Competes with: BMW 1 Series, Buick Verano, Mercedes-Benz CLA250, Acura ILX
Looks like: A remarkably nice update of the model that established this growing segment
Drivetrain: Turbocharged 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engines and 2.0-liter clean-diesel four-cylinder; six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Early 2014
While other manufacturers steered clear of subcompact luxury cars, Audi took the plunge in 2006 and held fast with its A3 hatchback, and lo and behold, other brands have joined the party. Now Audi has redesigned the A3, which will be sold in the U.S. primarily as a sedan for the first time. Another first, it will come in an S3 performance version.
More 2013 New York Auto Show Coverage
Though the redesigned A3's world debut is scheduled for next month at the Shanghai Motor Show, Audi gave an exclusive preview to journalists on the eve of the New York International Auto Show's press days. The sedan, and its S3 sibling, aren't even going to appear at the New York show. After our time with the cars, they were immediately, uh, Shanghaied.
Audi developed the A3 sedan with the U.S. and China in mind, so naturally it couldn't be small. It's grown 6.5 inches in length versus the current hatchback to 175.5 inches and almost 2 inches in wheelbase to 103.4 inches. That's about 10 inches shorter than the current A4 sedan. Audi says the next-generation hatchback will also return, but not until the end of 2014 and only as a plug-in hybrid.