Just when Mercedes thought it was safe to release the CLA, Audi drops the A3. From what we’ve seen so far, the new 2015 A3 Sedan is an impressive car. But Mercedes has more to worry about than the A3’s looks and features. Audi just released the price of the 2015 A3. And the new it costs just the same as the CLA.
The base price for the new A3 is $29,900. For the price you get a 1.8-liter turbocharged TFSI four cylinder, an S-tronic six-speed dual clutch transmission, Bluetooth technology, and a panoramic glass sunroof.
Quattro all-wheel drive doesn’t come standard, but it should be available as an option on all versions of the car.
For the more adventurous buyer, there will be other engine options like the 2.0 TFSI, a 2.0 TDI diesel, and, of course, a highly-tuned, 300 horsepower version of the 2.0-liter for the S3.
The diesel version may manage more than 40 mpg on the highway, but it will have some competition from the very exciting A3 Sportback e-tron, a plug-in hybrid.
The A3 e-tron will be Audi’s first venture into the plug-in hybrid market, and, if it goes well, it could help lead the way in compact luxury efficiency.
While the new A3 might be a threat to the CLA, it also shows the impact of the new entry-level Mercedes. The fact that Audi, the company that kicked off the entry level luxury idea with the first A3, feels the need to go after the CLA so aggressively shows that Audi is legitimately worried about just how good the CLA is.
Audi’s worry is good for us, because this battle of the Teutonic Titans is likely to lead to some very very good cars, and – just maybe – a price war.