2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro Sedan – First Look and Review

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Up front, the A3’s fascia is unmistakably Audi, thanks to the massive grill, which is flanked by the headlights.  The base model comes with xenon lights as standard equipment, although the excellent LED headlights, which are 25% more efficient, are available as an option.  LED taillights, however, are standard.

INSIDE THE 2015 AUDI A3

It’s an Audi, so there’s little doubt that the interior fit and finish, ranging from the quality of materials used (mostly excellent) to gaps in panels (none), would be what we expect to come out of Ingolstadt.  We’ve become accustomed to comfortable, supportive leather seats (they were) and soft-touch surfaces (present with a few small exceptions where hard plastic was in evidence).

Audi’s tagline, “Vorsprung durch Technik,” which translates to Advancement through Technology in English, was in evidence (especially when the navi screen rose silently when starting the vehicle).  The optional Navigation Plus system, which comes with a larger screen and the all-important character input capability via a touch pad built into the MMI controller, should be on a buyer’s short list.

That’s only scratching the surface.  The interior of the A3 is simply brimming with new and joy-inducing technology, starting with this being the first car in the United States to come equipped with 4G LTE connectivity.  The car itself serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and offers connectivity for up to eight mobile devices.

The system also provides access to Google Earth, which offers 3-D images, Street View, and mapping updates that Audi says are “as fast as a personal computer.”  Real-time access to weather, travel, and gas prices is also available, and the car will also do text-to-speech Facebook and Twitter alerts, as well as read e-mail to you and take dictated text messages for transmission.

Audi is debuting the A3 with a heretofore Europe-only feature; the ability to connect devices such as smartphones to the car via Wi-Fi.  As a result, there’s no USB connection in the vehicle, and while I didn’t have a chance to test this extensively in this car, my colleagues Jonathan Spira and Christian Stampfer just drove an A6 TDI in Europe with the feature and gave it a thumbs up.

All of this can be found on an ultra thin (11 mm, to be exact), 7” retractable color screen that rises smoothly once the car is turned on.  It is so well integrated into the dashboard, that before starting the car, I fruitlessly searched around for it, thinking I had been duped with false information about a monitor.

The A3’s leather seats were comfortable and the power panoramic sunroof helped me forget about the snowmageddon that awaited me on the east coast.  Circular air vents (consider getting the Aluminum Style package, which adorns the AC vents with silver inlays and a knurled ring) lend the dashboard a sporty look that features a “wraparound” design, a three dimensional inlay construction that surrounds both occupants in the front seats.

The A3 has a fair amount of trunk space for a sedan, with 10 cubic feet available in the 1.8T, and 12 cubic feet in the 2.0T.  The rear seats also fold down, providing even more cargo space.  When the seats are upright, the A3 can fit five people, although we didn’t verify passenger comfort with five on board.

Click here to continue to Page 3Driving the 2015 Audi A3

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