2011 Audi A3 vs. Its Competition

2011 Audi A3 4-door HB S tronic 2.0T FrontTrak Premium Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

If you're in the market for a wagonlike vehicle with sporting pretensions and can spend around $30k, you have some interesting choices.

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 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 Lexus CT200h is an all-new alternative for 2011; it combines a version of the hybrid system from the Toyota Prius with a hatchback design and a sportier look and driving feel.

EPA ratings are much higher in the city than even the A3 TDI, but about the same on the highway—though, admittedly, the CT200h isn't as confident on the open road.

2011 Audi A3 4-door HB S tronic 2.0T FrontTrak Premium Angular Front Exterior View2011 Audi A3
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2011 BMW 3-Series 4-door Sedan 335i RWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 BMW 3-Series
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2011 Lexus CT 200h2011 Lexus CT 200h
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2011 Mazda32011 Mazda MAZDA3
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2011 Subaru Impreza WRX Hatchback 2011 Subaru WRX
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2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen 4-door DSG TDI Angular Front Exterior View2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen
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Quick Specs
The 2011 Audi A3 is stylish, refined, and versatile—and nearly as good for the city as for the highway.
The 2011 BMW 3-Series continues the tradition of excellent handling, brisk performance, and high quality, though its relatively compact size does result in some compromises.
The 2011 Lexus CT 200h is an iconic, stylish, and actually quite fun-to-drive car, with Lexus levels of refinement;, and it's a strong value—both as a way of entering the Lexus brand and as an exciting new green icon.
The 2011 Mazda3 provides more driving enjoyment than most other small-car models, along with a stylish, racy look; but with a tight, noisy cabin, it’s not without compromise.
The 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI are fast, fun cars to drive in any situation, and they're comfortable, safe, and practical enough for small-family use; poor fuel economy and a lack of automatic transmissions limit its appeal, though.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I6Gas/Electric I4Gas I4N/AGas I5
EPA Class     
Small Station WgnCompactCompactCompactN/AWagon
Style Name     
4-Door HB Manual FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 328i RWD SULEVFWD 4-Door Hybrid4-Door Sedan Manual i SVN/A4-Door Manual S PZEV
Front Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door HB4 Door Sedan4 Door Hatchback4 Door SedanN/A4 Door
Manual w/ODManualContinuously Variable RatioManual w/ODN/AManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Audi A3 vs. 2011 BMW 3-Series2011 Audi A3 vs. 2011 Lexus CT 200h2011 Audi A3 vs. 2011 Mazda MAZDA32011 Audi A3 vs. 2011 Subaru WRX2011 Audi A3 vs. 2011 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen