2014 Audi A3 Sedan - FROM $
The 2014 Audi A3 builds on its predecessor's success with a new lightweight platform and an improved interior.
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Audi A3 is an all-new redesigned model.
The next-generation Audi A3 destined for American shores will not be the four-door hatchback that we've come to know, but a small sedan instead. It's an unconventional move from Audi, yet the automaker clearly hopes to win hearts, minds and dollars by positioning the 2014 Audi A3 as a premium compact four-door.
Europeans, meanwhile, will see the reverse order, first getting a look at two-door hatchback and convertible versions, with the sedan to possibly arrive as a 2015 model. Whether American buyers eventually get the hatch or convertible is unknown, although Audi has already queried its social networks to gauge interest. And given the popularity of the current model, we can't imagine a hatchback variant is far behind.
The 2014 A3 will be based on a new lightweight platform designed for front- and all-wheel-drive applications. This same platform will also underpin the next Golf and several future VW products.
In the U.S., the A3 will likely retain its 200-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, as well as its turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel. A six-speed manual should be standard on the base 2.0-liter, with an available S tronic seven-speed automated manual. The latter should come standard on the diesel.
Hybrid and natural-gas versions are reportedly in the works, and there's also the possibility of the all-electric A3 reaching full production -- a not-so fantastical notion given the current availability of BMW's 1 Series-based ActiveE. For pure performance, an S3 variant making around 260 hp isn't out of the question for 2015.
The 2014 A3's interior should get a push further upmarket, offering better materials, a panoramic sunroof, an MMI navigation system and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Audi says the sedan will debut in the U.S. later this year and will ultimately be sold as a 2014 model, but hasn't announced an on-sale date. Expect the sticker price to hover around $30,000, a couple thousand more than the outgoing model. Check back for a full review of the 2014 Audi A3, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.