Product Reviews

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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
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
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 turbodiesel (150 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (220 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (292 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.

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)

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

Interior lights

“The temperature reading does not fully illuminate”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Audi A3 Unsure Unsure)

“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 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)
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)

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

“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)

“It does not understand my commans, nor, my spouses commands”

Anonymous, PA (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

Fuel pump

“It had to be replaced in essentially a brand new car”

Anonymous, NY (2015 Audi A3 Unsure Unsure)
Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“Recall for False emission reporting”

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

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)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

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)
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

Wind noise

“wind or road noise seems excessive”

Harold P., AB (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 Minor

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

What Owners Say

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)

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)

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

Paint/Trim

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

Drive System

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

Engine Cooling

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

Brakes

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Major

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

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