2007 Audi A3 Expert Review

You'll Like The 2007 Audi A3 If...

Hungering for a European sports sedan like an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but can't quite justify the expense? If so, the A3's taut handling, sophisticated design and hatchback versatility, at a price lower than those worthy machines, could make this car a keeper.

You May Not Like The 2007 Audi A3 If...

For some reason American buyers have not traditionally warmed to vehicles with a utilitarian four-door hatchback configuration. And if you are the type who buys vehicles for sheer size and interior room, other models will better satisfy you for the price.

What's New

The Sport Package is replaced by the S line Package, which features more aggressive front and rear fascias. Also new for 2007 is the addition of SIRIUS Satellite Radio to the Audio Package.

Interior Features

When it comes to the interior treatment, the A3 demonstrates it truly is a "premium" compact. The overall design is decidedly upscale, and the aluminum-surrounded round front air vents are among several touches that echo the stylish Audi TT. Available three- and four-spoke steering wheels have a satisfying heft, while the gauges housed in a simple binnacle are easy to scan. Aluminum rotary knobs on the automatic climate control system and several other aluminum pieces give the interior an aeronautical feel. Rear-seat passengers are treated to better accommodations than one might expect in a compact car, and the folding rear seatback features a pass-through for carrying longer items. Wheelwells intrude a bit into the rear cargo area, but it is exceptionally well-finished, with a cargo net to secure loose items.

Exterior Features

The A3's droop-nose grille treatment gives it a strong family resemblance to its larger Audi brethren, the A8, A6 and A4. With wheels thrust out to the corners and a tapered tail, the A3 has a purposeful, sporty look, emphasized by wheels and tires that fill the wheelwells. The sloping rear window adds to the aggressive appearance, but the trade-off is less interior cargo space. The rear hatch opens easily but seems relatively narrow, and justifiably so, since this is, after all, a small car. Clear-glass headlamp covers and optional Xenon headlamps give the A3 an exclusive demeanor.

Driving Impressions

Audi engineers have certainly achieved their design objective of creating a hatchback with the feel of a sports car, and while it might seem odd to the uninitiated, the Direct Shift Gearbox-equipped version is actually sportier than the manual shift model, because the shifts arrive with racing-inspired quickness.

The A3's small size, taut suspension and willing FSI engine also make it a blast to drive through curvy stretches, but at the same time its highway ride quality won't make you regret you didn't opt for a more sedate sedan. The seats offer good support, and the rear-seat area is surprisingly spacious, but some folks might be disappointed by the size of the rear cargo area. The dash is one of the most clear to understand we've ever encountered, and the switches and controls are intuitive.

Pricing Notes

The Audi A3 equipped with manual transmission has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,150, while the version equipped with the revolutionary DSG automatic transmission starts at $27,540; the 3.2 S line quattro model is $34,700. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows prices consumers are actually paying in your area, so be sure to click on it to compare. Other "hot hatchbacks," like the Mazda Mazda3 and Toyota Matrix, are significantly less expensive but don't offer near the premium panache of the A3. In terms of resale, the A3 is expected to retain excellent values over time, better than the Volvo V50 and Mazda Mazda3, and on par with the Volkswagen GTI.

Notable Equipment

The declared objective of the A3 was to offer the same high levels of standard equipment found in larger premium automobiles, so this vehicle doesn't skimp. Standard items include dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter and sun sensor, 140-watt stereo with 10 speakers and pre-wired satellite radio preparation for SIRIUS Satellite Radio, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, power windows, and central locking with remote. Safety features such as the electronic stability program (ESP), front seats with active head restraints, remote keyless locking, front and side airbags for driver and front passenger and the Sideguard airbag system are all standard on the A3.

Notable Options

The A3 option list includes a 3.2-liter V6 model outfitted with quattro all-wheel drive; a Cold Weather Package featuring heated seats, mirrors and windshield washer nozzles; the S line Package touting sport suspension, aluminum trim, fog lights, leather-covered sport seats, rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels; and a Technology Package that adds Bi-Xenon headlamps, rain and light sensors and Bluetooth wireless technology. Stand-alone options include rear side-impact airbags, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bose audio, DVD navigation and the Open Sky power moonroof.

