>> The A3. It's been a solid hit for Audi. Little son of a gun, ain't it? Let's see how much Audi DNA they were able to shoehorn into this little package, for better or for worse.
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I am flat out tired of this Audi head unit; let me tell you. And being on this cheaper car, it has an even crunchier resolution. And you've got this turn and click knob here, and you've got four buttons that correspond to four far-flung labels on the screen, six and a quarter inch, non-touch, this is a meaningless little traverse for my hand. This unit is DVD-based, not hard drive-based, like the better, more modern units, so it's a little clunky in its response. Now, if you don't get this head unit, the base rig is AM-FM, single CD that also reads MP3 disks, Sirius, and an auxiliary jack, which is here in the console. You can also upgrade to Bose premium audio on top of that system or go for the full deal, if you like this system. And you'll end with a variety of additional treats like SD card slots back here, because, you know, we all use SD card slots for our audio. And you have a six disc, way over there where you can't reach it, in the glove box. Not very exciting. What you get on this car is Audi's multi-device adaptor to hook up an iPod or some other device with Logic and charging. You just have this simple aux jack. My advice? Listen to the bass audio head unit if you're gonna buy one of these. And if you like it, just stay with that and buy a Garmin.
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Our car is a 2.0 T. That means 2-liter, turbo, in line-4. 200 horse power, 207 foot-pounds. The torque curve feels pretty fat in real world driving, and the turbo spools up quickly, so you're really not ever caught flat-footed. A six-speed manual is stock, but our car has a transmission that is going to confuse some and annoy others. It's the S tronic automatic, as they call it. But it's not an automatic. It's a six-speed dual clutch. Now, why hide that? Buyers who understand and seek a dual clutch might not realize the A3 has one. And buyers who don't get DCTs or go looking for one, and want an automatic, will think this car is broken because the gear box kind of chunks in and out of gears like an automatic that's about to fail. That said, if you appreciate this gearbox and realize what you have, it's quite good, with sharp, crisp shifts, and efficiency that gets the most out of this little mill. In this configuration, with quatro, our A3 is rated at 21/28 mpg, 0 to 60 in the high sixes. You can also get magnetic ride control, sport suspension, and bigger wheels in a package. We have it. And you have two suspension modes when you do that. But in the real world, either one feels just plain sporty, which make it tiresome over the streets of America's ill kept urban infrastructure.
Okay, let's price our diminutive, little A3. 27 is the base, but get ready to lay it on thick to do it our style. Now, if you want that nav rig, it's a little under two grand, which includes audio improvements, so in a way it's a good deal. I just don't like it. You're gonna pay about $1500.00 for this automatic, DCT transmission. And quatro is another $2100.00, and only available with the automatic. $2550.00 for a package for the hot rod wheels, sport suspension, and magnetic ride control. An insulting $1550.00 to get another package that is the only way to get Bluetooth hands-free. Get that Garmin I told you about, and I bet you it'll have Bluetooth built in for free.
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