• By: Dan Donovan

Performance, Style, Grit ~ The Audi A3 Enough Room for My Hockey Equipment and Stick

If you want a car that combines style, grit, lively handling and performance while allowing for practical things like a hatchback/wagon design that provides ample cargo space, look no further than the Audi A3. Its classy interior retains the luxury and style that Audi is known for, but it does not compromise on performance. The 2012 Audi A3 is a four-door hatchback offered in two trims: Premium and Premium Plus. Standard equipment on the Premium includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery and a 10-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

The Bluetooth Value package adds an eight-way power driver seat (includes four-way lumbar adjustment), a multifunction steering wheel and Bluetooth. The Premium Plus comes standard with the Bluetooth Value package and adds different wheels, xenon headlights, LED running lights, steering wheel shift paddles (with automatic transmission) and aluminum interior trim. The Audi Navigation System Plus package adds a navigation system, a dash-mounted Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) and the choice of either a six-CD changer or an iPod interface. The Convenience package adds automatic headlights, automatic wipers, and rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a Bose premium sound system.

Optional on both cars is the Cold Weather package, perfect for Ottawa because it includes heated front seats, heated mirrors and heated windshield washer nozzles. Also available are a panoramic sunroof, rear side airbags and a Sport package that includes 18-inch wheels, summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension and sport seats. The Titanium Sport package (available on the Premium Plus) adds special exterior and interior trim to the Sport package.

The A3 comes with one of two engines: Audi’s (and parent company Volkswagen’s) familiar and sprightly 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 or a 2.0-liter TDI turbo diesel. The TDI isn’t nearly as quick, but it compensates with an EPA-estimated 42 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg in combined driving. It has 19.5 cubic feet of total cargo capacity with all seats in use, and 39 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The hatch door lifts and opens to a surprisingly spacious, flat-floor cargo bay. The rear seat backs fold easily back providing extra space but they do not lay completely flat. The cabin has good small-item storage. Compact and well engineered the only drawback with the Audi A3’is cramped rear seats. Then again it is a smaller vehicle so that should be no surprise.

Whether you’re in the city, on highways or venturing down some snowy back road in miserable weather, the A3 is a winning drive. The good news is I could fit both my hockey equipment and stick in the car with no problem. For a lot of Canadian guys that is a key factor in any car purchase (no kidding!) If you can get your gear in no problem it means your spouse or other drivers can get their stuff in too! Depending on options the starting price for the Audi A3 is $35,750. Bottom line: The Audi A3 is well worth the ride!

To learn more about the Audi A3 click here: http://www.audi.ca/ca/brand/en/models/a3/multimedia_experience.html#source=http://www.audi.ca/ca/brand/en/models/a3.html&container=page