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2010 Audi A3 TDI Review

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At the LA Auto show last year, the Audi A3 TDI was named the Green Car of the Year for best all around efficiency and driving attitude and for good reason. The VW Golf won the award the year before and for those of you who didn’t know, the Golf, Jetta and the A3 all share the same platform.

The regular A3 starts at just over $32,000 and the TDI starts at about $35,300. (Photo: Lacey Elliott/

The A3 is Audi’s entry-level car into the luxury market. I am driving the A3 TDI this week and though I am not a fan of how these hatchbacks look (too much like a station wagon for my tastes) I am looking forward to testing out its practical design and the efficiency of the diesel engine.

Going green is now more than just doing what is best for the environment, in today’s economy, it is also about saving money at the pump. Diesel was popular years ago because it burned slower and cost less than regular fuel. But as most of you will remember, diesel was very loud and very smelly. ‘Very’ might be a smidgen of an understatement...

Requirements for diesel fuel changed in Canada a few years ago. The modifications in the environmental regulations made companies remove about 97% of the sulfur therefore eliminating the soot and smell that were previously associated with a diesel engine. And add to that what Audi has produced from these engine changes...

The A3 TDI is rated at a very impressive 8.1 litres (of diesel) for every 100km driven in the city and 6.2L/100km on the highway. After a week of driving it and putting on over 500km, I was able to achieve about 8.0L/100km, even with a bit of a heavy foot on the gas.

People looking to save money at the pump and to drive green will find that hybrids can be a bit unresponsive and feel different to drive than the regular gasoline version. What I really enjoy about driving the A3 is that I don’t have to sacrifice the driving experience to get better fuel economy. In fact, while driving the TDI, I am totally unaware of what type of fuel is feeding this responsive, quiet car.

This A3 TDI has a turbocharged 2.0L direct injection, 4-cylinder clean diesel engine. (Photo: Audi)