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Driving Notes

2015 Audi A3 TDI

Audi's updated A3 TDI sedan provides a 470-mile range in city and highway driving.

March 5, 2015, by - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

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.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

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.

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Amy Winter-Hercher

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Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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Chris Brown

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Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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Chris Wolski

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Chris works on Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Work Truck, and Green Fleet. He edits the Global Fleet Management eNewsletter.

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Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, Vehicle Remarketing, and Work Truck. He has covered police vehicles for Police Magazine.

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Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

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