2011 Volkswagen
Golf
vs. 2012 Audi
A3 Premium

2012 Audi A3 Premium

10.0

starting from

$29,625
"The 2010 Audi A3 TDI's main virtue is its fuel economy, which it gets because of its diesel engine."
reviews.cnet.com | talking about the A3's value
"Had plenty of boost to pass other cars or climb hills. In urban driving it ran smooth, although we could have hoped for a little more initial boost for quick merges and the like."
reviews.cnet.com | talking about the A3's performance

Reasons to buy the Audi A3 Premium

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Power mirrors
Standard
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Turbocharged engine improves performance
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Ample cargo space
39.0 ft3
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Longer basic warranty
50,000 mile
2011 Volkswagen Golf

8.7

Runner-up

Volkswagen Golf

starting from

$18,765

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Golf

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Good highway fuel efficiency
33 mpg
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Average range on the highway
479 miles
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Very inexpensive
$18,765
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Average-sized back seats
41.8 ft3
Luxury Features 7.8 vs 10.0
2012 Audi A3 Premium Winner: A3 Premium
[details]
  • Leather comes standard on the A3 Premium; the Golf only offers cloth seats
Cost 9.6 vs 10.0
2012 Audi A3 Premium Winner: A3 Premium
[details]
  • Basic warranty lasts 14,000 more miles, 50,000 mile vs 36,000 mile
  • Basic warranty lasts 1 more year, 4 year vs 3 year
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Safety Features 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Performance 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
  • Very cramped front seats
Entertainment System 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither offers an entertainment system
Road Tests - vs 10.0
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a very low top speed
Overall 8.7 vs 10.0

Luxury Features

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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moon roof Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers a sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Not Available Neither has a power seat option
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Not Available vs Standard Leather comes standard on the A3 Premium; the Golf only offers cloth seats

Cost

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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MSRP $18,765 vs $29,625 The Golf has a great price and the A3 Premium is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 23 mpg vs 22 mpg Both get OK mileage in the city
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basic warranty miles 36,000 mile vs 50,000 mile The A3 Premium's %s warranty covers lots of miles, but the Golf 's doesn't cover many
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basic warranty years 3 year vs 4 year The A3 Premium's basic warranty is long lasting, but the Golf 's is very short

Crash Test Ratings

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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Rollover resistance Unknown vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test Unknown vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test Unknown vs Unknown

Safety Features

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Unknown
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Airbags 5 vs 5 OK number of airbags
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system None vs None

Performance

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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Horsepower 170 HP @ 5,700 RPM vs 200 HP @ 5,100 RPM The A3 Premium is of average power, but the Golf is underpowered
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Number of gears 5 vs Unknown
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Transmission Manual transmission vs Unknown
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Unknown
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Air compressor None vs Turbocharger The A3 Premium's Turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 17.5 lb/hp vs 16.5 lb/hp Both have OK performance
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Drivetrain type front-wheel drive vs front-wheel drive Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 35.7 ft vs 35.1 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Practicality

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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Passengers 5 vs 5 Average number of seats
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Highway driving range 479 miles vs 406 miles The Golf has OK highway range, but the A3 Premium is very limited
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Cargo space 15.0 ft3 vs 39.0 ft3 The A3 Premium has lots of cargo room, and the Golf is OK, too
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front seats 51.3 ft3 vs 51.0 ft3 Very cramped front seats
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Optional Need to carry bulky cargo? Get the roof rails upgrade on the A3 Premium
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navigation system Not Available vs Optional The A3 Premium offers an optional navigation system; not available on the Golf
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Cupholders 3 vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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Number of speakers 8 vs Unknown
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs Unknown
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Not Available vs Optional Like your tunes? In the A3 Premium, you can upgrade to satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Unknown
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Has subwoofer No vs Unknown
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entertainment system Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers an entertainment system

Road Tests

Volkswagen
Golf
2011 Volkswagen Golf
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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0-60 mph 8.6 seconds vs 7.3 seconds Neither car's 0-60 time is remarkable
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Braking distance at 60mph 131 ft vs 134 ft The Golf 's braking ability is average for this class of vehicle, but the A3 Premium is quite bad
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1/4 mile 16.6 s @ 86 mph vs 15.7 s @ 92 mph Both have average 1/4 mile times for this class of vehicle
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Lateral acceleration Unknown vs 0.83 g
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Top speed 125 mph vs 121 mph Both have a very low top speed

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2011 MINI Cooper Golf TDI vs Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Toyota Corolla Golf vs Corolla
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE Golf TDI vs Tiguan SE
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Honda Fit Sport Golf vs Fit Sport
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2011 BMW 335i Golf TDI vs 335i
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2011 Audi A4 Premium A3 Premium vs A4 Premium
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI A3 Premium vs Jetta TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium A3 Premium vs Passat TDI SEL Premium
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2011 Audi A5 Premium A3 Premium vs A5 Premium
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2012 Honda Civic Si A3 Premium vs Civic Si

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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