By on March 8, 2012

“We decided not to take it,” said Audi of America CEO Johan de Nysschen, regarding the Audi A3 hatchback. The Detroit Bureau quotes Audi’s head man in the USA stating that not only will we not get an A3 hatch, the sedan version won’t share a single body panel with the Euro two-box version.

Our A3 will likely be along the lines of the B5 A4, which arguably pulled Audi out of the “unintended acceleration” era and into the “coveted aspirational brand” phase in America. de Nysschen thinks that sales of the A3 will triple, to 30,000 annually, once the sedan launches. If you must have a hatchback, the current model will be in production till 2013. World markets will supposedly get the A3 sedan as well now that everything has been finalized. But wagon fans in the U.S. are out of luck once again.

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52 Comments on “2013 Audi A3 To Only Come In Sedan Form For U.S Market...”


  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    The GTI was a better car than the A3 hatch anyway both in terms of value and overall quality IMHO.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    No V40…no 1-Series hatch…no A3 hatch…it seems like the 5-door Mercedes is going to be all alone in the US compact luxury 5-door segment…with the Lexus CT. Am I missing any others?

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      No Cruze manual diesel wagon. Who will bring the diesel manual wagons/hatchbacks the masses are clamoring for? We clearly need an Occupy VW movement to fix this problem.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Exactly how will an A3 sedan be appreciably better than a Jetta GLI? There probably won’t be too many high-performance variants, since Audi probably doesn’t want the A3 stepping on the A4/S4’s toes. I guess certain people really have to have that badge.

  • avatar
    redliner

    This will crush the Acura ILX before it even gets off the ground. It looks sharper, comes from a more prestigious brand, will most likely have a torque rich turbo charged engine, and probably achieve similar fuel economy. Oh, and AWD might be available.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I expect the ILX will be significantly cheaper, competing with cars like the GLI and Focus Titanium rather than the A3 and 1 series.

      Any pricing speculation for the A3 or ILX?

    • 0 avatar

      Oh it will crush all right – in the race to the largest number of dealership visits per mile travelled.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        Yeah, your right. The ILX will be as reliable as, oh I don’t know, a civic. (that is what it is after all) The Audi will probably come with a complimentary pack of razor blades next to the can of fix-a-flat, for use after the warranty is over.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Bah, well this is sub-optimal. I was really hoping this would be my next car. But then I was also hoping they would allow me to get a manual transmission and quattro in the same car (which you can’t do with the current gen, it’s either/or) and I doubt that would’ve happened anyway.

    Always thought this was the perfect little car as it was a good combination of performance/style and practicality, but now that they are taking away the practicality and instead focusing on jamming more electronic gadgets into it, I’ll regretfully have to pass again.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Nice to see a smaller sized sedan again in the Audi line up. The current A4 is way to bloated, cheap looking and rather bland on the exterior and interior. The wheezomatic turbo 4 is the icing on that turd cake. The current A4 turned me away from Audi when my ’07 S4 lease came up and I chose VW instead. Audi had also dropped the free maintenance while VW picked it up. Bad move for Audi I think. Hopefully they will make some type of forced induced S version of this A3. I really like the looks of this.

  • avatar
    thalter

    I owned a 1998.5 A4 (B5 model). This was one of the best looking Audis ever, IMO. This was definitely the car that helped pull Audi out of obscurity.

    The new A3 definitely bears more than a passing resemblance to this landmark car (at least from the A pillar back), especially in the roofline.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I was in an Audi dealer loaner A4 a few weeks ago, and it was a 4 door 2+2, as in it seats two in comfort or more crammed in like circus clowns. If this car doesn’t have more room than the A4, then there really isn’t much point making it a sedan.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    For tight urban cities, the A3 5-dr hatch was one of my favorites, except that the shoulder room is narrow. The GTi is a better value, but Audi did a good job of differentiating the A3. A runabout in a suit and tie.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    As an owner of an A3 since 2005 I have to say that I’ve loved this car. Sure it’s had its share of quirks, but a combination of dealership support and vehicle enjoyment push me over into the “I’d hit it again” category.

