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09 A3 or A4?

  #1  
Old 03-22-2009, 11:53 AM
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Default 09 A3 or A4?

Greetings, all! I'm considering buying my first Audi. I've always been a fan of the brand, but since we (the U.S.) have slim pickings as far as hatchbacks with AWD go, I've narrowed my choices down to the a4 avant or the a3. I currently drive an 03 toyota matrix 5-sp. and I love it. I plan on keeping it as my daily driver but I still want another hatchback/wagon with some luxury in it. The obvious alternative would be WRX/STi but I've never been a fan of the boxer engine. Plus my friend already has one.

So here goes, I've been looking at the specs for both A3 and A4 avant. I posted here as opposed to the a4 thread because I figured you guys and gals would be the hatchback enthusiasts of audiforums. I've read on another thread here that the interior passenger space is practically identical between the two. So I have three questions: How would you compare the cargo space with all seats up between the a3 and a4? Is a comparably equipped a4 avant really 3-4 grand "better" than an a3? Are there any issues as far as the a3 being built on the same platform as the rabbit, beetle, etc? If there is something significant on the a4 that's worth paying extra then I'll do it but otherwise, the a3 seems a smarter buy. Thanks for all your help and I look forward to be part of this community.
 
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:05 PM
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I have owned an A4 2.0T (2006) sedan and currently own a 2008 A3 3.2 Quattro. I know engine wise it's apples and oranges but I much prefer my A3. Not that there was anything wrong w/ the A4 I just love the 3.2 which i believe you cannot get in the A4 Avant.
 
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:25 PM
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Smile A3 or A4

I went through the same quandry when I bought my A3 eighteen months ago. I decided on the A3 because it had more legroom in the back seat, was available with the 6 speed trans, 2L engine, and I liked the interior appointments better (e.g. open sky sun roof). It handles like a gem and gets great gas mileage. With the back seats down--they fold down without having to remove the head rests--there's a lot of room in the A3. I can haul 8' lumber, bicycles, etc.
 
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottTBurg View Post
I went through the same quandry when I bought my A3 eighteen months ago. I decided on the A3 because it had more legroom in the back seat, was available with the 6 speed trans, 2L engine, and I liked the interior appointments better (e.g. open sky sun roof). It handles like a gem and gets great gas mileage. With the back seats down--they fold down without having to remove the head rests--there's a lot of room in the A3. I can haul 8' lumber, bicycles, etc.
I just looked at the cargo space dimensions at audi.com. 17.3 cubic ft. for the a4 vs. 19.52 for the a3. Now I understand that since the a4 has more of a sloped rear-end it may compromise space but the shorter a3 has 2 more cubic feet of space behind the rear seats?
 
  #5  
Old 03-23-2009, 01:09 PM
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The more typically cited volume for A3 storage space with seats up is 13.1 cu. ft. That's for the FWD 2.0T. I believe the AWD versions are slightly smaller. It is definitely smaller then the A4 Avant for "trunk" space, but has enough room to carry two bikes and two people inside with the back seat folded down (my requirement).

As far as interior passenger space, the A3 has slightly more back seat knee room then the previous A4, but the new A4 is much bigger in back. I sat in one at the dealer a few months ago and was quite impressed. It also feels notably more luxurious then the A3.

OTOH, the A3 is MUCH more fun to drive then the old A4. I've had two A4 2.0T Quattros as service loaners, and was quite happy to get my A3 back. Can't say anything about the new A4 in that regard, but the new Quattro system is more rear drive biased, so that might help.
 
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:03 PM
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A3 will be lighter and faster because of this. My GTI which is similar to the a3, smokes my a4 both being 2.0t.. Advant will be decently roomier in the cargo area.
 
  #7  
Old 03-25-2009, 03:33 PM
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I have an 07 A3 and drove an 09 A4 at an Audi Experience event and my vote would have to go to the A4. Granted the A4 was the 3.2 Quattro and fully loaded so it's like comparing apples and oranges. But I love the styling of the new A4 more than the new A3 and it feels more refined. I guess it all depends on what you're looking for.

I'm seeing deals on A4's that are pretty much the same as A3's around here.
 
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by IzzyA3 View Post
I have an 07 A3 and drove an 09 A4 at an Audi Experience event and my vote would have to go to the A4. Granted the A4 was the 3.2 Quattro and fully loaded so it's like comparing apples and oranges. But I love the styling of the new A4 more than the new A3 and it feels more refined. I guess it all depends on what you're looking for.

I'm seeing deals on A4's that are pretty much the same as A3's around here.
I'd be willing to bet if they had a brand new A3 at the Audi Driving Experience you would not be saying this. A3's are lighter and would have felt like a totally different monster.

You are comparing your old A3 to a new A4. Of course the A4 wins in that scenario. The new designed A#'s and A4's are monsters! I did the driving experience and had a blast. I wish there was an A3 there to compare.

Side note, I did get to sit in a R8 there and I could not stop drooooooling.
 
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:14 PM
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Good point. Too bad they didn't have the new A3's and TT's to thrash around the track.

When I sat in the R8, there was a puddle on the floor mat. Was that your drool?
 
  #10  
Old 03-29-2009, 12:37 AM
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That was my drool. Yes Sir!

Now I just need to convince my wife in a year to trade her A4 on a newer A3. I always buy my cars 1-2 years old and certified. Thats the bast way to do it price wise and warranty wise.
 

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