2010 Audi A3 TDI Review
Sure, it's the 2010 Green Car of the Year, but after I save the planet with it, will I have a car I like?
2010 A3 TDI
It was just named 2010 green car of the year. But saving the planet may not be enough to sell a
whole lot of tiny cars at $33,000 a pop. So let’s see if the Audi DNA prints on this little guy as
we drive the A3 TDI and check the tech.
You can't get an A3 with a gas engine of course, but this is the one everybody is talking about
the turbo diesel. Ours by the way is a premium plus trim level and black on black giving this
little guy a little more gravitons. And the first thing that you’ll notice about the A3 if you’re 6
feet or over like this, you won’t so mush get in this thing as kind of put in on. Alright I can get a
little more out to do that at the seat but it’s a tight fit let me tell you.
Well let’s get right here to the head unit where the real interesting stuff begins. This is a little bit
old in terms of Audi’s technology but it’s still basically a goodie if it is an oldie. That’s really
good map resolution. Now this is now a readable, those street names are even if they are kind of
out the kilter or out up to a different angle as they follow their street but very visually quick.
Audi is just this MMI interface, the knob in the four corner buttons that correspond to the corners
of the screen and it can be a little non-intuitive at times like here are four selections on the right
for direction, scale, distance to end, things like that. How do you get there? Well you can kind of
click around the lock until that appears and then if I want to get to scale, like click again, I can do
that. Then I can click again to move around, I think, and now how do I get back to one of these
other guys? I’m sure it’s in the manual but I don’t want to read the manual.
Now as you can also see, we have light traffic on this guy. Nice clear indications of traffic issues
are shown on the map as your underway as well as here in the info display where you can get a
Let’s take a look in the audio system now. Pretty good rig here in terms of the media options.
You’ve got some good stuff here in the dash board. This is what the Audi folks call their Audi
Media Interface (AMI). This cable goes to an Audi port in there. I happened to have the iPod
cable on now. There are other cables you can plug in here like for U.S. beer, Ox for example. If
you have this though, you don’t have CD. There’s no CD because that would normally go on the
glove box and use the same connection as 6-Disc Changer so you’re going to have to go with
On the other hand, we do have a couple of odd balls, the old SD cards that Audi loves so much.
A pair of them right back here behind the display. The disc logged above there by the way is not
for a CD, that’s just your DVD data disc for the Nav rig. And we have something complete
convenience package, the name of which makes sensible enough in no sense and the fact that it
brings you the premium audio which is boast branded. What’s convenient about good audio? I
guess sort of, it does now quite good and those some nice kind favors for sources that normally
sound like crap like satellite radio. Ten speakers around the cabin, whether you get the bass
audio or the bose audio. The speaker count doesn’t change.
Let's talk about the gear shift for a minute. It connects to an Audi S-Tronic 6 speed. It covered an
automatic dual clutch. So I'll assume it's a dual clutch which normally it is what you call an
automatic because it’s a different kind of automatic. But that’s exactly what it is with a sport
mode if you go back here or over the right, you’ve got a shifting mode for up and down and
you’ve also got paddles here in the wheel but it goes the same thing, down shift on the left and
up shift on the right. So, a lot of ways to mix the gears on this guy, which isn’t all useful because
it’s a diesel for crying out loud. Look at the red line 4500. This is not a car you are going to get a
lot of joy out of the shifting.
Okay the big story on this A3 is here in the engine, there are two leaders, turbo diesel direct
injection motor. That’s a very small displacement for there are side saddle in line for, and yes the
horsepower is 3:49 140 horse but 236 foot pounds of torque ensuring that a good time will be
had by all. It results in an 8.90260 time which doesn’t sound very good. Well it feels faster
because there’s torque where you need it. And the real story of course is right here. The proof is
in the pudding, damn numbers is good 30 city 42 highways, no hybrid nonsense required to get
there cleaned by the ways also an ATA 7 for small again 8 for CO2, good numbers.
By the way, Audi’s famous Quattro (four wheel drive system) is not available on an A3 turbo
diesel just like the manual gear box isn’t available unless you get the gas engine car.
Now, underway I love turbo diesels. I rent them whenever I’m in Europe and always wish I can
get one here. So here, I’ve got one. These diesels have great everyday power but its not sports
car or canyon carving power. It comes on differently. It will make you grin like an idiot when
you’re driving around town, believe me. But not necessarily when you’re out on those twisty
roads on a weekend driving for driving sake. That’s still a place where the gas engine really
shines more. One thing you won’t forget is this is Audi’s smallest car. It does feels small in the
dimensions and packaging. You’re never quite get used to that, at least I didn’t in the few a days
of driving. And it’s not as smooth and creamy as a lot of other Audi’s. The 5’s and 6’s and
certainly the 8’s are just unbelievably smooth underway. This car transmits a lot more road
imperfection to you and that’s not great.
When you’re in the car at least in the windows down, the presence of diesel noise is pretty minor,
this common ray or direct injection motors are not terribly clutter-y. I love to use this paddles
and shifting gear here for a reason but they’re really aren’t. This is not a really fun car to rev up
and play with the gears on. You got a pretty limited range for about 1800 to 4000, it's where
you're going to do all your driving and the power there is stupendous but that’s not a very big
alley to plan.
Okay let’s price this guy out. Audi A3 TDI, 31 base and you going to add the premium plus
package. You can get Bluetooth hands, free upgraded headlights, a few other nice disc controls
on the wheel as $2000.00 more. And this is a convenience package at a thousand dollars more
which brings you bose audio, automatic wipers, automatic headlights, heated outside mirrors and
then another 2000 or so for the navigation system and it comes two ways—one that has the Audi
music interface for your iPod, the other that has a 6 CD changer.
2010 Audi A3 TDI Review
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