At the end of the day the A3 is a luxury car, and when it comes to luxury you usually have to pay extra for features. That said, the A3 comes reasonably well-equipped for its segment but if you want some niceties be prepared to pay for them.
The good news is that even in base ‘Premium’ trim you get 17-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, sportier S line body trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery on the seats, a 10-speaker (yes, 10 speakers!) stereo, and dual zone climate control.
Pay a little more for the ‘Premium Plus’ and you get Audi’s funky LED detailed headlamps with bright xenon bulbs. You also get an ambient lighting package for the cabin, controls for the audio volume, Bluetooth phone and audio seek functions on the steering wheel, and a powered driver’s seat.
The downside is that several tech features that are increasingly included as standard on much more affordable cars—like a Bluetooth hands-free interface—remain optional on the A3. Bluetooth is offered as part of a $600 Bluetooth Value Package (that doesn't seem like value to us) on the base A3, though as mentioned above it's included as standard in Premium Plus models. But otherwise the options list is very long, including a Sport Package that's more than appearance (it also includes a sport suspension) and an open-sky sunroof. But on top Premium Plus models, you can quickly load the A3 up past the $40k mark.
If you can afford it, we recommend getting the high-end Bose sound system as well as navigation and the iPod integration kit.