In its last year on the market before an entirely new model is launched, the 2013 Audi A3 continues in its niche as a small but luxurious five-door compact hatchback that gives you Audi panache at a less-exalted price than the rest of the German luxury maker's range.
While Lexus has its CT 200h luxury hybrid hatchback to compete with the littlest Audi, the A3 offers an option that Lexus can't: the 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel engine that not only returns 34 mpg (EPA combined rating) but gives it loads of torque off the line.
Many Audi diesel owners report real-world fuel economy that's even better than the EPA ratings (30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway), so there's the potential for even more efficiency. And it's paired with tight German handling and an engine that's responsive and torquey, paired to Audi's excellent six-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission.
Not all A3 models carry the TDI engine, though. The other option is a 2.0-liter gasoline four, which returns a...
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