Saturday, February 01, 2014

Stuff we don't get: Audi A3 hatchback




That's right. When Audi came up with a sedan version of the A3, they decided that Americans wouldn't be getting the hatchback anymore.
(Except as an expensive and rare plug-in Hybrid E-Tron version)

I think it sucks. As the previous A3 was one of my favorite Audi model. (And it still sold about 4 times as well as the TT in the US)
Why not still offer it with the sedan?

Because they want us to buy the Q3 instead. That's why. It took a while but the Q3 is finally coming to the US.
It is more expensive than the A3 hatch. And it took them long enough, but it is now certified in the US as a "light truck." (The had to modify the "approach angle")

Does anyone here knows the advantage of having the Q3 sold here as a light truck instead of a car?
Less mandatory safety? Weaker bumpers? More profits?

Whatever the reason is, they want us to buy "light trucks" instead of hatchbacks. And we don't have a choice...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agree. Unfortunately trend remains in US that wagons and hatchbacks are not cool while crossovers are.

Light-truck have lower CAFE 2016 mpg requirements I think? So doesn't have to be as fuel efficient. However I do remember crash requirements are lower (Ford Ranger was good example in the past that exposed that loop hole with dismal frontal crash ratings).

However US will get the hatchback after all but as S3 and as E-tron PHEV models. But that won't be as cheap as the Q3...

Anonymous said...

WTF is this nonsense. They discontinue the A3 hatch, yet they can justify the A4 Allroad and the Q5 co-existing in the US. What are they smoking?

- FusioptimaSX

Anonymous said...

The A3 will be saddled with a 170-hp 1.8T as a base engine, which Audi realizes would be very hard to justify in a $30K 5-door when you could walk down the street to VW and get a 5-door GTI with a 210-hp 2.0T motor for less than $25K.

Anonymous said...

^ But that has already been the case for quite some time, yet I still see A3's around.

-FusioptimaSX

Matt said...

"NHTSA sets separate standards each model year for passenger cars and for light trucks, and manufacturers’ compliance obligations are based on the vehicles that they produce for sale in that year. Once a manufacturer’s CAFE standard is calculated for each of its fleets, based on the vehicles it produced, NHTSA compares the manufacturer’s actual mpg against the applicable standard. If a manufacturer’s actual average mpg level for a given fleet exceeds the applicable standard, then the manufacturer earns “credits.”"

So with the Q3 classified as a "light truck" Audi will receive more credits because, technically, it is an extremely fuel efficient truck. These credits allow it to not work so hard at increasing fuel efficiency in other models.