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8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Audi A3 Review

The 2015 Audi A3 features an upscale interior with a strong lineup of turbocharged engines. It accomplishes this in true luxury style, without compromising ride comfort.

Pros & Cons

  • Good range of powerful turbocharged engines
  • Athletic handling
  • High-quality interior
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Limited cargo space

2015 Audi A3 Overview

Is the 2015 Audi A3 a Good Used Car?

The Audi A3 won our 2015 Best Upscale Small Car for the Money award. Its attributes include a user-friendly infotainment system, a luxurious interior, and athletic handling. However, its limited cargo space and cramped rear seat keep it from the top of the class.

Used 2015 Audi A3 Performance and Interior

The 2015 Audi A3 comes standard with a 170-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Three additional engines are available: a 220-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, a 150-horsepower turbodiesel four-cylinder, and a 292-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder.

The base engine delivers plenty of power, while the A3's 220-horsepower engine has rapid acceleration. The transmission shifts seamlessly in automatic and manual modes.

The A3 gets 23 to 28 mpg in the city and 32 to 35 mpg on the highway. All A3 diesel models (TDI) are affected by the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. (VW is Audi’s parent company.) These models will require future modifications to meet EPA emission standards. Shoppers looking for used TDI models should be cautious, as these modifications may alter fuel economy and performance. Check out our article – How Badly Has the VW Diesel Scandal Hurt VW? – to learn more.

The A3 has standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. It is extremely agile, has responsive steering, and takes corners confidently. Its quiet ride makes it a comfortable highway cruiser. 

Read more about A3 performance »

The 2015 A3 sedan seats five, and the cabriolet (convertible) seats four. Leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof (sedan models only), and a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat are standard. Heated front seats and sport fronts seats are available.

The front seats are comfortable and spacious, but rear-seat head- and legroom are in short supply. The A3 is equipped with child-seat anchors and tethers on the rear outboard seats.

All Audi A3s come standard with a 10-speaker sound system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and Audi's MMI infotainment system, which includes a retractable 7-inch display screen. Available features include a Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker sound system, keyless entry, voice and handwriting recognition for the infotainment system, navigation, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

The dashboard layout is straightforward and the most important functions are controlled through Audi's MMI system. The retractable screen is sleek, and the simple console-mounted controls make MMI one of the most user-friendly infotainment systems on the market.

With 12.3 cubic feet of trunk space in the sedan and 9.9 cubic feet in the convertible, the A3 has below-average cargo space.

Read more about A3 interior »

Used 2015 Audi A3 Prices

The average price of a used 2015 A3 ranges from about $20,000 for a base Premium model to about $27,600 for a top-of-the-line Prestige model. Pricing depends on the vehicle's condition and mileage, and it can shift with demand.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 21 Reviews Analyzed

We researched and analyzed 21 professional reviews alongside reliability ratings, crash test results, EPA estimates, and more to create this comprehensive 2015 Audi A3 review.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our editorial team has over 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers, and a third party handles the ads you see on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Audi A3?

The 2015 A3 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. This is an average score for the industry as a whole, but slightly below average for the luxury small car class.

Read more about A3 reliability »

How Safe Is the A3?

The 2015 A3 received an overall safety score of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It also received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest score of Good in all crashworthiness categories and a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ designation.

Audi Pre Sense Basic comes standard. This system tightens the seats belts and closes the windows and panoramic sunroof when it detects an imminent crash. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front and rear park assist, and Audi Pre Sense Front, which helps prevent frontal collisions. 

See A3 safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used A3?

The A3 was redesigned for the 2015 model year. The only other used A3 in this generation is the 2016 model, which added a rearview camera and parking sensors to the standard features list and introduced an e-tron plug-in hybrid version. If neither of these changes interest you, go with the 2015 model to save money.

Compare the 2015 and 2016 A3 »

Which Used Audi A3 Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Audi A3 comes in four trims: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige, and S3. The base Premium trim should satisfy most shoppers. It comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, Audi Pre Sense Basic, and Audi's MMI system (which includes a 7-inch display).

If you want the value of a used vehicle but enjoy the additional security of a new car, consider a certified pre-owned model. Audi CPO vehicles receive the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, then enjoy an additional two-year/50,000-mile comprehensive warranty. The two warranties differ in important ways, and there may be additional services like roadside assistance, so read the Audi warranty page carefully. Audi CPO models must pass an inspection covering 300-plus points.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Audi certified pre-owned program »

2015 Audi A3 and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Audi A3 or 2015 Audi A4?

The Audi A4 is similar to the A3, offering agile handling, several available energetic engines, and a high-quality interior. However, the A4 has roomier rear seats and a more powerful base engine. It also has a higher predicted reliability score than the A3, earning a four out of five. The A3 offers more available safety features, such as forward collision warning. Nonetheless, the A4’s spacious cabin and better predicted reliability make it the better pick.

Which Is Better: 2015 Audi A3 or 2015 BMW 3 Series?

The BMW 3 Series gets similar fuel economy to the A3, and its base engine produces similar horsepower. However, its top-of-the-line M3 model produces a heart-pounding 425 horsepower. The 3 Series provides a smooth and comfortable ride, and models equipped with BMW's M Sport suspension have more athletic handling. Additionally, the 3 Series' rear seats are some of the most spacious in the class, giving tall passengers much more space than the A3. The 3 Series is available as a sedan, wagon, and hatchback to fit your needs – especially in terms of cargo space. Overall, the 3 Series is the car to choose.

Which Is Better: 2015 Audi A3 or 2015 Volkswagen GTI?

The Volkswagen GTI is available as a two- or four-door hatchback. It gives you plenty of cargo space: 22.8 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 52.7 cubic feet with them folded. It also gives you plenty of rear-seat space for tall passengers. It may not have a luxury title, but the GTI is full of high-quality materials and has an upscale design. It offers only one engine, which makes 210 horsepower and is quick off the line. An available package adds 10 horsepower. If you can live without the luxury name, go with the GTI.

Compare the A3, A4, and 3 Series »

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