10k: Sportback: 2007 Audi A3 2.0T 6-spd
The Audi A3 first appeared in North America for the 2006 model year in a neat and tidy package – resembling a cross between a Jetta Wagon and an A4. The A3 used a transverse front wheel drive layout with an optional Quattro all-wheel-drive setup added to the lineup in 2009. Honestly with the 2.0T, power is low enough that the Quattro vehicles are slower in almost any condition except snow due to the added weight. The A3 is one of the few cars that the front-drive version may actually be more fun to drive than the all-wheel-drive spec because while both are understeering pigs at the limit, only the front driver can do a massive burnout from a dead stop. Find this 2007 Audi A3 2.0T 6-spd for sale in Denver, CO for $12250 via craigslist.
For the price a used A3 is a very nice car for day-to-day commuting. It has the well put together feel of the best from Germany and has an interior quality that makes a 3-series’s look like something from a 1990s Peugeot. The DSG transmission is certainly a tempting prospect on the A3 as it shifts faster than a manual and feeds your inner racer, but we’d go with a 6-spd manual as an anti-theft device.
There are some who complain about the comfort of the A3s standard (and sport) seats after long stints driving, but they do the job reasonably well and are made from light skinned cow hides. The 2.0T inline four features a turbocharger, intercooler and direct injection, combined for 200 horsepower and 207 ft-lbs of torque. A $500 chip will add 50 horses and almost 100 ft-lbs of torque if you want to torture the tires a bit more.
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For many of us in New England, quattro matters. Generally, it means the difference between getting up my driveway, or not. Fortunately, the DSG available with quattro isn't a terrible (if not particularly quick) set-up. The 3.2 quattro would be even better, but good luck finding one in the low teens with similar mileage.
I bought one of these new in 2006 and it just turned over 27K miles yesterday. At the time, Quattro wasn't available with the 2.0T in the US only with the 3.2. Most of the reviews reported the 3.2 as heavier and slower or, at best, the same performance as the 2.0T for significantly more money and a manual shift wasn't available with the 3.2. I think they started importing the Quattro 2.0T in 2009, again with automatic only and heavier/slower. I would contend that in most areas with moderate annual snowfall, this car for sale here would get you around fine with 4 dedicated snow tires. There are costs to awd that you must pay year around and this should be part of the equation if you're not in the snow belt. Anyhow, my A3 has been a good car and, so far, I haven't been able to find a reason to get rid of it even though it is almost 7 years old now. It is certainly low miles, but usually I'm bored with a car by now. Just 2 cents.
Volkswagen reliability with Audi parts cost? Who can argue with that?!