2011 Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
vs. 2012 Audi
A3 Premium

2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

9.8

starting from

$23,765

Reasons to buy the Volkswagen Jetta TDI

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Good braking distance from 60mph
113 ft
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Moon roof
Standard
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Average-sized back seats
43.7 ft3
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Average top speed
130 mph
2012 Audi A3 Premium

9.7

Runner-up

Audi A3 Premium

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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Ample cargo space
39.0 ft3
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Longer basic warranty
50,000 mile
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Roof rails
Optional
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Longer-lasting basic warranty
4 year
Road Tests 10.0 vs 9.0
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Winner: Jetta TDI
[details]
  • The Jetta TDI needs around 20% less space to stop from 60mph, 113 ft vs 134 ft
  • The Jetta TDI can go around 10% faster than the A3 Premium, 130 mph vs 121 mph
  • Almost the same, 16.2 s s @ 86.7 mph mph vs 16.7 s s @ 82.0 mph mph
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
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Neither has a power seat option
Safety Features 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Child door locks come standard
Crash Test Ratings 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
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 9.8 vs 9.7

Road Tests

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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0-60 mph 8.3 seconds vs 8.5 seconds Neither car's 0-60 time is remarkable
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Braking distance at 60mph 113 ft vs 134 ft The Jetta TDI has above average braking ability, but the A3 Premium is quite bad
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1/4 mile 16.2 s s @ 86.7 mph mph vs 16.7 s s @ 82.0 mph mph Both have average 1/4 mile times for this class of vehicle
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Lateral acceleration 0.82 g vs 0.83 g Both have unremarkable cornering abilities
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Top speed 130 mph vs 121 mph The Jetta TDI's top speed is average for this class of vehicle, but the A3 Premium is just OK

Cost

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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MSRP $23,765 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 Jetta 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 Jetta TDI's is very short

Luxury Features

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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moon roof Standard vs Not Available Enjoy additional natural light with the Jetta TDI's standard 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 Jetta TDI only offers cloth seats

Safety Features

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
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 Unknown vs Disc
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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

Crash Test Ratings

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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Rollover resistance 4 stars vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test 4 stars vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test 4 stars vs Unknown

Performance

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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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 22.6 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 36.4 ft vs 35.1 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Practicality

Volkswagen
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta 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 15.5 ft3 vs 39.0 ft3 The A3 Premium has lots of cargo room, and the Jetta TDI is OK, too
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front seats 48.7 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
Jetta TDI
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2012 Audi A3 Premium Audi
A3 Premium
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Number of speakers 6 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 Jetta 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 Jetta TDI 2011 Volkswagen Golf Jetta TDI vs Golf
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2012 Ford Fusion SE Jetta TDI vs Fusion SE
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2011 Toyota Camry SE Jetta TDI vs Camry SE
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2011 BMW 335d Jetta TDI vs 335d
2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2011 Toyota Corolla Jetta TDI vs Corolla
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2011 Audi A4 Premium A3 Premium vs A4 Premium
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 2011 MINI Cooper A3 Premium vs Cooper
2012 Audi A3 Premium 2011 Lexus CT 200h A3 Premium vs CT 200h

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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