By on December 29, 2011

Various news sources across India are reporting that Audi will make that country the debut market for its A3 Sedan. It will be a good fit for that market. Reliable information on the vehicle is hard to find — Autoblog’s summary of the concept A3 Sedan from its debut earlier this year sounds uncannily like the incoherent moaning of a middle-aged woman perched on an unbalanced washing machine, clutching a picture of Taylor Lautner, and one Indian source can only report the shocking news that the A3 will be “priced to compete with BMW” — but there you go.

Other, secondary comments and information after the jump.

Presumably, this will be a transverse-engined car, perhaps sharing the underpinnings of the Jetta GLI. One Facebook commentator noted that the car was nearly the same size as the B5 generation of Audi A4, and since that car was in many ways responsible for saving the Audi brand in the United States, the prospect of bringing a similarly sized and decent-looking sedan back here certainly has some merit.

On the cautionary side, anyone who has ever priced an A3 hatchback understands that the car basically costs as much as a A4 of similar spec, while possessing the residual value of a Beanie Baby sans tag. If Audi wants to move this particular piece of metal, a three-year residual in the 58% range, along with a fair amount of cash up front, will be required. Otherwise, the American striving class, like the Indian, will continue to prefer the easy prestige of a $399/month 328i*.

* yes, I know the Indians don’t lease cars.

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28 Comments on “Audi Outsources The Dirty Job Of Buying The A3 Sedan...”

  • avatar

    In my humble opinion, Audi just blows the doors off Mercedes and BMW with their ugly, lumpen over-styled designs. This A3 sedan is very clean and elegant. The new A7 is like a work of art. Too bad the A3 will be priced so close to the A4.

  • avatar

    a three-year residual in the 58% range

    Is that before or after the $3,000 cash back from Audi available on A3s?

  • avatar

    If I wanted a Jetta GLI, I’d get a Passat.
    If I wanted an Audi sedan, I’d get an A4.
    If I wanted an Audi wagon, I’d get an A3 wagon.
    If they stop offering A3 wagon, they can go the same route that the Honda went in my shopping black book => into oblivion.

  • avatar

    As a current and happy A3 owner I’m looking forward to the new A3. Like the author mentions there is really not much information about it. Fortunately I hope to get another 2 years out of mine so I’m willing to give Audi the benefit of the doubt.

  • avatar

    I just don’t really see the need for this car in the US. The TSX has been such a smash hit that Acura is getting rid of it in favor of a gussied up Civic. What are the other logical competitors? Volvo S40? Also gone. Lexus HS250? Bomb.

    Give us the A5 Sportback or the A6 Allroad. Skip the A3 sedan.

    • 0 avatar

      Technically, they’re getting rid of the TSX because the car on which it’s based will no longer exist. The TSX is basically the Euro/JDM Accord with Acura badges. For the next generation, the Euro/JDM accord will be the same car as the US Accord, which is what the Acura TL is based on.

      If you look at the sales numbers, they sell as many TSXs as they do TLs:

      BTW, what was probably Acura’s best selling car ever, the Integra, was also a gussied up Civic.

  • avatar

    A nicer looking Jetta GLI with the DI engine and a real leather interior is a great idea – just not badged as an Audi with a mid 30K price tag. I also wish Audi would stop dragging the Quattro brand through the mud by attaching is to Syncro equipped cars.

    • 0 avatar

      The comparison to the GLI was an excellent point by Jack. It even has the same wheels.

    • 0 avatar

      Did you mean to write “Haldex equipped”?

      The only Audi that has a “Synchro” type AWD system is the R8. “Synchro” used a viscous coupling to transmit power to the rear wheels. The R8 has a similar setup, but uses it to send power to the font wheels. The current VWs and Audi A3 and TT use a Haldex clutch; which was first introduced on the an Audi model; not VW.

      I own Haldex equipped A3 3.2 and would choose it over the mechanically equivalent VW R32; which my wife happens to own. The A3 is more solidly built and is a much better daily-driver than the R32. I don’t consider the A3 a rebadged VW.

      As for the “quattro (w/o torsen) != Audi” argument; whatever….

