The driver’s seat of a 2016 Miata is a benchmark of raspy, high revving sporty driver simplicity. But sometimes you want a car that is actually practical for more than tossing about and getting over 30 mpg. Enter the 2016 Audi A3 kind enough to grace my presence today.
The Audi battles the likes of the MB CLA and BMW 228. The A3 feels the most refined of the three – the CLA feeling more entry level in interior quality and the BMW being more sport oriented, with the “awkward middle school picture” looks of the BMW lineup…(someday it will grow up to be a 3 series).
Of the Audi A3 and A4, I like the A3. Sure you pay a little more for the A4 and it is a little more luxurious, but let’s be honest – the 4 is not fooling anyone into thinking you are driving an 8…so buy the A3. It is sportier, cheaper, and more stable on the highway at speed. The 4 suspension wanders a bit.
Inside, things are clean and simple. The seats are good, but you will wish the steering wheel was a little more adjustable. Regular drive mode is plenty sporty with a buttoned down luxury feel.
Sport is where the A3 lives, though. Push the pedal and you can feel a lag, but then the car leaps into action. Corners are fun, though the suspension could be dialed a bit stiffer – I guess that’s why there is an S3. I do find myself wishing for paddle shifters on this particular car.
Overall, the A3 straddles the worlds of sport and luxury, delivering both in measured doses. It does, however, achieve the mission of being a premium offering, making the CLA and BMW seem a more like entry level college grad first real paycheck cars. Plus, all Audis look almost exactly the same on the outside, so, you will look kinda like a 4 or 5 or 6 or 8 on the outside…and pay for a 3.
See more pictures below…