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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
Audi Magnetic Ride provides the ultimate in cornering and stiffness
Car and Driver
more than a full second slower than the sportier Mazdaspeed 3
yields good maneuverability
willing to play and satisfy in any trim
Car and Driver
The 2009 Audi A3 is a joy to drive, plain and simple, and according to reviewers, the new magnetic suspension system is well worth getting.
“We were duly impressed by the Audi Magnetic Ride adaptive shock absorbers supplied by Delphi,” remarks Car and Driver. The “Audi Magnetic Ride provides the ultimate in cornering and stiffness—which posed a problem when trying to produce a noticeable amount of body roll at the behest of our photographer.”
About the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, Edmunds says, “our test car reached 60 mph from a standstill in only 7.2 seconds—which is about average for most competing cars, but more than a full second slower than the sportier Mazdaspeed 3.” Cars.com informs drivers that this speedy engine delivers "5,100 rpm and 207 pounds-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm."
ForbesAutos recommends upgrading to the 3.2-liter V-6 because it is "smoother" and "generates 250 horsepower." Kelley Blue Book says the V-6 "delivers even more punch, combining the sure-grip traction of quattro all-wheel drive with the marvelous DSG transmission."
"Whether you choose the 2.0T or 3.2 Quattro, brisk performance is at hand for passing and merging maneuvers,” says Edmunds. Cars.com agrees that the 2009 Audi A3 "yields good maneuverability," but "steering is on the light side."
Most reviews read by TheCarConnection.com applaud the A3's acceleration and braking prowess. ConsumerGuide is thrilled that "rapid takeoffs induce minor torque-steer" and says "braking is strong." Kelley Blue Book finds that "the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) facilitates lightning-fast gear changes."
ForbesAutos mentions that Audi A3's gas mileage is "lower than most small cars muster," but concedes that "what the car lacks in overall fuel economy it makes up for in speed."
The dual-clutch transmission is an editors' favorite. And though the 2009 Audi A3’s ride can be somewhat stiff, and the electric power steering doesn't wind into a corner like a traditional hydraulic power steering system would, the A3 feels like a true Audi in most every sense: light, direct, and refined.
Whether on a winding road or in the straightaway, the performance of the 2009 Audi A3 will keep you grinning.