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2011 Audi A3 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Audi A3 was new.


Interior: 8.0

Interior quality isn’t an issue with the 2011 Audi A3. As with many European cars, the A3’s build quality is exceptional. The automotive press, however, complains about two things. First, the Audi A3 is short on interior space. Second, reviewers complain about Audi’s confusing infotainment system.

  • "As with the other cars in the Audi lineup, the 2011 A3's cabin is understated in design, with high-quality materials and craftsmanship throughout. There are a few more hard plastic pieces than you might expect, but they are well-textured to blend in seamlessly." -- Edmunds
  • "Small outside, big inside." -- Car and Driver


The biggest drawback with the Audi A3’s seating arrangement is its cramped rear row. Adults can sit in the back, but it will be a tight fit. Some adults may even find the front seats uncomfortable. Give the A3 a thorough test drive before purchasing, especially if you’ll seat people in the back.

Leather seats are standard, and heated front seats are available with the Cold Weather Package. For more rear space, consider the Volkswagen GTI, which also boasts a sporty driving experience and offers a rear seat that reviewers find comfortable.

  • "Also, the driver seat may not have enough travel for shorter folks, while the rear seat is cramped for taller ones." -- Edmunds
  • "Headroom and legroom are plentiful. The seats are all-day comfortable. The available sport buckets have slightly larger side bolsters for excellent support in turns. Oddly, even the power seats include some manual adjustments." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

The 2011 A3 is loaded with high-quality features. Standard features on the base model include dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, a 10-speaker audio system, six-way power adjustable seats and satellite radio.

The Premium Plus model adds an eight-way power driver’s seat and Bluetooth, among other features. Wood inlays are also available. Audi’s DVD-based navigation system is optional. If you add the navigation system you get Audi’s MMI control interface, which many reviewers say is confusing and has a steep learning curve. A Bose sound system and USB port are also optional on the Premium Plus trim. 

  • "Under the hood, Audi's navigation system gets a new 600 MHz processor that allows for faster route calculations and smoother operation. Lane guidance, topographic maps, and speed limit data make the navigation system much more useful to drivers." -- CNET
  • "Like costlier Audis, A3s impress with clear gauges, though their complex dual-zone climate controls require familiarization. A single dashboard control knob governs most navigation functions on models so equipped. The navigation system is difficult to program and absorbs many audio controls, complicating what would otherwise be simple adjustments." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The A3's cabin isn't without a few minor faults, though. The optional navigation system brings with it Audi's MMI electronics controller, which in the A3 is located on the dash rather than in its traditional easier-to-reach location on the center console. You'll want to just touch the screen to control it, but you'll have to use the knob and its surrounding buttons instead." -- Edmunds


The 2011 Audi A3’s cargo capacity is competitive. It provides 19.5 cubic feet of total cargo capacity with all seats in use and 39.0 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. These figures are good for its class. 

  • "A3 has less space than a small station wagon but is far more versatile than a compact sedan. The hatch door lifts high for access to a usefully roomy, flat-floor cargo bay. The rear seat backs fold easily to extend the load area but don't lay completely flat. The cabin has good small-item storage." -- Consumer Guide

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