that perfectly balances responsive handling and pleasant road manners. A solid braking system rounds out the driving experience to serve up a wholly enjoyable daily commute.
Those concerned about fuel economy will no doubt be interested in the 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI diesel engine. This wunderkind of German technology musters an impressive 30-mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. Better yet, it manages to do it without affecting engine performance all that much - the 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque are ample for most drivers. Gasoline engine models also deliver good mileage for the class, with EPA ratings of 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Review full 2011 Audi A3 specifications.
2011 Audi A3 Safety
The 2011 Audi A3 comes standard with antilock brakes, side head curtain airbags, front thorax airbags, front airbags, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and electronic differential lock. All-wheel drive, rear parking sensors and rear side airbags are optional. In crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Audi A3 scored a best-possible overall rating of "Good."
2011 Audi A3 Prices and Features
The Audi A3 starts at $27,270. This is competitive with other entry-level luxury cars. Base models come well equipped with dual-zone climate control, cruise control, fog lights, leather seats, satellite radio and 10-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary input. Available optional equipment includes Bluetooth, multifunction steering wheel, LED running lights, paddle shifters, GPS and panoramic sunroof. Shoppers interested in the diesel Audi A3 can expect to pay a base MSRP of $30,250.
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