The entry-level luxury wars are about to heat up as the 2015 Audi A3 arrives early next year to do battle with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan. The 2015 Audi A3 starts at $30,795 with destination, just $30 lower than the base price of the CLA-Class.
The 2015 Audi A3 sedan comes standard with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive. A 150-hp, 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder will be available as well, and two different versions of the familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder will power A3 Quattro and S3 models. We don’t know the specific output numbers of the gasoline engines yet, but all engines will be mated with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In terms of features, the 2015 Audi A3 sedan offers much more standard equipment than the Mercedes-Benz CLA250. Leather upholstery, a panoramic glass roof, xenon headlights, and LED taillights are standard on the base model of the 2015 Audi A3 sedan but optional on the Mercedes. Equipping a Mercedes CLA250 with a panoramic roof costs an extra $1480, adding xenon headlights and LED taillights costs $850, and opting for leather seating requires picking the $1500 Interior package. Other 2015 Audi A5 options include the company's MMI infotainment controller, an optional Bang and Olufsen audio system, and available 4G LTE connectivity. However, we won't be able to truly compare the A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA250 in terms of value and equipment until Audi fully details the 2015 A3's options list and pricing.
The rollout of Audi’s new entry-level model will start with the A3 sedan, with the A3 TDI diesel, the A3 Cabriolet, and the sporty S3 sedan following next year. In 2015, the sedan and convertible body styles will be joined by an A3 Sportback model that will come only as an e-tron plug-in hybrid vehicle. Look for more specific pricing and information about the 2015 Audi A3 closer to the car’s launch in early 2014.