  • avatar

    My wife has a 2006 A3 hatch that she loves. It cost about the same as a Jetta wagon of similar vintage, and came with a service department that didn’t have its head up its collective tailpipe. We still have the car and would replace it with a new A3 wagon, but I hear that Audi doesn’t believe Americans buy hatches, so they stopped brining them here. I guess Mini never got that memo, becuase they sell buckets of hatches that are (in my opinion) functionally inferior to a baseline $27k A3 wagon.

  • avatar

    I suppose the thinking is that small, well equipped cars will become popular in the U.S. now. The new Focus having destroyed the myth that they would never sell. But really, in what way is this A3 going to be better than a Focus, given that it will be much more expensive?

    I looked at the A3 wagon, but it was very small inside, and way overpriced. A much larger TSX was considerably less. Where is this story about dropping the TSX coming from?

    • 0 avatar

      It has those four intertwined rings on the front. Even if it were merely AS GOOD as a Focus (which is pretty good), it is from a premium brand. But it will certainly have a MUCH nicer interior than a Focus, and it is, IMHO, considerably better looking.

      And yet another case of buying cars by the pound – “but X is soo much BIGGER for the same price than Y”?

    • 0 avatar


      The A3 is overpriced for what it offers. It’s a neat car that handles well, but is a few grand too much. The value just isn’t there, and the Audi dealers as a whole like to give some song and dance about how it’s a limited production car. Yeah, sure it is.

  • avatar

    The upcoming A3 range is one of the first applications of VW’s new transverse-engined MQB architecture (Audi is already using MLB for the A4, A5, A6, A7, A8 and Q5). So while a longitudinal engine would likely fit, MQB will allow better interior packaging — and probably lower costs.

    The retail price difference between the A3 and A4 surely won’t be huge, but then BMW only has a $3K difference between the 1-series and 3-series entry prices as well.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Autoblog’s summary of the concept A3 Sedan from its debut earlier this year sounds uncannily like the incoherent moaning of a middle-aged woman perched on an unbalanced washing machine, clutching a picture of Taylor Lautner

    And THIS is why I read TTAC.

  • avatar

    And it’s why I read Autoblog.

  • avatar

    As cars like the A4 and 3-Series have grown over the years and have gotten more expensive, I think there’s a big gap in their ranges. This new A3, in 4 door sedan form, is a much better car for the US market than the current A3. Other than the placement of the engine, it’s very similar to the B5 A4. It may be a bit overstyled, but the proportions are good and the size is in the sweetspot of the old A4.

    Of course it will cost more than the Focus – it’s an Audi – whether it’s “better” or not. That shouldn’t harm sales. There just needs to be a big enough gap between it and the A4. But as always, and like cars like the Focus, I’m sure you can equip it with everything ever created, and price it to oblivion.

  • avatar

    the incoherent moaning of a middle-aged woman perched on an unbalanced washing machine

    Plenty of sites where you can find stuff like that.

  • avatar

    For clarification the next gen A3 will *not* ride on the same platform as the current Jetta. It is the first of the new MQB line that does for transverse engined cars what MLP did for longitunial models such as the A4, A5, Q5, A6, A7, A8.

    It will, however, share much with the Gen VII Golf, due out late next year. The big difference is that MQB allows Audi to do things like use a lot more aluminum in the subframe, suspension and body panels, similar to the new TT.

    As for whether or not North America will get the Sportback, while the official party line is sedan only for us, I have it on very good authority that Audi NA has not officially ruled out the Sportback – they’re testing the waters.

    The A3 has turned into a decent filler model for Audi, especially once they fitted it with the 2.0TDI. Packaging grew more simple over the years and Americans have started to warm to “premium compact” cars, which is the experiment the A3 was brought here to test.

    The next generation should see North America receive the cabriolet drop-top for certain, as Audi wants to plug the pricing hole now that the A5 cab is circa $50k.

    I have very high hopes for this car and if Audi can bring a wider range of models (wagon, cab, S-model, sedan) I think they’ll be able to incrementally grow sales.

    According to my source, we should see the new A3 sedan stateside within 18 months. Whether that means we’ll get the wagon sooner or means we’ll have a drought for a bit was not made clear.

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