The compact Audi A3 was part of a wave of small luxury-branded models for buyers who have one eye on their budget and the other on gas prices. Derived from the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 might lack the posh, roomy environment and long list of features found in true luxury cars, but it's a solid, agile and sophisticated sedan that's enjoyable to drive.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
NA
2012
NA
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. Rear side air bags available.
Road Test

The compact Audi A3 was part of a wave of small luxury-branded models for buyers who have one eye on their budget and the other on gas prices. Derived from the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 might lack the posh, roomy environment and long list of features found in true luxury cars, but it's a solid, agile and sophisticated sedan that's enjoyable to drive. And, unlike some other entry-level luxury cars that veered away from their brand's DNA, this small car actually feels, drives and looks like an Audi.

With its agile handling, minimal body lean and quick response to steering inputs, the A3 carves up winding country roads with confidence. The steering is a bit vague on center and at low speeds, but it firms up nicely at higher speeds. The ride is quite firm, particularly at low speeds, but it does a commendable job of absorbing and isolating most bumps.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
convertible
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Sequential
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 turbo (170 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (220 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (292 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (150 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Audi A3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"The electrical system on the car went haywire last summer -- every warning light imaginable came on and I couldn't get the car to start. Earlier that day I had driven 90 miles on a work trip and stopped for gas on the way. I had to try a couple of times with the push button start to get the engine to turn over. Then I was afraid to turn off the car. I finally made it back home. When I tried to restart the car that evening, every warning light came on and there was no response to the push button"

Anonymous, VA (2015 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"rear brake light intermitten"

William M., VA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"passenger side tail light stopped working. There was a technical bulletin on it and while it took a while to get it fixed, it was covered by Audi."

Anonymous, WA (2015 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Half of the rear tail light assembly went bad twice"

Steve C., NE (2015 Audi A3 S3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"blinker wasn't working - was covered under warrantee - needed a new trunk cable"

Anonymous, PA (2015 Audi A3)
Headlights

"both headlights stopped working and had to be replaced. t he headlights went out within 8 weeks of each other."

Anonymous, WA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Interior lights

"The temperature reading does not fully illuminate"

Anonymous, NY (2015 Audi A3)
Keyless entry

"Keyless fob intermittently not recognized by car"

Anonymous, MO (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Touch handle to unlock door does not work when it is wet out. All other times it is ok"

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

"seat warning"

William M., VA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I am having a problem with the battery draining. When this happened recently, I received a brake system warning light and car wouldn't start"

Anonymous, NY (2015 Audi A3 S3)

"Seat belt warning light and alarm active even when seat belt is in use"

Anonymous, MO (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Check engine light came on. Took the dealer two attempts to fix. There was some kind of emissions control device with a broken sensor. The replacement part wasn't working correctly either and that's why the dealer needed two tries."

Colin T., CA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"This vehicle was part of the Diesel recall for increased emissions, we only needed to perform the repairs to comply with regulations. MPGs reduced by ~2-5"

Anonymous, (2015 Audi A3 2.0 TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Recall for False emission reporting"

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Audi A3 2.0 TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel pump

"It had to be replaced in essentially a brand new car"

Anonymous, NY (2015 Audi A3)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Warning light keeps coming on periodically, even after reset."

Anonymous, WI (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Check engine light came on. Sensor needed replacing - replaced under warranty as a courtesy as the warranty had expired 2 weeks before."

Jonathan E., IN (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"At time of receiving the car, there were problems in getting the electronics (phone, navigation, etc) to perform correctly. After several weeks, it became clear to the dealer and Audi that there was a defective chip that needed to be replaced. It w"

Anonymous, IN (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The MMI parts have been replaced entirely once, and had three complete software flashe. It still freezes and lethargic at start up. Audi has been TERRIBLE to deal with - until I threatened lemon buyback, I had little action. I hate Audi!"

Anonymous, DC (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"mmi never trained in process and original car dealer refused after 6 mos to give me any help exceptto go on line. I'm not happy with being forced to only use at&t for this line I never use because don't know how to use this service. service. The on"

Anonymous, FL (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Problems with audiconnect that could not be resolved after many attempts without taking car in. Car kept several days before figuring out the hardware was faulty. Upon return my satellite radio connection was lost requiring another return to dealer t"

Morris G., OK (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Traffic always defaults for a Philadelphia even though I live in Boston. Audi refuses to address"

Richard W., MA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"I’ve had TWO front passenger seat sensors fail, causing the airbag warning light to come on. Both were covered up warranty, enough though I’m past the cutoff mileage."