    Unfortunately, having to wait until calendar year 2014 for the new one might be a bit of a stretch. That’s pretty unfortunate. I’d love for them to bring the Sportback 5-door as an interim step, but I’m not holding my breath that will happen, sadly.

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      I got a loaner A3 when the wife’s A6 was in the shop (this is a common experience) and I loved it! More fun to drive than anything short of a real sports car that I have driven in a long time.

  • avatar
    word is bond

    So if it’s a modern B5 A4, then great – let’s call it the A4 then.
    This is just silly. I really think America is ready for hatches now. I don’t know what kind of idiot would buy the Fiesta or Focus in sedan form. If anything, this should only be sold as a hatch. If it triples in sales, it’ll only be because it’s eating A4 sales.

  • avatar
    lungchin

    this really sucks – a3 sportback really was the sweet spot for a city car – small, agile, versatile, nice interior, good looking – they way things are going i will be forced to get a small SUV, since there are no sport wagon options left

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      The A3 was not really a “wagon” it was a hatch. The GTI/Golf has almost the same amount of room in the back. The interior is better looking in the GTI also.

      • 0 avatar
        vbofw

        Comeon. The interior is better in a GTI/Golf versus an A3? For the GTI I’ll give you “quirkier”, but certainly not “better”. And for those over 30, the GTI steering wheel is a non-starter.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    When I lived in the US I was initially shocked by how strongly people judge each other based on the car they drive. I had an MB CLK320 convertible which I loved but had to put up with it being categorized as “a girl’s car”.
    Similarly, I was amazed at the generalizations which stated that US drivers hate station wagons, minivans, hatches and diesels. I still don’t understand why such a huge market cannot sustain a few of these vehicles. Americans miss out on so much. Here in Oz we have a small market but we have access to all these things even though we drive on the wrong side of the road. Please enlighten me. Are there some rules governing what the dealers can sell? Must all states be the same? Surely it can’t be a safety compliance issue with such similar models?

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Actually, you were told wrong. A CLK320 isn’t a “girl’s” car, it’s a “trophy wife’s” or a “mistress\'” car. There’s a big difference . . . . in maintenance and expense. (I’m not talking about the car.)

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I was born here and I still don’t understand all the judgmental attitudes about what a person chooses drive.

      As for the dealers: I suspect it is all about an American need to absolutely maximize profits at all costs including sending production to China so people who have a hard time making a living can save some dough on trinkets sold at discount stores.

      American car manufacturers (and import brands sold here) are not going to cater to customers with eclectic tastes in cars – you know people who appreciate weird things like manual transmissions, wagons or passenger car and CUV diesels. They want to sell the most popular vehicles to the max numbers of mainstream customers and the folks with quirky car taste can just choose from the mainstream options. Thanks but count me as part of the sporty wagon with a turbo diesel and manual transmission crowd. My wife too.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      Diesel is a lost cause for 4 reasons. 1) cost of the fuel; 2) high MPG diesels are low on power, and HP sells cars in the US, not torque; 3) high power diesels don’t get significantly better MPG than the newer crop of gas engines; and 4) the American public still think it’s the 1980’s when they hear the word “diesel”

      Some of us in this country like to be a bit individualistic and want things “unconventional.” Unfortunately we are a tiny whimper standing against the flood of beige automatic Camry’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Stacy McMahon

      It has to do with the way cars are moved from the factory to the buyer, as well as how they are certified for safety and emissions. The engine/transmission/drivetrain combination has to be certified, not just each individual component, so the cost to make a car legal to sell expands geometrically with the number of choices in those components. Solution: extremely limited choices.

