If you’re not an Audi fanboy (or girl), you may have missed that Audi introduced an all-wheel-drive version of its A3 2.0T hatchback for the 2009 model year. Previously, the 2.0T had been available only with front-wheel.
To go with the Quattro system, Audi also fitted the svelte hatch with its excellent double-clutch automated-manual gearbox and made a number of previously optional features standard. Among them were Sirius satellite radio, a leather steering wheel, an auxiliary audio input, and leather seating.
Under the hood sits the VW Group’s familiar direct-injection 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Despite scaling in at a relatively hefty 3588 pounds—a couple of hundred pounds heavier than a BMW 328i sedan—the A3 went from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile at 93 mph in 14.9 seconds. On the road, it feels lively rather than startling and the engine is refined albeit aurally unexciting. We really liked the S tronic dual-clutch tranny, which works equally well as a super-smooth automatic or as a quick and slick clutchless manual, actuated either via steering-wheel-mounted paddles or the stubby shift lever.
Quattro Ups the Fun
With Quattro all-wheel drive, the hatch is a more playful companion on back roads than the front-drive version, which understeers resolutely when you’re driving hard. The all-wheel-drive system is surprisingly neutral and when combined with the sharp, well-weighted steering, makes the A3 fun to toss around.
Keep Reading: 2009 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro - Short Take Road Test