The 2015 Audi A3 may sit at the bottom of the German brand’s lineup, but it’s now the first Audi to receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick + rating. Since the IIHS recently revised its criteria to include active safety technologies, only Audi A3 models with the optional forward collision warning system receive the organization’s highest rating; Audi A3 sedans without this system receive the standard, and still impressive, Top Safety Pick (TSP) rating.
To earn its TSP rating, the 2015 Audi A3 scored “Good” in the IIHS’ moderate overlap front, side, roof, and head restraint tests, along with its score of “Good” in the difficult small overlap front crash test. The TSP+ award requires adding the A3’s optional front crash prevention system, which in this case is packaged in the Audi’s Advanced Technology package that also includes active lane assist and adaptive cruise control. This package costs $1400 and is only available on the A3’s top Prestige trim level, meaning that a 2015 Audi A3 so equipped is a far cry from the car’s starting price of $30,795.
With the standard 1.8-liter engine, a 2015 Audi A3 Prestige with the Advanced Technology package starts at $39,595 including destination; stepping up to the optional 2.0-liter engine and its standard all-wheel drive makes for a price of $43,995 when equipped to TSP+ spec. At those prices, the Audi A3 is venturing into the territory of larger luxury sedans that are also TSP+ winners, including the 2014 Lincoln MKZ and 2014 Volvo S60.
The 2015 Audi A3 goes on sale nationwide in April. Check out our review of this new compact luxury sedan here.