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2010 Audi A3 TDI – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Audi A3 TDI is typical of the clean diesel breed. It offers impressive low-end torque, belches out little in the emissions category and scores on the efficiency chart. The A3 also coddles both the driver and passengers with near-luxury levels of standard and optional equipment. It's small enough to allow for easy maneuverability, yet sized just right to allow ample space for four adults. With so many stellar attributes packed into a single automobile, Green Car Journal decided that the Audi A3 TDI was worthy of the honor of 2010 Green Car of the Year and decided to acquire a long-term A3 TDI in hopes that a more rigorous round of testing would show if this clean diesel was indeed worthy of the award.

Six months and 5,000 miles later, the verdict is in and Green Car Journal proclaims that the A3 TDI does so many things right that it's difficult to find a single flaw. Regarding that clean diesel engine, Green Car Journal writes:
Drop the S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic in 'drive' and press on the accelerator, and you're treated to a burst of low-end torque that presses you back in the seat, courtesy of this TDI engine's 236 lb-ft torque at the ready from just 1750 rpm.
The journal sums up the overall experience this way:
Six months of seat time in Audi's 2010 A3 TDI have done nothing but affirm the obvious value of this model. This sharp, luxury-leaning sportback typifies the clean diesel breed with its low emissions and impressive fuel efficiency – an EPA estimated 42 mpg on the highway...and better from our experience – while endearing drivers and passengers to the brand. There's simply a lot to like about this car.
Green Car Journal points out that the TDI-equipped A3, with an MSRP of $29,950, is not one of the cheapest clean diesels available, but being an Audi, its high price is justified, right?




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  • 23 Comments
      • 2 Months Ago
      Diesels are a gimmick...they really add very little benefit to emissions reduction, if at all, and hybrids already blow them away.

      What a joke.
        • 2 Months Ago
        Considering that diesel technology had it's birth in the late 1800's, I think it has moved far beyond the gimmick stage.

        Diesel has it's positives and negatives, as do all method's of propelling a vehicle. But a gimmick or joke? I don't think so.
        • 2 Months Ago
        http://www.calif.aaa.com/westways/2010-09/Pages/here-come-the-diesels.aspx?zip=91202

        Reduction in CO2 is BS...that's why it's a gimmick.

        IC engines have been around for a long long time too...and they still are dirty pigs....so what's your point?
        • 2 Months Ago
        A Joke? This is one of the funnest cars to drive. You don't have to put up with the tin cans the Japanese make and you can pull a camp trailer behind this car and it wouldn't put up a fuss. Try that with a Japanese hybrid and you won't get far. I love my torque for passing and sporty feel. I don't care to race but 42 mpg, pulling power and a 20% reduction of CO2 from the standard gas A3 and it is not Japanese makes it a winner for me.
      • 2 Months Ago
      "Six months and 5,000 miles later"

      That's not a lot of miles, they must have a large fleet.
      • 2 Months Ago
      60% diesels? Look at the absolute numbers. They conveniently leave out absolute numbers and just say %. Q7 is not selling well at all as well. We're talking about a few hundred total sales for the month...

      Green car of the year in 2010 should be Leaf or Volt... Not an A3 diesel at only 42mpg.
      • 2 Months Ago
      How is this greener than a Prius, Fusion or Sonata hybrid? All of these cars beats it in space, highway mileage, CO2 and price.

      And if price is about 'luxury' then the upcoming MKZ hybrid will beat it as well in mileage and not much more expensive for a much larger car.
      • 2 Months Ago
      this is best site & given very good knowledge for cars..................


      Mortgage Services
      • 2 Months Ago
      Having put 40k on it's gas burning sister, I can tell you that the A3 is very easy to love, and can easily make it difficult to put up with any less in a car. So long as you can live with an overweight understeering nose plow.
      • 2 Months Ago
      Well - you tell us.
      The obvious comparison would be the VW sportwagen, no?
      • 2 Months Ago
      The A3 has received the worst "predicted reliability" score from Consumer Reports. It sounds like you'd be getting great gas mileage while driving back and forth from the repair shop.
        • 2 Months Ago
        You're exaggerating. In Consumer Reports' "2009 Annual Auto Survey, based on our subscribers' experiences with 1.4 million vehicles", "Both the Passat and Audi A3 have improved to average" for reliability and owner satisfaction. CR actually recommends the A3. They haven't reviewed the A3 TDI but they also recommend the Jetta TDI: again average predicted reliability but in its case high owner satisfaction.
        • 2 Months Ago
        Predicted reliability is just that- a prediction. Just like weather forecasts, predictions are often incorrect.
        • 2 Months Ago
        Only thing ever went wrong with mine was a wheel bearing that was replaced under warranty, probably caused by heavy handed alignment after new tires.
      • 2 Months Ago
      The ONE thing nobody is talking about is the fact that this is the ONLY (AFAIK) car in audi's lineup that ISN'T AWD!!!!! Short of the E320 Merc you can't get an AWD Diesel car here in the states, but audi can still claim that it has AWD in its entire lineup because other A3 models have AWD ...but gas engines. If someone wants an AWD diesel car, this was audi's opportunity to put in on the market in a very niche segment, and it hasn't happened. ...very dissappointed
      • 2 Months Ago
      it would be nice if ABG 'journalists' would remember little things like global warming and peak oil so they wouldn't write sellout articles like this and speak obvious lies like 'clean diesel' and 'pure delight'
      it's only a pure delight if you are ignorant and careless
        • 2 Months Ago
        Maybe you should remember nothing is an absolute, Gobal warming and peak oil may be just as much a lie as clean diesel and pure delight. Except at least the pure delight can be experienced now.

        A report was just released yesterday that confirms scientists have grossly overstated the effects, if any, of climate change, and the effect we're having on the planet. Maybe climate change is just a huge conspiracy for governments or the "man" to tax us more on our carbon emissions, and perhaps peak oil is another excuse or lie for oil companies to sell us that cheap oil at 100x the actual price.


        http://www.icecap.us/
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Sam,
        "A report was just released yesterday that confirms scientists have grossly overstated the effects, if any, of climate change, and the effect we're having on the planet"

        You're lying. Maybe you're referring to the IAC report on the IPCC which found NO new flaws beyond the Himalaya exaggeration spotted 8 months ago. And that icecap.us site doesn't offer any alternative scientific theories or a better climate model, it's just exaggerating peripheral controversies.

        It's idiotic to suggest the undeniable warming of the earth in recent times is a "conspiracy". It's a fact, and by far the most likely explanation is the undeniable increase in greenhouse gases caused by human activities.

        Wake up to reality.
        • 2 Months Ago
        the truth is quite absolute Sam. and if you try real hard you might be able to understand some simple ones.
      • 2 Months Ago
      "Nozferat," in post. No. 11 above, sites AAA as his scientific source to back the claim that diesel vehicles do not have superior CO2 reduction performance than comparable gasoline vehicles. Both Nozferat and AAA are wrong.

      Please see: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs_uc_p2.pdf (page 30-31)

      The California Air Resources Board commissioned this white paper from UC Berkeley, which found a 22 percent CO2 benefit from diesel vehicles over comparable gasoline vehicles. The AAA article's claim is based on hearsay. The UC Berkeley research is based on science.
      • 2 Months Ago
      I used to like Audi. Now the olympic rings badge is getting so big and showy, I'm not so keen.
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