      And almost all cars are sold out of dealer inventory. It’s expensive to keep inventory sitting around, so dealers only order the most popular models and options. You can special-order a car, but it takes weeks to months to get your car and unless what you want is a stripped base model you’re not going to have any better choice that way then by picking from dealer inventory. There’s no changing any of this, because car dealers are very big in local and state politics, and their business model is effectively codified in law.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    I’m shocked that no one picked up on the “won’t share a single body panel” with the Euro spec A3 comment. So how would Audi make this so market specific bit if trivia possible? Simple answer; they’re gonna build it in friggin Mexico next to the Jettas. yay. let’s all pay for German engineering (shiver) assembled in Mexico (shudder).

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      That to me signals that this will be based on the NA spec Jetta.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I wouldn’t smack-talk Mexican assembly. The Fusion and Tacoma are Mexican-built and are quite reliable. Heck, even Chrysler managed to screw together PT Cruisers in Mexico that were (per CR) reliable cars.

      VW, on the other hand, has been challenged to make a competitively reliable car anywhere.

      • 0 avatar
        Sundowner

        I owned a late model (2010) mexican built Jetta. I can and will smack talk it all day long; that plant sucks for quality control. Oddly, I also own a 2002 Tacoma built in Fremont California. That thing is indestructible. My buddy’s later model Tacoma Hecho in Mexico? not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      I looked at a that as well, but it says won’t share a panel with the ‘Euro 2 box model,’ the hatchback. That doesn’t necessarily mean the A3 sedan will be a gussied up Mexican Jetta made for Americans and offered in small numbers to suckers elsewhere in the world. That could just mean all the body panels are different from the hatchback.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    will they also build an a3 four-dour coop?

  • avatar
    Robbie

    So much for my planned 2014/2015 purchase of an A3. Any suggestions for alternative yet similar cars? That Mercedes?

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    This is not the successor to the B5 A4, it is a successor to the MkIV Jetta. Both technically, as a FWD trasverse engine car, and in terms of the Lincoln Park Trixies that are going to be buying/leasing it.

    • 0 avatar
      notapreppie

      I dunno, I go to school at DePaul and I don’t see a whole lot of VW/Audi products. Mostly Bimmers and Benzes. The Trixies seem to get the older E46 hand me downs from daddy and the LPM’s (Lincoln Park Moms) get the newer models (though mostly you just see them pushing their stroller-bound children down the block).

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        There were a ton of MkIV Jettas in the early 2000s.

        http://web.archive.org/web/20030202083956/http://www.lptrixie.com/lifestyles/jetta.asp

        (Past links at the bottom of the page.)

        The lack of VWs/Audis amoung your crowd is probaby why VW is bringing out this A3 sedan, to recapture that market.

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        Odd; my student worker just crashed his supercharged Grand Prix last month. Granted it was down in Indiana and not on Fullerton.

  • avatar
    -hh

    I’m mixed on this one.

    First, the A3 isn’t a GTI … its suspension has better refinement and the US version is the “Stretch” (8PA) chassis which grows the boot by 33% (from 15 to 20 ft3) to make it practical without “SUV-excessive”.

    Second, I’m glad that Audi is offering a smaller alternative to all of the bloat that’s in the US market … of course, it probably is far less altruistic/enthusiast-based than it is bluntly business due to the 2015 CAFE standards. Unfortunately, it will probably be rejected by the US marketplace because it will arguably have a “too cramped” because of our Obesity epidemic.

    BTW, on obesity, you may have noticed that vehicles have been getting wider … across the mirrors, the 2012 Audi Q5 is a mere 2″ narrower than a standard 7ft garage door – that’s ONE INCH of clearance per side and thus only a matter of time until one slightly misgages one’s own garage door; a whacked mirror is easily a $500 repair per event.

    Third, I’m peeved that yet another European “Hot Hatch” (or close enough) is removed from consideration for the US market. Those of us who are over 30 with an extra bucks in our pocket are looking for more refined alternatives to a Abarth’ed Fiat, or a Cooper Works’ed Mini, etc.

    So while the A3 might make for a nice compact sedan, the sacrifice of the hatch is a decisions that will force customers to the Asian manufacturers…particularly for those who loathe SUVs (even including the A4 AllRoad that’s coming to the USA) and as gasoline prices continue to rise.

    -hh


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