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The 2015 Audi A3, and its sportier S3 sibling, are Audi's weapons in its attack on the growing market for small luxury cars. As existing nameplates like Audi's A4 keep getting a bit larger [which the industry terms 'bracket creep'], it means the A3 is almost exactly the same size as the first Audi A4 of 20 years ago, then a compact but now considerably larger.
These models compete directly with the new, curvaceous, and wildly successful Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 and an updated Acura ILX, as well as possibly the BMW 1-Series two-door sedan.
Although the Audi A3 and S3 will arrive in some forms to the U.S. in Sportback (hatchback) and convertible forms eventually, the 2015 A3 hits the road running as a sedan. And it's a shape that will ring reassuringly familiar to Audi owners and intenders, as we can't help but think that it looks familiar. Whether speaking of the profile, the proportions, or the overall size, the new A3 Sedan is very closely aligned with the original A4 sedan, as well as the Audi 80/90 compacts that came before it. Inside and out, it makes no missteps—with neat, handsome, and even somewhat sporty styling.
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.
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.*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.