The 2012 Audi A3 has five major selling points. Four of those are the interlinked rings on the nose, which imply levels of quality and sophistication beyond that of most other compact hatchbacks. The fifth is the option of Audi's TDI turbodiesel engine to deliver a useful mix of performance and economy you'll struggle to find elsewhere.
The A3 TDI uses a 2.0-liter, four cylinder diesel, and puts out 140 horsepower. With Audi's excellent six-speed, dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission, the A3 gets EPA fuel ratings of 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined. There's potential for even more, too--many diesel owners find the EPA ratings a little pessimistic compared to what their cars can actually achieve.
Not all A3s are so economical, of course. Next in line is a four-cylinder gasoline 2.0-liter, with average economy of only 24 mpg and 28 mpg highway. The turbocharged A3 fitted with Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system gets the same combined and highway figures, but only 21 mpg in...
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