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2012 Audi A3 vs. Its Competition

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Our expert editors build comparisons like this one to make it easy for you to understand the small handful of cars you should compare to whatever car you are already looking at. You get general thoughts on each car you should consider plus an easy way to compare basic information for yourself.
2012 Audi A3 4-door HB S tronic FrontTrak 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior View
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TCC Rating
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You now have quite a few interesting choices in the U.S.

market, if you're looking for a five-door hatch or small wagon with a more premium feel.

The Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen is a good alternative; the VW is roomier inside and has a better ride, though it’s not nearly as sporty as the A3.

The Mazda3 and Subaru WRX hatchbacks are also strong alternatives; both have interiors that aren't nearly as nice and refined, but both have good performance and excellent handling—and the WRX offers standard all-wheel drive.

The BMW 3-Series wagon—especially the fuel-efficient 335d—is one possibility, but it’s much more expensive.

With the Lexus CT200h, you could get a body style that's somewhat like that of the A3, with a version of the Toyota Prius' fuel-stingy powertrain.

The CT handles well and gets better mileage in the city, even compared to the A3 TDI, but it's hardly sporty.

Finally, surprisingly, the Audi A4 Avant is an alternative.

Keep the A3 simple; otherwise, you might as well move up to the A4 Avant and its more lavish interior.

2012 Audi A3 4-door HB S tronic FrontTrak 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A32012 BMW 3-Series2012 BMW 3-Series2012 Lexus CT 200h2012 Lexus CT 200h2012 Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv2012 Mazda MAZDA32012 Subaru Impreza2012 Subaru Impreza2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen
Quick Specs
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TCC Rating
The fashionable, versatile 2012 Audi A3 is as deft for the city commute as it is at ease on the highway.
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TCC Rating
The 2012 BMW 3-Series delivers the class-leading sport-sedan performance and handling enthusiasts have come to expect, yet it makes substantial improvements in fuel-efficiency, active safety, and connectivity.
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TCC Rating
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h is a surprisingly stylish, fun, and unexpected car, blending Lexus levels of refinement with superb hybrid gas mileage. It's the sole compact luxury hybrid hatch, but it offers good value and a new way of driving green.
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TCC Rating
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
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TCC Rating
Crisply restyled, with higher gas mileage, more space inside, a nicer interior, and all-wheel drive standard, the 2012 Subaru Impreza is a newly compelling compact alternative.
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TCC Rating
The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen isn't exactly like its sedan counterpart--it's noticeably smaller but nicer inside.
MSRP From     
$27,270Browse Used Listings$34,900Browse Used Listings$29,120Browse Used Listings$15,200Browse Used Listings$17,495Browse Used Listings$20,195Browse Used Listings
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas/Electric I4Gas I4Gas Flat 4Gas I5
EPA Class     
Small Station WagonsCompact CarsCompactCompactCompact CarsSmall Station Wagons
Style Name     
4-Door HB Manual FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEVFWD 4-Door Hybrid4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Manual 2.0i4-Door Manual S
Front Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
HatchbackSedan4 Door Hatchback4 Door SedanSedan4 Door
ManualAutomatic w/Manual ShiftContinuously Variable RatioManualManualManual
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