Best Bet
  • (4.5) 14 reviews
  • MSRP: $5,532–$11,952
  • Body Style: Hatchback
  • Combined MPG: 21-25
  • Engine: 200-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual
2008 Audi A3

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Audi A3

What We Don't Like

  • Somewhat snug interior
  • Lack of luxury touches
  • High windowsills

Notable Features

  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Available Direct Shift Gearbox
  • Optional &quot
  • Open Sky&quot
  • sunroof
  • Coupelike silhouette

2008 Audi A3 Reviews

Vehicle Overview
The Audi A3 is a premium hatchback that competes with models like the Saab 9-3 SportCombi and Volvo V50. It receives minor changes for 2008, including a new Titanium Package that features 18-inch alloy wheels, a black grille and black interior trim. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the five-seat A3 are available. Newly available options include manual sunshades for the rear seats, an iPod adapter and new wheel choices. The 3.2 trim level now has standard Sirius Satellite Radio and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The A3's single-frame tapered grille — patterned after the one on the company's A6 — dominates the front end and is flanked by clear-lens headlights. Audi says the front end imparts an "extremely self-confident and forceful character." The A3's profile gets flatter toward the rear, like a coupe. Round wheel arches enhance the A3's stance.

Rear-end styling includes dual exhaust outlets and wraparound taillights. MacPherson struts are used for the front suspension, while a four-link independent suspension is used in the rear. Electromechanical steering offers speed-dependent power assistance. Alloy wheels hold standard 17-inch tires.

Audi says a low seat position is reminiscent of sports cars. It couples with a tall, wide center console. The steering wheel contains a trapezoidal central element that matches the shape of the A3's grille. Round air vents have aluminum surrounds. Aluminum trim is evident on the door and glove box handles. Wide-opening rear doors are intended to ease entry and exit.

Standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control. An optional two-section "Open Sky" glass sunroof includes separate blinds to keep the interior from overheating and to guard against the sun's glare. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights also are an option. The new Titanium Package includes a black headliner and shiny piano-black accents.

Under the Hood
Audi's turbocharged 2.0T FSI four-cylinder produces 200 horsepower at 5,100 rpm and 207 pounds-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. The 3.2-liter V-6 generates 250 hp and 236 pounds-feet of torque. Four-cylinder models can have a six-speed manual gearbox or the Direct Shift Gearbox sequential manual, which is standard with the V-6. Four-cylinder A3s have front-wheel drive, but Quattro all-wheel drive is installed in V-6 models.

Side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and electronic stability control are standard. Rear side-impact airbags are optional.

Driving Impressions
Apart from its wagonlike cargo versatility, handling is the A3's No. 1 attribute. Steering is on the light side, but it's precise and yields good maneuverability. You get a nice ride with the regular suspension; you feel bumps, but it's not bad.

Audi's Direct Shift Gearbox works surprisingly well by shifting smoothly at appropriate times. You can feel it move from gear to gear like a manual transmission, with a little engine-rpm loss between each ratio and an occasional jerk if you're accelerating hard. Still, it cleverly combines the benefits of both manual and automatic shifting.

Audi's six-speed manual gearbox is reasonably smooth, but the clutch doesn't quite cooperate to yield the gentlest takeoffs. The manual transmission works better between higher gears and coming out of curves, but there's no compelling reason to pick it over the Direct Shift Gearbox.

Few luxury touches are evident in the down-to-business interior. Large instruments are easy to read. Excellent seats deliver good support and their bottoms are fairly long, but the windowsill is so high that the driver can barely rest an elbow on it. Front space is a bit snug, but headroom is great and elbow space is acceptable. Some drivers might find their right knee resting against the center console.

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 14 reviews

Write a Review

Fun to drive

by trinhitron from on July 17, 2017

Fun car. Took a few road trips. unable to fit greco car seat base into the car. Too small to truly be a family car.

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3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Audi A3 trim comparison will help you decide.

Audi A3 Articles

2008 Audi A3 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Audi A3 2.0T Sportback

Head Restraints and Seats
Moderate overlap front

IIHS Ratings

Based on Audi A3 2.0T Sportback

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
Overall Rear
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry

Moderate overlap front

Left Leg/Foot
Overall Front
Right Leg/Foot
Structure/safety cage


Driver Head Protection
Driver Head and Neck
Driver Pelvis/Leg
Driver Torso
Overall Side
Rear Passenger Head Protection
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
Rear Passenger Torso
Structure/safety cage
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.


There are currently 2 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





Roadside Assistance Coverage


Free Scheduled Maintenance


What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years