Rowdy Audi

This pint-size road rocket may be small, but the A3 packs the punch of a heavyweight

Editor's Rating:

The Good: Standout performance, safety, exhilarating DSG gearbox

The Bad: Weird parking brake, available options expensive

The Bottom Line: Utility, sex appeal, and performance united

The constant, writhing—and most likely terminal—agony of today's midsize SUV market is bringing with it plenty of utility-minded alternatives from major luxury auto makers, spanning the range from Mercedes-Benz's "it's not a minivan, we swear" R-Class to Audi's brilliant, utilitarian, and, yes, ultimately worthy A3 hatchback.

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