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2010 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Premium Review

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To all you American movie buffs out there: what car did Lois Lane drive in 2006’s Spiderman Returns? Three seconds, two, one… ding! Ten points to those who answered “an Audi A3,” and 50 points to those who specified that we see Kate Bosworth’s character behind the wheel of this German munchkin not once, but twice!

The Audi A3 2.0 TFSI quattro Premium is the flagship of the A3 range. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)

Audi hit two birds with the proverbial stone with that bit of product placement. On the one hand, they (might) have managed to extend the brand’s aura to this compact hatchback, a genre of which Americans aren’t all that fond. On the other hand, by plunking Superman’s girlfriend behind the wheel, they’ve associated it with the fairer sex.

What’s that now? Men aren’t allowed to drive an A3? Well, for our good neighbours down south, it would seem that masculinity is still synonymous with F-150.

Hard to classify
If, for you, the name Audi evokes large sedans, such as the A8, or machines capable of holding their own against a Ferrari, like the R8, then you’ll have to find a new world view to understand the nature of the A3.

This is a little car that, on first glance, has nothing to do with prestige. Its proportions are comparable to that of a Mazda3 Sport, Volkswagen Golf, Subaru Impreza Hatchback and Mercedes-Benz B200. However, once you find out a 200-hp, supercharged mill is nestled under the hood, that comparison goes right out the window.

Not powerful enough to stand against the Mazdaspeed3 or Impreza WRX, who boast over 260 ponies, the A3 2.0 TFSI (sounds sexy, doesn’t it?) has two different contenders in its crosshairs: the Volkswagen GTI, which shares the same engine (and comes in a 5-door variant) and the Mercedes B200 Turbo.

A familiar engine
As I said, the Audi A3 shares an engine widely used in the VW-Audi household. Its 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbo mill powers a few versions of the Audi A4, as well as the Volkswagen Eos, Passat, GTI and even the Tiguan crossover.

With is 200-hp, supercharged engine, this little car takes on the likes of the VW GTI and Mercedes B200 Turbo. (Photo: Luc Gagné/Auto123.com)