• Jan 12, 2010
Audi A3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Europeans go crazy for the Volkwagen Golf, but not so much for the Jetta. Like, not crazy at all. Americans, on the other hand, will give props to a hatchback, but what we really love is big butts and we cannot lie a trunk in which to put our junk. According to Inside Line, Audi has decided to stop letting its A3 hatchback be a whipping boy while trying to sway American tastes and instead it has committed to bringing us an A3 sedan.

The small sedan is already in the development pipeline and will arrive in the U.S. – its only intended market – in 2012. It is reportedly going be the size of the first-generation Audi A4, the B5 model. That sedan was 178 inches long and 68.2 inches wide, whereas the current A3 hatch is 169 inches long and 69.5 inches wide.

The question is whether the A3 only needs a trunk in order to lure more buyers. The current hatch starts at $27,270. If the Golf and Jetta are taken as examples, there is just $135 difference between the two cars, the Jetta being more expensive. This plan could theoretically work if the A3 sedan is similarly close to the hatch, but somewhere along the way we feel like it will need to shed its image as a gussied-up Golf for sales to really fly.



[Source: Inside Line]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      The A3 doesn't sell well?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sure Americans have an aversion to hatchbacks. But Audi also has an aversion. To competitive pricing. Each of the last three times I leased cars for my company, my first choice has been the A3. And each time, I got the same pitch from different dealers: A3's don't lease well. Lease an A4 instead.

        (Granted the lease rates are tied to residual values, which would be lower than the A4's residual values by percentage if the A3's were that unpopular.) So despite my passion for premium little wagons, I could never have justified a $500 - 600 lease payment for the A3.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Last I checked, not as well as audi hoped (even though they're everywhere in any fairly fashion forward metro area). They're selling the a5 almost 3 to 1 against the a3 and a4 6 to 1. I'm guessing they'd like to see 1000+ a month in north america.
        • 5 Years Ago
        In North America, but in europe it sells incredibly well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Jesse , competitive prices ? make the US dollar competitive again and you get the competitive prices.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The A4 leases better because of the quantity Audi sells and how well it re-sells. BMW 3-series' lease better than the 1-series I'm sure, as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I never really got America's addiction to wagons, doesn't make a lick of sense really. I don't buy the better looking argument either, unless you're talking a full size car, where the lines really start to flow.

      As for the Golf in drag concern - get over it. The Europeans like the car just fine, for the nicer interior (well until the Golf MKVI) and badge on the nose.

      To convince me however, I'd like to see 4-500lbs taken off while still featuring a nicer interior aesthetic than the admittedly gorgeous Golf. A3 should be able to compete by taking the Golf platform, and ditching weight.

      As for the sedan? Eh, if its what people I want - give it to 'em. I'll buy the hatch thanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        *addiction to sedans, sorry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems pointless, but I guess they want a BMW 1 series fighter. Which means it would need a motor that matches the 300hp motor it that one has. But, wouldn't this kill sales for the VW Jetta and Passat?
      • 5 Years Ago
      what is everybody wondering about? as if a a3 sedan and a jetta would compete, come on. its just the logical next step for audi to make some more premium cash.
      also, I dont think there will be a problem with audi building smaller cars, take a look at the a1, the mini or the fiat 500. you can go small and make a real nice chunk of money even in those classes, if you offer modern styling (ok and premium tech.).
      chopsui
      • 5 Years Ago
      The A3 doesn't have poor sales because it's a hatch, it has poor sales because it's the most boring looking hatch on the market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @chopsui
        The A3 certainly reflects the conservative, yet classy design ethos I would say informed the B7; prior to the all-out crazy awesomness of the B8. You could say it's a boring car.

        I really do think, however, it is too close to the GTI. Frankly, I think that the A3 doesn't have the right appeal for the enthusiast crowd. I think that the GTI does a much better job of catering to my needs.

        The only way I can get a stickshift in this thing is by getting a Front Wheel Drive model, to say nothing of TDI A3 + stickshift. I live in a city; my parking space is tiny, and it snows. I want that car! But I want Quattro, and I want a stick. If I can't have that, then why go for the A3? GTI/Golf provides 4 doors, FWD, and a stick - regardless of drive train.

        The question I'm asking myself is: is it worth the premium to jump up from a GTI? We're talking at least $5,000 here. And the answer is: not so much. The interior doesn't feel appreciably better-made than that of the GTI (IMHO), and well, if I can't get Quattro and a stick --- then the hell with that A3.

        Mere love for the brand isn't enough here; if I must have an Audi, a used B7 A4 is kind of the better buy here.

        I think that's what's hurting the A3. I'm sure that when the revise the car, it'll be aiming straight at the 1-Series, and that's good. A 1-Series doesn't feel cheap inside -- but, it's a lot more expensive than a GTI or the current A3 is. I expect the next A3 to cost more than this one does.

        I will also second the post of whoever said that VW is moving their cars down-market: you can no longer get a Climatronic in a Jetta. Dick move, VW. Dick move.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @chopsui
        and, some might argue, way to close to the golf, especially with the golf in price and amenities.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Audi A3 sedan being developed for U.S. only"

      Ha Ha Ha! That's so funny LOL!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm at least interested to the say the least. I love German cars, but they're all getting quite fat. I'm not a huge fan of a hatchback, so I might be interested in a baby A4. If the price is lower, I would probably go with a fancier version, like a "Prestige" level A3 Sedan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was at my Audi dealer this weekend, when I saw the A3 TDI on the lot. I asked how they were selling, he replied "Awful because we can't get any in to sell. Tons ask about them."
        • 5 Years Ago
        They already have the A3 TDI available here.

        I believe they have also commited to the A4 TDI as well with the 3.0L V6 TDI. Not sure how soon we'll get that though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The A3 TDI has been available in the US since November. They're in somewhat high demand, as the current production is mostly fulfilling pre-orders and seeding the dealerships with demo cars -- most dealers have only one or two and may be reluctant to sell their only one on the theory that they won't get a replacement anytime soon.

        I ordered one in early October, and I probably won't see it until the end of February, assuming that the build date (next week) doesn't slip again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Neil41487 - last i checked 53% of a3 sales were diesel...
      • 5 Years Ago
      If it already has not already been collectively viewed, then i must say, Audi/VW is the number one car maker in terms of giving the people what they want. I am impressed time and time again. It's good to see at least one company out there is doing things right. Their future is a bright one indeed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        coming from a bimmer guy... that's high praise :).
        • 5 Years Ago
        True in general, though the lack of a Scirocco for USDM is a huge and unfortunate oversight.

        An A3 sedan is genius--offsets the problem of the supersizing problem of the A4 and 3 series for something more affordable (and possibly desirable). 2.0T w/ Quattro would be yummy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes they are. With one glaring exception. I want that ***** ****** Scirroco right now!
        Love my cc though . The A3 would make a nice replacement in a few years. I'm guessing this will be based on the next A3, and not the current one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      perfect elegance
      • 5 Years Ago
      For the people who want to move up from an Impreza sedan?!
      • 5 Years Ago
      RS3 Sedan? Please?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I see an A3 coupe as the true goal here.
        S3 to battle the 135
      • 5 Years Ago
      Given how the new A4 has grown to be almost the same size as the A6, they really need something to slot underneath.
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