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2009 Audi A3 Review

The 2009 Audi A3 is a sleek-looking hatchback with a well-made cabin and sports car-like performance. It also has an outstanding safety score, though its cramped rear seat may deter some shoppers.

Pros & Cons

  • Solid all-around performance
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • High-quality interior
  • Great safety scores
  • Second-row seats need more legroom

New for 2009

  • Refreshed interior and exterior design
  • All-wheel drive became available with base engine
  • Leather seats, satellite radio and auxiliary input became standard




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Audi A3 Overview

When it was new, reviewers were impressed with the 2009 Audi A3’s combination of performance, interior quality and practicality. Two engines are available in the 2009 A3, which are paired with either front- or all-wheel drive. The base A3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 200 horsepower, while a 250-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 was optional when it was new. Reviewers were impressed with the power from both engines, though reviewers said the 2.0-liter offers similar performance and better fuel economy than the V6 model. With the 2.0-liter engine, the A3 gets up to 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is class-competitive.

The A3 comes with dual-zone climate control, leather seats, a 10-speaker stereo, an auxiliary port and satellite radio. Navigation, Bluetooth and a Bose stereo were optional. Thanks to its hatchback body style, reviewers were impressed with the A3’s versatile cargo space and said that the front seats are comfortable. However, auto critics noted that the back seat will be a tight squeeze for most passengers.

See the full 2009 Audi A3 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Volvo C30 hatchback stands out with its retro styling and glass tailgate, and it matches the A3’s great safety ratings. The C30 comes with a lot of standard features, but it doesn’t have much interior space. There are only four seats, and there’s little cargo room. Reviewers said the C30 has sporty performance, but they preferred the A3’s driving dynamics.

If you like the C30, but prefer a four-door sedan, the 2009 Volvo S40 also offers more standard features than the A3. The S40 is also available with all-wheel drive, just like the Audi. On the downside, reviewers thought the base S40 needed more power, but the T5 R-Design trim is a close match to the A3 when it comes to performance.

Compare the A3 to the C30 and S40 »

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