If you are a fan of the Audi brand and are looking to grab a new model, you can get into this entry level Audi for less than $30,000. This crossover style hatchback is only offered in the 5 door wagon model. You will immediately notice the slick styling and high end features that you would only expect from a mid-level vehicle. This vehicle is based on the VW Golf and the A3 Audi models and offers a very fuel efficient turbocharged 4-cylender engine that will get upward of 40 MPG on the highway and slightly lower in town.

The exterior style has not changes much since its big overhaul in 2008, but the inside has seen some small cosmetic changes. Unfortunately due to the frame and body style the interior does have something to be desired when it comes to storage space and leg room.

The A3 is of course the A4’s little brother and if you add on all the extra features and options you can push it up into the A4 price range. Consumers wanting a little more room and luxury will jump for the A4, but those working on a budget will be glad with the value of the A3.

Bodystyles: Hatchback
Engines: 2.0L turbocharged I-4, 2.0L diesel I-4
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed auto-clutch manual, 6-speed manual
Models: Premium, Premium TDI, Premium Plus, Premium Plus TDI

For 2011, the Audi A3 gets new chrome trim inside and out, along with two new wheel designs, one for the Premium trim and one for the Titanium Package. Aruba Blue has been discontinued and replaced with two new paint colors, Scuba Blue and Deep Sea Blue.

The 2011 Audi A3 wears a slightly older, less exaggerated version of Audi’s trademark styling but makes the best of a boxy, truncated hatchback body style. An optional sport package dresses up the exterior with sporty wheels and Audi’s trademark LEDs.

Leather and dual-zone automatic climate control are standard across the range with a power driver’s seat and multi-function steering wheel standard on the higher trim level. Walnut inlays and a sunroof are optional across the range.

The A3’s turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine produces a respectable 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, which can be routed to the front wheels or all four wheels through Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive and either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. A 140 hp turbocharged diesel four-cylinder engine with 236 lb-ft of torque is optional and powers the front wheels only through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. A sport package is optional for crisper handling.

Front and side airbags are standard for front-seat passengers, as are full-length side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional. Dynamic safety devices include standard traction control and stability control.

FWD Automatic: 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway
FWD Manual: 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway
AWD: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway
Diesel: 30 mpg city/42 mpg highway

  • Affordable entry price
  • Sporty handling
  • Good mileage
  • Wagon utility
  • Only one body style
  • Small back seat
  • Small cargo area with seats up
  • Quickly prices into A4 territory

The easiest way into an Audi


  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Acura TSX Sport Wagon
  • Mazda3
  • Mini Clubman
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