Nearly everyone agrees that the 2010 Audi A3 is a very enjoyable car to drive; whether with the turbocharged 2.0T gasoline engine or the TDI turbo-diesel, the A3 is surprisingly good on gas.
The A3 gets good marks for performance. ConsumerGuide says "braking is strong," while Kelley Blue Book reports "lightning-fast gear changes."
Edmunds tested the turbo-4 car and "reached 60 mph from a standstill in only 7.2 seconds."
New this year to the A3 is a 2.0-liter turbodiesel (TDI) four-cylinder engine, producing 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It's the same engine that VW already offers on the Jetta, several reviewers point out. Autoblog cites the engine"s plentiful torque and calls the TDI "more than adequate for pretty much any driving." MotorWeek track-tests the A3 TDI and times its 0-60 mph dash at just 8.7 seconds. They report 42.7 mpg overall and add, "There is prodigious torque and the TDI feels faster then times indicate."
The dual-clutch gearbox is an editors' favorite. It cracks off quick shifts either in Drive or via the steering-wheel paddle-shifters. Autoblog notes that "tapping the paddles on the back of the steering wheel, meanwhile, induces quick and smooth shifts." With either engine it's a great choice.
Several reviewers who drive an A3 with the available magnetic suspension end up advocating the option. Car and Driver was "duly impressed by the Audi Magnetic Ride" shocks.
As TheCarConnection.com"s own editors note, the Audi A3"s steering feel is a little too light and doesn't wind or unwind in the way that's expected from performance-oriented cars. Cars.com says "steering is on the light side."