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.
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|2012 Audi A3Browse Used Listings||2012 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings||2012 Lexus CT 200hBrowse Used Listings||2012 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings||2012 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings||2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportwagenBrowse Used Listings|
|21 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy|
|Turbocharged Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas/Electric I4||Gas I4||Gas Flat 4||Gas I5|
|Small Station Wagons||Compact Cars||Compact||Compact||Compact Cars||Small Station Wagons|
|4-Door HB Manual FrontTrak 2.0T Premium||4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEV||FWD 4-Door Hybrid||4-Door Sedan Manual i SV||4-Door Manual 2.0i||4-Door Manual S|
|Front Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Hatchback||Sedan||4 Door Hatchback||4 Door Sedan||Sedan||4 Door|
|Manual||Automatic w/Manual Shift||Continuously Variable Ratio||Manual||Manual||Manual|