An old coworker recently reached out as he’s in the market for a car that’s useful, fun to drive, city-sized and efficient. His shortlist included the usual suspects who make up this thriving segment: Mini, Audi A3, BMW 1-series, etc. To me, there’s no better compromise than the A3 TDI. It’s the best-looking, most efficient and most useful of the bunch, with plenty of luxury and tuneability. After witnessing my brother’s recent 50+ mpg road trip in a Jetta TDI, I could see going back to a long commute if I got to have an A3/Golf TDI with a chip.
Disclaimer: I plan to only own stick-shift manual cars forever. However, while I haven’t yet driven DSG myself, in a tech-laden young urban professional machine like this, it makes sense for efficiency, ease of use in the city, and even fun. My dream A3 would be a nice brown, but white will do. Fierce bidding has turned off the reserve at a low $18k, well below the asking price of $26k. Even into the low-20s, this is a great all-arounder that could still be plenty of fun.