Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week


Readers jumped on the bandwagon this week to put the 2014 Subaru Outback up top in its debut on our list of most-read reviews. reviewer Kristin Varela says the cultishly popular wagon gets better every year, and 2014 is no exception. Also enjoying a robust start is list newcomer the 2015 Audi A3 luxury sedan, which bows at No. 2. Further down the roster, at Nos. 8 and 9, are the 2014 Buick Regal sedan and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee crossover. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Subaru Outback
2. 2015 Audi A3
3. 2015 Honda Fit
4. 2014 Nissan Rogue 
5. 2014 Subaru Forester
6. 2014 Honda CR-V
7. 2014 Infiniti Q50
8. 2014 Buick Regal
9. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
10. 2015 Subaru WRX

By Matt Schmitz | April 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi A3 TDI Sportback Photo Gallery (29 Photos)


If you've seen the quintet of other Audi A3 variants, you already have a solid idea of what you'll see when the 2015 A3 Sportback TDI hits U.S. dealerships in June. We confirmed the family resemblance this week when we got an early peek at the new A3 TDI at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

While its design is similar to the rest of the A3 lineup, the hatchback body style and resulting raised roof should improve headroom. The Sportback carries on the interior family tradition, as well, with a nice array of standard features for its entry-level price.

Check out the gallery below; photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | April 18, 2014 | Comments (5)

2015 Audi A3 TDI Sportback: First Look


Competes with: Mercedes-Benz CLA250, Buick Verano, Acura ILX Hybrid

Looks like: Every other Audi, only smaller

Powertrains: 150-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel; six-speed S tronic automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2015

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

Audi's expansion of its entry-level A3 lineup continues with the announcement at the 2014 New York International Auto Show that the company will be bringing the A3 Sportback TDI diesel to the U.S. next summer. It will join the A3 sedan currently on sale, the A3 Cabriolet, TDI diesel sedan, Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid and S3 high-performance sedan, all arriving between now and summer 2015.

By Aaron Bragman | April 15, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi A3 Review


As opposed to a small car made better, reviewer Aaron D. Bragman says the 2015 Audi A3 is a better car made small. The entry-level luxury sedan is aimed at hooking Gen Y while they're young, but anyone who appreciates "surprisingly strong" acceleration and "astonishing ride quality" would do well to give this "remarkable little car" due consideration. Bragman was less impressed with the A3's "joyless" steering feel, but overall this is a car that makes its nearly $31,000 starting price seem like a bargain. Read Bragman's review below.

2015 Audi A3 Expert Review photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Matt Schmitz | April 11, 2014 | Comments (18)

2015 Audi A3 Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Award


The redesigned 2015 Audi A3 has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's most prestigious safety rating, Top Safety Pick Plus, the institute announced Tuesday. The compact luxury sedan (previously a hatchback) received scores of "good" for performance in the IIHS' five crashworthiness tests — including small overlap protection, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head-restraint — as well as an "advanced" rating for front crash protection.

2015 Audi A3: First Drive

The A3 is available with an optional front crash prevention system that qualified it for the IIHS' advanced rating in the new-for-2014 test. The system has automatic braking technology, which helped the car avoid a crash in a test at 12 mph. Meanwhile, in the 2-year-old small overlap test, in which 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph to replicate a collision with a tree or utility pole, IIHS reported that the sedan also performed strongly.

"The structure held up well, with a minimal amount of intrusion into the driver's space," IIHS said in a statement. "The dummy’s movement was well-controlled, and injury measures taken from the dummy indicated a low risk of injury."

IIHS image

By Matt Schmitz | March 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi A3: First Drive

Driving Audi's all-new A3 sedan around the hills of Silicon Valley reveals a remarkable little car. Ride quality is outstanding, material quality is top notch and acceleration is impressive; the only letdown in the A3's performance is steering feel that's tuned more for ease than sport.

Under the hood, two powertrains are currently available for the A3 (more are coming). The base car starts out with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower and 200 pounds-feet of torque that's sent only to the front wheels through Audi's S tronic six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. That may not seem like a lot of power, but it comes on surprisingly strong. If you keep the transmission in Sport mode, different algorithms will keep the turbo engine in the sweet spot to allow for more aggressive driving. It does experience a little torque steer, however, and it will even chirp the tires from a standing start, but it's by no means slow. This is a rare instance where the base engine is actually desirable.

2015 Audi A3 and S3 at the 2013 New York Auto Show

The more powerful engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's mated only to Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system also through the six-speed automatic — no manual transmission is offered in the A3. It's pumping out a robust 220 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque and is downright quick. Thanks to the all-wheel drive, torque steer is not a problem. Quattro adds 187 pounds to the A3 and takes out 2 cubic feet of trunk space, but the benefits to owners who live in inclement climates are real.

By Aaron Bragman | March 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi A3 Sedan Video

Audi's compact car lineup gets two new stars this year with the 2015 A3 sedan and Cabriolet. Developed with the U.S. and Chinese markets in mind, the new A3 is larger than you'd expect, says reviewer Kelsey Mays.

More 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Signature styling outside and an emphasis on clean, simple design inside means this new sedan will fit right into the Audi family. The A3 goes up against the new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and should prove to be a formidable opponent. Watch the video for more.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 25, 2013 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show


Competes with: Volkswagen Eos, Mini Convertible
Looks like: Audi kept the A3's bold shape even after chopping off its roof
Drivetrain: Turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder with front-wheel drive and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with all-wheel drive; six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
Hits dealerships: Fall 2014

Variants of Audi's upcoming A3 are running rampant — three body styles by our current count — well before the sedan's launch in early 2014. That number includes the all-new droptop A3 Cabriolet debuting at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show; the e-tron plug-in hybrid will be a hatchback, which is scheduled for 2015.

More 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The A3 Cabriolet wears a soft-top with power up and down operation. Audi says the top opens or closes via the electrohydraulic mechanism in less than 18 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. The top folds into three layers and rests in a tray when retracted. Cargo space is 10.1 cubic feet when the top is down, which is more than the Volkswagen Eos and Mini Convertible.

By Joe Bruzek | November 21, 2013 | Comments (8)

Audi Introduces 4G LTE Connectivity for 2015 A3


At Tuesday's Connected Car Expo during the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi said it will offer 4G LTE in the 2015 A3 sedan. The automaker, which already offers 3G connectivity across much of its lineup through Audi Connect, said the new service will be seven times faster and allow for up to eight mobile devices to be connected through an onboard WiFi hotspot. It should enable smoother Google Earth and Google Street View images; it will also facilitate audible news, Facebook and Twitter alerts, and provide access to more than 7,000 stations of Internet radio.

More 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show News

You won't necessarily have to pay for a separate subscription, though. The automaker said it will offer shared data plans between your smartphone and the car — much like a cellphone family plan — to mitigate the cost, Audi officials told us at today's unveiling.

By Kelsey Mays | November 19, 2013 | Comments (2)

Audi Prices 2015 A3 Sedan


The compact luxury wars are heating up. Audi's new A3 sedan will start at $30,795, including an $895 destination fee, when it goes on sale in the spring. That puts it squarely in Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class territory.

The U.S. is no stranger to the automaker's A3 hatchback, but this is the first time a sedan variant is being offered here. Audi's new entry-level sedan is 6.5 inches longer than the current A3 hatchback, and about 10 inches shorter than its A4 sedan. Several powertrains will be available: turbocharged 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engines; a 2.0-liter clean-diesel four-cylinder will eventually join the lineup. A six-speed dual- clutch automatic is the sole transmission; front- or Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive are available.

By Jennifer Geiger | October 25, 2013 | Comments (0)

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