2011 Volkswagen
Golf TDI
vs. 2012 Audi
A3 Premium

2012 Audi A3 Premium

10.0

starting from

$31,125
"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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Ample cargo space
39.0 ft3
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Longer basic warranty
50,000 mile
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Roof rails
Optional
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI

9.0

starting from

$24,295

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Golf TDI

Badge
Less sporty performance
21.4 lb/hp
Badge
Average-sized back seats
41.8 ft3
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OK ground clearance for rough terrain
5.4"
Badge
Very inexpensive
$24,295
Luxury Features 7.8 vs 10.0
2012 Audi A3 Premium Winner: A3 Premium
[details]
  • Almost the same
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
Road Tests 9.8 vs 10.0
2012 Audi A3 Premium Winner: A3 Premium
[details]
  • The A3 Premium hits 60mph around 10% faster, 8.5 seconds vs 9.4 seconds
  • Almost the same, 16.7 s @ 82 mph vs 17.1 s @ 81 mph
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]
  • Both have an air compressor, quite rare for this class of vehicle
  • Neither has a good drivetrain for off-road or bad weather driving
  • Underpowered
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Fantastic highway range
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
  • Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
Entertainment System 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Neither offers an entertainment system
Overall 9.0 vs 10.0

Luxury Features

Volkswagen
Golf TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
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 TDI only offers cloth seats

Cost

Volkswagen
Golf TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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MSRP $24,295 vs $31,125 Both are priced reasonably
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In-city gas mileage 30 mpg vs 30 mpg Both very efficient 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 TDI'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 TDI's is very short

Road Tests

Volkswagen
Golf TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
Help
0-60 mph 9.4 seconds vs 8.5 seconds The A3 Premium's 0-60 time is average for this class of vehicle, but the Golf TDI is sluggish
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Braking distance at 60mph 132 ft vs 134 ft The Golf TDI's braking ability is average for this class of vehicle, but the A3 Premium is quite bad
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1/4 mile 17.1 s @ 81 mph vs 16.7 s @ 82 mph The A3 Premium's 1/4 mile time is average, but the Golf TDI's is quite bad
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Lateral acceleration 0.84 g vs 0.83 g Both have unremarkable cornering abilities
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Top speed 125 mph vs 121 mph Both have a very low top speed

Crash Test Ratings

Volkswagen
Golf TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
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 TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
Help
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 TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
Help
Horsepower 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM vs 140 HP @ 4,200 RPM Underpowered
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Number of gears 6 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 Turbocharger vs Turbocharger Both have an air compressor, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 21.4 lb/hp vs 23.7 lb/hp Both {better} and {worse} are sluggish relative to their competitors
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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 35.8 ft vs 35.1 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Practicality

Volkswagen
Golf TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
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 609 miles vs 613 miles Fantastic highway range
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Cargo space 15.0 ft3 vs 39.0 ft3 The A3 Premium has lots of cargo room, and the Golf TDI 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 Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders 4 vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Entertainment System

Volkswagen
Golf TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
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 Standard vs Optional Have your pick of music from around the world with the Golf TDI's satellite radio; in the A3 Premium, too, but it'll cost
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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

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Golf vs Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI 2011 MINI Cooper Golf TDI vs Cooper
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Toyota Corolla Golf vs Corolla
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan SE 4Motion Golf vs Tiguan SE 4Motion
2011 Volkswagen Golf 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Golf vs Passat TDI SEL Premium
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 2011 Audi A5 Premium A3 Premium vs A5 Premium
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium A3 Premium vs Passat TDI SEL Premium
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2011 MINI Cooper A3 Premium vs Cooper

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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