• Priced from $29,900 with front-wheel drive
  • Two drivetrain options and three trim choices
  • Standard leather, panoramic sunroof and automatic transmission

Audi announced pricing for what will soon be its most affordable model. The 2015 Audi A3 sedan has a starting MSRP of $29,900, not including destination charge. The base A3 Premium comes with an impressive list of standard features, but buyers who want more can choose upgraded Premium Plus or Prestige trim. All-wheel drive is also available and comes paired with a more powerful engine.

With quattro all-wheel drive and a 220-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, the A3 2.0 is priced at $32,900. The front-wheel-drive version uses a smaller, 1.8-liter motor that makes 170 hp. Both transmit power through a 6-speed automatic.

In base Premium trim, the A3 includes leather seats, power driver seat, HD radio, panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, automatic xenon headlights and LED running lights. Audi MMI navigation is a $1,900 option, and the Cold Weather package that includes heated seats is priced at $500.

Starting at $32,800, the mid-range Premium Plus trim brings a proximity key with push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, aluminum interior trim and 18-inch wheels. A backup camera is part of the $1,400 Driver Assistance package that also includes parking sensors and a blind spot monitor Audi calls Side Assist.

The top-trim A3 Prestige is also available in both front- and all-wheel-drive versions, priced at $38,700 and $41,700, respectively. It includes the driver-assistance features along with navigation, a 14-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system, LED headlights and an exterior appearance kit. The $1,400 Advanced Technology package brings adaptive cruise and active lane-departure avoidance. Sport seats and paddle shifters are part of the $500 Sport package.

The base price for the 2015 Audi A3 is identical to the price of another entry-luxury German 4-door, the Mercedes-Benz CLA. The Benz is more powerful than the base A3 1.8, but it lacks some features that come standard on the new A3. Equipping a CLA with leather and a sunroof, for example, adds nearly $3,000 to its price.

The 2015 Audi A3 arrives in dealer showrooms this spring. Audi promises more variations on the model -- including a convertible, a diesel and a high-performance version -- later this year.

What it means to you: Prestigious brands are no longer reserved for the wealthy. New, entry-luxury models such as the 2015 A3 bring style and cachet to those of us with more modest budgets.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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