Stephen M., TX (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Screen would not display Google maps and would not update (& I had paid for Google map access). Adding insult to injury, it kept telling me that multiple times! Chip in the system had failed"

Red G., NJ (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"voice commands do not work correctly. GPS know too sensitive and ofter provides incorrect address. cannot use GPS installed in vehicle"

Anonymous, PA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Speakers

"Static noises over speakers with convertible top down or windows open at speed."

William H., KY (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Voice control commands

"It does not understand my commans, nor, my spouses commands"

Anonymous, PA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Strong smell of antifreeze. A few weeks after repairing at the dealer, the smell returned."

Christopher M., IL (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Seemed unusual to have both radiator and water pump develop a leak at same time at less than 40000 miles and mechanic said it was manufacturing defect."

Anonymous, CA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Water pump

"Was told at 55K service that water pump needed replacing, out of warranty. After showing proof (digital copies of previous service reports) that I had mentioned small amount of leaking at 35K & 45K service AND that their own technician had noted having to add coolant at 25K & 45K services, Audi dealership changed their mind and replaced as under warranty."

Stephen M., TX (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Water pump developed a leak requiring replacement of the pump, thermostat and coolant."

William, TX (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Would not cool when car was hot. Musty smell"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Electrical failure

"The so called lane keeping assist does not vibrate and correct steering reliably. It is an expensive worthless option!"

Anonymous, DC (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Evaporator

"water built up causing moldy smell every time the A/c turned on."

Anonymous, CA (2015 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Refrigerant leaks

"I responded to the indicator light for coolant engine issue. It took several trips back to the dealer to find the leak. At first they just kept topping off the coolant, but within days the level would drop. After multiple trips back, they must have done more extensive tests to find the leak, as it finally got fixed, but it was a nuisance"

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Leaking thermostat housing is a known issue on 2015 S3 model. I have been waiting 3 months for replacement part to come in. It doesn't leak bad, car is drivable but you can smell coolant outside the car and coming in through cabin air intake vents."

Will O., TX (2015 Audi A3 S3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The water pump developed a leak that then impacted the radiator, requiring that both be replaced."

Anonymous, CA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

"wind or road noise seems excessive"

Harold P., AB (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"An electronic component in the shifter mechanism failed, causing a cascading reaction that resulted in not being able to select any gear."

Stephen M., TX (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

"Dealer had to reprogram the transmission computer"

S C., NE (2015 Audi A3 S3 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The transmission was going to higher RPM's before upshifting when it was very hot outside (over 100 degrees in Tucson, AZ). I could overcome this by using the paddle shifting in manual mode. I had my 45000 mile service, told the representative of the problem. They had a service bulletin addressing this and reprogrammed my computer. I had no more problems with the transmission and was very satisfied with the service and fix which was done under warranty. Kudos to the Tucson Audi dealership."

Anonymous, MI (2015 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Chrome strip above driver's door shifted toward the rear of the car and caused chrome strip over left rear door to be come partially detached for second time. It blew off on the highway."

Anonymous, MA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Loose lower molding - warped away from main body. Eventually replaced and repainted under warranty."

Jonathan E., IN (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Driver side rear door chrome window trim came loose"

Mark A., CA (2015 Audi A3 S3)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"Noise from front end. Became more pronounced. Changed out several components"

Anonymous, IN (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel bearings

"one wheel had a ball bearing go out requiring repair."

Anonymous, WA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Since purchased, I've replaced two wheel bearings on this car. The car continued to run, but this created significant noise and caused uneven wear on the tires. One was replaced under warranty, but I do not expect to replace two bearings before 100k miles."

Anonymous, VA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Entire windshield washer system had to be replaced. Front windshield had to be replaced"

Slane J., FL (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Locks and latches

"My hood latch needed replacing; door open warning light wouldn't shut off"

Anonymous, VA (2015 Audi A3 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Differential

"There was a noise (slight vibration) in the rear end around 50 mph. Audi replaced the rear differential under my CPO extended warranty"

Mark R., NJ (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Driveshaft or axle

"Under strong acceleration from a start, driveshaft pounds, like axle tramp. dealer is trying to diagnose the problem."

Marcus J., ON (2015 Audi A3 S3)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Oxygen sensor failed & had to be replaced - an easy fix except that the dealer did not have the part so I had to come a 2nd time."

Anonymous, VT (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Engine knock or ping

"High revs caused by improper oil stick replacement by owner after checking oil"

Anonymous, VA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Master cylinder

"Brakes were failing. Car could not be safely driven. Took 2 tries at the dealer to get it fixed. Covered under warranty."

Abbie L., PA (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"At roughly 11K miles, vehicle started shifting hard into 3rd gear, whether in automatic or triptronic mode and quickly became worse and worse. Eventually it wouldn't engage 3rd at all. Took it to dealer, whop said the transmission could be repaired"

Stephen M., TX (2015 Audi A3 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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