Not unsurprisingly, buyers will pay the same for the new A3 as they would for its Mercedes rival. At $29,900, the A3 sedan matches the CLA precisely at the entry level, before any delivery fees are added to either vehicle.
For that, buyers will get a 1.8-liter, TFSI-badged four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine and a standard six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. Equipment levels are strong, with even the lowest-specified models offering a panoramic glass sunroof, leather-trimmed seats and bi-xenon headlights.
From there, two more gasoline units will be available--a 2.0 TFSI, and a higher-tuned version of the same unit in the S3--as well as the model we're most interested in, the 2.0-liter TDI diesel.
Audi hasn't yet revealed what gas mileage the new A3 will achieve under EPA testing, but with the Volkswagen group's brand new TDI unit under the hood, expect improvements over the 2013 A3 TDI's 30 mpg city, 42 highway and 34 combined. Nor is pricing for the TDI forthcoming, so we'll have to wait until the car's launch in early 2014 to find out how much other variants will cost.
The A3 lineup is set to expand over the next few years, with an A3 cabriolet following in 2014, the diesel after that, the sporty S3 and finally, the much-anticipated A3 Sportback e-tron, Audi's first production plug-in hybrid.