From the Fleet: 2011 Audi A3 TDI S-Line
FROM THE FLEET are brief synopses of manufacturer-supplied rides that happen to end up in my laneway – JL
Prepping for an upcoming “diesel vs. hybrid” comparo for the Wheels I’ve just spent some quality time in an A3 TDI: Audi’s smallest derv drinker.
Yeah. The current A3 body style has been around for a while. I expect a new one to pop up in Frankfurt this fall. Plus, you can’t get a stick (sorry, DSG only) and this is one of the rare Audis where the brand’s signature all-wheel-drive with (it’s a front-driver only) is verboten. Whatever. I still like the “old school” feel of its dense cabin fittings and crisp, exterior lines.
Red cars and I usually don’t get along. But framed in high-gloss black trim—courtesy of the must-have S-Line package—this particular combo is workable. And all you socialists out there will moan that Volkswagen basically offers the same mechanical package as this A3 (base price $35,300+ $6,500 worth of S-Line and Premium packages and Bi-Xenon headlights) in its Golf TDI (loaded: $28,775).
Yet… the VW version doesn’t drive nearly as nice as this A3 (mit S-Line 18-inch rubber). Audi’s use to drive like they rode on wooden tires. Not so here. This is probably one of the better balanced ride vs. handling setups in a small car I’ve driven all year. Great looks. Great interior. Great ride. Plus 236 lb-ft of torque and an as-tested 6.9L/100 km average.