Favorite Features

Direct Shift Gearbox

Inspired by auto racing technology, the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) facilitates lightning-fast gear changes thanks to its electro-hydraulically controlled twin-clutch design. Automatic shifts through the six gears are so quick and well-timed that even the most skilled driver will wonder why she or he should shift manually. The DSG is so efficient that it delivers better EPA fuel economy numbers than does the manual gearbox.

Air Suspension

An optional air suspension allows for an extra three inches of ground clearance, while an active damping system lets you choose between Auto, Comfort and Sport settings, according to the road ahead.

Under the Hood

A new FSI direct-injection gasoline engine with turbocharger powers the all-new A3. It can be fitted with a conventional six-speed manual transmission or the optional Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). The 2.0-liter engine is remarkably tractable, with nearly none of the turbo lag that afflicts some other turbocharged engines. The 3.2-liter V6 delivers even more punch, combining the sure-grip traction of quattro all-wheel drive with the marvelous DSG transmission.

2.0-liter in-line 4

200 horsepower @ 5100 rpm

207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 (manual), 25/32 (automatic)

3.2-liter V6

250 horsepower @ 6300 rpm

236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27

Editors' Notes

The Audi A3 has succeeded where others before it have failed. Conventional wisdom says Americans don't purchase small premium-luxury hatchbacks, and the lackluster sales of the BMW 318ti and Mercedes-Benz C230 coupe seem to lend credence to the theory. Yet, despite all odds, Audi's A3 has caught on, offering four-door versatility wrapped in a sleek package that forgoes a trunk in favor of a rear hatchback. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the A3 is priced well below $30,000, offers two great engine choices and is fitted with many of Audi's trademark features, such as quattro all-wheel drive and the revolutionary Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG).

Road Test Video Reviews

2007 Audi A3 Owner Reviews

8 Reviews
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The best car for my family with style.

I have a 2007 Audi it works perfectly, my car has oil change every 6 months, everything works smooth I only drive it 6,000 miles a year, is more than a compact car for me. No electronic problem until this year, on gas I usually spend 25 to fill the tank every 2 weeks. Usually in the city the gas mileage is around 40 mpg. Its has enough space on the back for bags or strollers. I can work as a family car too.

- Carolina B

Compact quick turbocharged AWD.

The first problem I ran into was the suspension went out in the rear. I recommend you change those to aftermarket coilovers for better handling and better ride height. The 2. 0 turbo is a fun little engine with tons of options to make it faster. I would recommend that you know how to work on cars because even small maintenance issues can cost a lot.

- Chris Y

The vehicle is amazing and is reliable.

This is a amazing car and will get you where you have go. The mileage is amazing. The parts inside are great. The ac is amazing. There are little problems. It is very reliable and comfortable. It was many great features like backup camera. The performance is the best I have seen and drove.

- Matthew U

Durable, dependable and gorgeous!

I personally love the way this vehicle drives smoothly and never really had any performance issues, its durable and dependable. Not only does it drive and run very well, I find it to be extremely aesthetically pleasing with its slick, smooth body trim and beautiful front and tail ends.

- Theresa O

My amazingly fast red Audi a3.

My Audi a3 is perfect. It runs smooth and I have had no issues with it. I have had it a little over 3 years now. I love my car. It has turbo. It smokes brand new sports cars. My favorite part, plus the sunroof. there's nothing I would change about it.

- Ryan M

Just a good car with no complaint.

It is older now have not had many problems. Not having many dealers makes services time consuming. The airbag thing all cars are dealing with has be the biggest problem.

- Harvey Z

Reliable comfortable high performance

Performance really good, comfortable. Kind of expensive in terms of maintenance, parts are rare. But is very reliable

- Rose C

How well it handles in the snow. It handles better than some SUVs.

It's the Audi s line. I love the power and handling. The panoramic sunroof is the best feature.

- Nicholas V

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