We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.
Pre-2010 Audi A3 Overview And How To Buy At The Best Price
Although available in Europe for a decade, the Audi A3 was finally brought to America with the 2006 model year. Although a luxury car, it was felt that it wouldn't catch on here in the states because too many car buyers equate "compact car" with "cheap".
Well, that's certainly not the case with the A3 and it certainly looks like it's here for the long term. It's versatile, good on gas and nimble on the go.
We find lots to like in the A3 Sportback. Outfitted with the same powerful turbocharged engine as the A4, there's plenty of umph to this wagon that drives and handles like a sport sedan.
Along with its comfortable drive and athletic performance, the A3's interior and feature quality is definitely up to what we expect from an Audi. It looks and feels top-of-the-line.
In comparison to an Audi wagon that has been here in the states, it's about 400 pounds lighter and a foot shorter than the A4 Avant 2.0T Quattro. It's also looking like a "sport wagon" bargain in comparison, as long as you take it easy on some of the more expensive options.
It's like driving a "sport sedan" that happens to have 56 cubic feet of cargo space (the A4 Avant only has 3 feet more). And don't think that being its entry-level vehicle that this is any less an "Audi". In design, refinement and performance, the A3 is most definitely what we would expect from this automaker.
On 2006 through 2009 models, the available trims reflect their engines: the 2.0T and the 3.2 Quattro. Powering the front-wheel-drive A3 2.0T is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's good for 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It can sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in a very quick 7 seconds. Used Audi A3 2.0T's can be found with either its standard issue 6-speed manual transmission or Audi's optional S tronic sequential-shift automated gearbox.
The gas mileage for the 2.0T is also pretty appealing, with an EPA estimate of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with the S tronic (2008 model year, for example).
Under the hood of the 3.2 Quattro (all-wheel drive) is a 3.2-liter V6 engine that produces 250 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Paired with the S tronic transmission and all-wheel drive, the 3.2's additional weight means performance isn't improved all that much over the 2.0T, although the all-wheel drive is certainly a plus for those who live in areas with inclement weather conditions. The 3.2 Quattro can still make the 0 - 60 mph run in an impressive 6.8 seconds and its gas mileage comes in at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway (also 2008).
Standard features on the 2.0T include full power accessories with one-touch power windows, dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch wheels, a 10-speaker stereo and a trip computer. Used Audi A3 2.0T models can also be found with the optional S line Package which adds a sport-tuned suspension, leather upholstery, sport seats, aluminum interior trim accents, foglamps, a roof spoiler and unique front and rear fascias. Some used models can also be found with the Premium Package that included the leather interior and foglamps plus a 12-way power driver seat, Homelink, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The A3 3.2 Quattro comes with nearly all of the S line and Premium Package's features as well as satellite radio. Other stand-alone options for either model that can be found include navigation, Bluetooth, bi-xenon headlamps, a dual-pane sunroof and a cold weather package that features heated seats, heated outside mirrors and heated windshield washer nozzles.
Used Audi A3 wagon shoppers should note that the 2008 model added satellite radio and the auto-dimming mirror to the 3.2's standard features, while also adding rear manual sunshades and iPod integration to the available option list for both models.
For the 2009 model, the Audi A3 got both an interior and exterior refresh as well as additional features. Leather upholstery, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack became standard for both models. In addition, the 3.2 got standard Bluetooth phone connectivity and bi-xenon headlights, while the Quattro all-wheel drive became an option on 2.0 T models with S tronic. The manual 2.0T also got standard hill-hold assist.
For 2010, the A3 3.2 was dropped while a diesel engine model was added. The available models were renamed Premium and Premium Plus, all models got S line features and wood interior trim accents became an available option.
Overall, the Audi A3 makes an excellent used wagon choice for those who value a more refined and capable driving experience as well as more upscale features.
How To Get The Best Price On A Pre-Owned Audi A3:
There are actually several different ways to buy a used A3 at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
Also ... for those of you who might be interested in a brand new Audi A3, if the price was crazy good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New A3. This works just phenomenally well.