2010 Audi A3 vs. Its Competition

Audi A3 TDI clean diesel - European model
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

If you're in the market for a wagonlike vehicle with sporting pretensions and can spend $30,000, there are some interesting choices outside of the 2009 Audi A3.

The 2010 Audi A3 doesn’t have a lot of competition in the U.S.


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

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

The Infiniti EX is either a crossover vehicle or tall wagon, depending on how you see it.

It has all-wheel drive as an option, but the base car is a rear-driver spun from the hot-handling G35 sedan, one of our favorite luxury sport sedans.

Yet another option would be the Acura RDX, a crossover that’s powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The RDX has a roomier and better-appointed interior, but it doesn’t offer any fuel-efficient engine choices to rival the A3 TDI.

Audi A3 TDI clean diesel - European model2010 Audi A3Browse Used Listings2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen S2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportwagenBrowse Used Listings2008 Acura RDX 4WD 4-door Angular Rear Exterior View2008 Acura RDXBrowse Used Listings2008 BMW 3-Series 2-door Convertible 328i Side Exterior View2008 BMW 3-SeriesBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
A fuel-stingy new TDI engine and spruced-up appearance make the 2010 Audi A3 a very fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive, and practical compact choice.
It's been a long time coming back, but the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen gives crossover buyers something else to consider―and diesel power is on the way.
The 2008 Acura RDX gets its edge from turbo power and crisp handling, but it can feel a little nervous and cramped.
The 2008 BMW 3-Series sedan has the best overall driving experience in its class and remains the gold standard among mid-size sport sedans.
MSRP From   
Gas Mileage   
21 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I5Gas I4Gas I6
EPA Class   
Small Station WgnWagonSport Utility VehicleCompact
Style Name   
4-Door HB Manual FrontTrak 2.0T Premium Plus4-Door Manual S PZEV4WD 4-Door4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEV
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive4 Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
Passenger Doors   
Body Style   
4 Door HB4 Door4 Door4 Door Sedan
Manual w/ODManualAutomatic w/ODManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2010 Audi A3 vs. 2009 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen2010 Audi A3 vs. 2008 Acura RDX2010 Audi A3 vs. 2008 BMW 3-Series