Audi has brought back its A3 TDI sedan for the 2015 model year with a redesigned 2.0-liter diesel that provides impressive range in an entry luxury sedan that won't crack open a fleet budget.
The 2015 A3 with its sloping hood and sleek-angled headlamps is a looker, and would appeal to fleets who assign cars to drivers seeking to make an impression on clients. Insurance, financial services or real estate sales fleets may want to consider this vehicle.
The A3 TDI's inline four provides 150 hp, an increase from the 136 hp rating of the prior model. Both engines provide 236 lb.-ft. of torque. The A3 TDI fell in line with the 470-mile range expected in a combined driving cycle; diesel cars tend to live up to the EPA fuel economy ratings — in this case 36 mpg combined on a 13.2-gallon tank. The A3 TDI gets an EPA-rated 43 mpg highway and 31 mpg city.
During my evaluation period, I drive the sedan in a mixture of freeway and city conditions, including on a road trip from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara on a low-traffic Sunday afternoon and in heavy traffic on the San Diego (405) Freeway from Westwood to Long Beach.
The A3 TDI's interior provides plenty of amenities, including a panoramic sunroof and leather seating surfaces. The car offers Audi's scene-setting interior lighting of AC/heating controls and console areas such as cup holders for night driving.
The A3 TDI's instrument cluster offers a stylish layout with a display that gives the driver a bevy of data about performance and fuel use. I particularly enjoyed a screen that tells the driver how much fuel is being used by the air conditioning. When you increase the fan speed or lower the temperature, a green status line fills up more of a box with fuel-tank increments displayed below.
We tested the front-wheel drive Premium Plus model that retails for $41,695. Upgrades from the base model include the infotainment system with navigation, heated seats, a rear-view camera, and the interior LED lighting.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet