The Audi A3 is quite an impressive compact car that did not feel so compact when I drove it for a week in the DC metropolitan area. At 6 feet tall and over 200 pounds, I felt comfortable and at ease in the A3 and had quite a thrill driving around with the 2.0L turbo engine that makes 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The A3 has exceptional styling, but what I loved was the handling of the fabled quattro all-wheel drive system. Maneuvering in and out of our hectic traffic was swift. The model I drove had the Prestige trim which added heated seats, Audi MMI navigation, and a favorite – the Audi MMI touch with handwriting-recognition technology that allows you to write letters on a touchpad with your fingers. It also included the Bang & Olufsen premium sound system and adaptive cruise control with stop and go technology. At an entry price of $34,200, the Audi A3 has fierce competition and the Prestige model optioned with the sport package, 19” sport wheels and summer tires for an additional $1600, brought the A3 to $46,150 delivered. Fuel economy was good at 33 mpg on the highway and the A3 was mated to a 6-speed S tronic transmission as opposed to the 8-speed I have driven with in the A4. Simply put, the A3 is a blast to drive; it can be optioned with a slew of features; and of course, it comes standard with LED headlights and taillights. For more information, visit www.audiusa.com.
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