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Moonshot - The 2015 Audi A3 - DrivingScene

Categorized | Reviews

Moonshot – The 2015 Audi A3

Posted on 17 March 2014 by Adam Kaslikowski

Red 2015 Audi A3 Sedan Front

The old Audi A3 was a solid car, in fact we drove the 2014 A3 TDI and liked it quite a lot. But the luxury A-segment is different now, the Mercedes CLA has seen to that. Luxury automakers are moving away from “entry-level” models that skimp on the features to get new buyers into the brand. Instead, they are responding to the public demand for smaller yet still luxurious cars from the top marques. Audi has heard this demand loud and clear – as well as the CLA breathing down their necks – and launched a comprehensive redesign of the A3 in an effort to win this “space race” of capturing the small luxury market. And like the real space race, while the CLA pulled a Sputnik and got up there first, the A3 has loftier ambitions than just orbit.

Audi has been able to thoroughly reconceptualize the 2015 A3 by starting from scratch. Gone is the entry-level feel, gone is the inoffensive styling, and gone is the hatchback design. In their place we find acres of leather and premium materials, an aggressive new look, and a traditional (if rakish) sedan format. In reality, this all-new A3 isn’t an A3 at all, it’s a pint-sized A6. Every surface and driving characteristic transmits the sensations belonging to a much pricier ride. Your only clues as to its, shall we say “limited” price point are the shrunken cabin space and sporty ride characteristics

This is not a vehicle I would necessarily relish a cross-country blast in – the ride is far too harsh for that. But that is not what the 2015 Audi A3 was built for. It was build for the young and well-to-do. The tech CEO or engineer. The marketing manager or sales all star. This A3 was built for an increasingly urban demographic, and it shows. The ride isn’t plush, but it sure is sporty. Zipping in and out of lanes, around buses or cyclists, and scoring the smallest parking spots is what this car is all about.

The A3 is also all about cutting a stylish line with it’s new body. Gone are the flat slabs of the outgoing model, and in their place we find impossibly sharp creases and folds that would not be out of place on a Lamborghini. Every design element on this vehicle has been focused to portray a natural and animalistic athleticism. The side creases, particularly with the darker shades of paint, grab your eye and force it backward towards the prominent rear wheel while also angling the entire car forward as if it is about to pounce.

This 2015 Audi A3 is certainly a different breed from its predecessors. More luxurious, more refined, and thoroughly more polished. Is it enough to capture the momentum away from the CLA? Only sales will tell, but they are thoroughly different cars and anyone cross-shopping between these two will decide their camp based on that dichotomy. The CLA is all fashion and of the now, while the A3 is more timeless style and slow burning. I highly suspect that this new A3 will do quite well for Audi, and of course for those lucky enough to buy one.