Car of the Year
2015 Audi A3
Car of the Year was perhaps the most difficult category for us. Both the Legacy and Golf are downright fantastic cars, with tons to offer buyers – for an outstanding value. When it came down to it, however, the A3 took the cake.
Let’s start on the outside. We all agreed that, no matter the angle or lighting, the A3 is a stunningly handsome and stylish car. It perfectly blends together Audi’s premium looks with a versatile and compact form, easily maneuvered and parked.
On the interior, the A3 continued its charm offensive with a spare but highly styled cabin that felt light and spacious, especially given its outward dimensions. We found its seats comfortable, fit and finish exceptional, and tech wholly accessible and intuitive. We were especially fond of the Google Earth-powered navigation, onboard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Bang & Olufsen sound system. It’s all powered by a state-of-the-art Nvidia processor and infotainment architecture that will support updated chips throughout the lifecycle of the car.
Though the base A3 offers front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder, we were especially fond of the optional 2.0-liter turbo-four, six-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission, and quattro all-wheel drive. With its 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway rating, we were impressed with the A3’s ability to be both efficient and sporty.
When it came down to it, we found the Audi A3 to be delightfully refined, athletic, comfortable, versatile, stylish, and tech-savvy. Essentially, it was all the car we could ever want.
2015 Volkswagen Golf
Though not the winner, the Golf came damn close. We love the Golf for its cavernous interior, exceptional drivability, and its subdued yet premium styling. Unfortunately for the Golf, the winner’s trophy was yanked from its hands due to a lackluster technology performance. With better infotainment, the $28,810 Vee-Dub could have walked away with it.
2015 Subaru Legacy
For an as-tested price of $33,380, the Legacy offered an outstanding value. Not only do buyers get a safe, mid-size four-door sedan for that price, they also get a heap of tech – including the Infotainment of the Year-nominated StarLink – but also Subaru’s infamous symmetrical all-wheel drive system. However, we could have done for a bit more daring interior styling.