Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Luxury Is a Matter of Perspective - 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,110
edited July 2015 in Audi
imageLuxury Is a Matter of Perspective - 2015 Audi A3 Long-Term Road Test

The Edmunds.com long-term Audi A3 might not be laden with enough features to impress seasoned automotive writers, but for buyers about my age, it hits the luxury sweet spot.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    Cars as a whole have gotten too complicated. I'm not that old (37), but I think I'm stuck in the wrong decade when it comes to vehicles. For me, the perfect car is a two door coupe with a V8, Manual Transmission, AC, & AM/FM Stereo with bluetooth (concession to current technology). The perfect Truck is an Extended Cab/Crew Cab, short step side, V8, Manual Transmission, AC & AM/FM Stereo with Bluetooth. I don't care about power everything, cameral this, ride-control that. Power windows are great, until they stop working. Anyone ever had to replace anything other than a window crank knob on manual windows? Buttons for features wear out, some within a year or two. The truth is, manufacturers really can't do much more to their vehicles than they already are. Speed limits and fuel economy are a fact of life. So they cram as much useless stuff as they can and then try to convince the public that we need it. The sad thing is, the Public is so materialistic, we buy into in. I don't need a $65,000 Ford F-150 Limited. What I do need is a $14,000 Ford Ranger XLT for light hauling and fuel economy.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Interesting perspective Reese. I grew up without power windows and no cruise controls (and yeah, occasionally the cranked window would drop down into the door). They were luxuries but not for the cars my folks drove. But after you get most of the "conveniences" most of us really don't want to go back to the "good old days".
  • darexdarex Posts: 187
    A Kia Rio can be had with each of those very same "luxury features" cited. So, that's clearly not the standard bearer for the definition anymore.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Posts: 606
    When I was a kid, one measure of luxury was how many buttons and switches a car had. They indicated the number of convenience/comfort features. Most cars didn't have a lot of these features, because they were expensive. The only cars that had them were luxury cars. Today, though, even entry level cars come standard with a host of features that were once considered luxury, and many can be optioned up significantly to compete on convenience features with cars twice their price.

    At the same time, an important hallmark of luxury is elegance. The number of buttons and switches for ever increasing feature content crossed a tipping point some time back. Cramming too many switches into the cabin harms both elegance of design (it's unsightly) and elegance of operation (it's confusing to use). For people who value elegance as part of luxury, points go to cabins that look simpler while still delivering comfortable seats, important features, solid performance, and an aura of tight quality control.
  • quadricyclequadricycle Posts: 827
    Features? Bah, besides the basic convenience ones that make life easier and more comfortable, they're mostly toys.

    Premium (luxury) vehicles should be well made. Better, stronger engine. Sweet chassis. Better suspension design, components, and tuning. Some extra sound insulation. Nicer interior materials and design. We become comfortable, relaxed, and the experience feels special.

    Sometimes we get confused and think that some extra chrome, cooled cupholders, or lots of buttons actually means as much as the previous points.
  • socal_ericsocal_eric SoCalPosts: 189
    With a lot of entry level luxury cars like the A3 it does come down to a matter of perspective. You can get most of the same features on compact economy cars and many of those cars have gotten so good it makes it harder to differentiate the luxury models. I think it was a Cadillac engineer or someone in their leadership who recently said that they get hit in the press for using some of the same switchgear as lower end GM models, but even though the ATS might have some switches or controls shared with the Cruze, even if the parts are really good it comes off as a negative.

    Once you have a solid, reliable part like a window switch or control stalk and can use it across model ranges the economy of scale means development dollars can be spent elsewhere. But if Cadillac or other luxury makes get hit for doing this because of perception, i.e. people looking down on Cadillac instead of looking at is as being a positive for Chevrolet, then they'll have to use development dollars and budget to acquire unique parts just to get a different look and feel.

    There's going to need to be a certain amount of balance and maybe some cases should be made that money should go to unique parts or changing them to feel more upscale, but you're going to have to pay for that. The VW Group and Audi have shared parts for years and are also caught up in this. They have a good platform underneath the A3 but it is shared with the Golf. Same thing with some switchgear and components.

    If you're coming up from a Golf or Jetta the other improvements to the car like more sound deadening material, slightly upgraded finishes, etc. will probably feel like an incremental improvement. But if you're already driving an S8 and step back into an A3 the economy car roots might be readily apparent. Also the S8 and A3 might have a few common parts that can be seen or touched and many more you can't see, if the overall product is executed well this isn't an issue.

    If that A3 driver got to sit in and drive an S8 for an extended period I'm pretty sure they'd see the differences, but that doesn't make the A3 a bad car. Instead it gives them something to aspire to.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Posts: 878
    edited August 2015

    With a lot of entry level luxury cars like the A3 it does come down to a matter of perspective. You can get most of the same features on compact economy cars and many of those cars have gotten so good it makes it harder to differentiate the luxury models. I think it was a Cadillac engineer or someone in their leadership who recently said that they get hit in the press for using some of the same switchgear as lower end GM models, but even though the ATS might have some switches or controls shared with the Cruze, even if the parts are really good it comes off as a negative.

    The problem with GM is they use a Chevrolet part in a Cadillac. Honda, for example, uses the same platform for the Odyssey van, Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX. But it is designed and engineered to be an MDX first then adapted for use in the Odyssey and Pilot, not the other way around. This is why the MDX is always introduced before the Odyssey and Pilot. Nothing wrong with using parts from the companies part bin, it saves a ton of money. But it should be a part designed for a Cadillac used in a Chevy not the other way around.

    This is what VW/Audi does. The headlight switch, wiper/turn signal stalks, lock and window switches etc. are probably the same in the A3 as they are in the GTI. But they're Audi quality parts in a VW. For example the gauge cluster in the ATS is horrible and it does look like something you would expect in a Chevy Cruze. The A3's gauges are a little more upscale than the GTI's but the general layout with the center info display is the same. But the GTI's gauges are already one of the best in the business so it could only get better.


Sign In or Register to comment.