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2014 Kia Soul, Kale Green, 6 mi., $17,660
Review of the 2012 Audi A3
IntroductionThe Audi A3 is a stylish luxury compact car with innovative concepts that ensure better power, safety and comfort of occupants. The four-door 2012 Audi A3 hatchback blends dynamism with striking design and is at ease on city streets as well as open roads. Audi has done away with the A3's 3.2-liter V6 from the lineup but has added a diesel engine. Further, it has made wood interior accents available and included S line features across all models. The trim levels are now listed as Premium and Premium Plus.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesThe A3 Premium models roll on 17-inch alloy wheels with fog lights and offer a number of comfort and convenient features like quality leather upholstery, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, full power accessories, cruise control, a trip computer and a 10-speaker audio system with a single-CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Premium Plus models get xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, aluminum interior trim, a power driver seat, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth.
EngineA four-cylinder 2.0-liter diesel engine that utilizes clean-diesel technology powers the 2012 Audi A3. It is rated at 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The previous gasoline 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline that produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque makes a comeback. Gasoline-powered A3 models are offered in FWD or Audi's legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive system. However, the diesel-powered versions are available with FWD only. FWD gasoline models can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or Audi's quick-shifting S tronic automated dual-clutch six-speed manual gearbox, the latter of which has manual or fully automatic modes. AWD models and the diesel are limited to the S tronic transmission. The fuel estimates range from 21 mpg in city to 34 mpg on highways.
SafetyComprehensive safety features available on the 2012 Audi A3 include four-wheel anti-brake system with vacuum power assist and electronic brake pressure distribution; tire pressure monitoring system; rear armrest with first aid kit; safety belts; power central locking system; front airbags with sideguard; child safety rear door locks; and impact protection. Rear side airbags are optional.