In 1996 German auto makers released the Audi A3 to the South African market. For over a decade the European market has enjoyed the full range of Audi models and in 2006 they came to the United States. Audi has been a name synonymous with midsize luxury and with the introduction of the A3 they brought that luxury to the subcompact market.
First generation Audi A3′s marked the return of the car maker to the small car market after the failure of the Audi 50. This model was the first Volkswagen group to use the A4 platform which gave the car a distinct resemblance to the Golf, but with a little more sporty feel. It was originally offered with a straight in-line four cylinder along with a four wheel or front wheel drive option.
As of 2013 the third generation Audi A3′s will be rolling off the assembly line. Fans of the car maker will find many of the same luxurious styling of previous models, but with a few new additions. For starters the new models will have more efficient technologies such as innovative thermal management, direct injection and turbo charging.
What does this mean for consumers? A complete new line of engine options but with fuel savings 12% better than previous years models, for starters. Do not think this means performance will suffer, as the newer Audi’s are quite peppy and quite nimble in early test drives. (European markets are already experiencing the new platform and styling of the A3).
Third generation Audi A3′s are going to be available in a variety of trims, engine sizes and transmission options. One big difference consumers will see in this years models is the addition of a sedan to all the sport back models. Other additions include but are not limited to:
New Entertainment System with Handwriting recognition
Adaptive cruise control
Reduction in weight- 130 pounds lighter than its predecessor
New 177 horsepower 1.8 TFSI four cylinder
Not everyone is going to be prepared to fork out nearly R272,300 for the third generation Audi A3′s. (depending on model and package of course) This does not mean you have to forego the pleasures of a luxury small car, as there are plenty of these little beauties on the used car market.
Even in an older model Audi A3 you will find attention to details such as the interior LED lighting, four spoke leather covered steering wheel (which offers handy controls for radio and more) and the Audi standard MMI (multimedia interface). Overall this is one car brand that has consistently provided reliability, affordability and comfort in their small family cars.
Which Audi A3 is right for you? Do you fancy a nice little five door sport coupe? Or are you more interested in waiting for the sedan models to hit the show room floor? There are pros and cons to either approach, and plenty of used vehicles to choose from if you are strapped for cash and cannot afford a brand new model. Remember American models manufactured after 2009 offered satellite radio, leather seats and auxiliary jacks as standard equipment!