2008 Jaguar XJ

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$63,835-$94,085
$58,090-$85,618
15 CITY / 23 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability

Overview

What Changed for 2008:
  • New wheel options

  • New Titanium package

  • Available manual rear side sunshades

  • Optional factory-installed iPod integration

  • 3.2 models receive standard Sirius satellite radio and auto-dimming interior mirror
Overview
The Audi A3 has been on sale in the European market since 1996. North Americans didn't get a chance to own the smallest Audi until 2005, when the second-generation A3 already had a coupee years under its belt. The compact 5-door Audi A3 offers European engineering in a compact package with room for five. Trickle-down amenities from its big brothers, the A4 and A6, add technology and refinement more often reserved for models costing much more. The A3 model line enters 2008 largely unaltered, with the exception of a few minor cosmetic and option package changes.

Model Lineup
While they all share the same 5-door body, the two different models in the 2008 Audi A3 lineup represent the choices of 4- or 6-cylinder power, and front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD). The 4-cylinder FWD A3 2.0T is available with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) with electro-hydraulic control. The more powerful 6-cylinder A3 3.2 features Audi's quattro IV permanent AWD system with torque-sensing center differential. It is only available mated to the 6-speed DSG transmission.

All models feature standard dual-zone air conditioning with fully automatic climate control, electronic cruise control, and the Audi Concert II AM/FM stereo with single in-dash CD player. Audi's Open Sky system, a powered 2-part panoramic glass sunroof, is also standard across the lineup. The A3 3.2 models feature an upgraded Bose Audi Symphony premium sound system, rain-sensing wipers, fog lights, 12-way sport power front seats, leather upholstery, and several other additional standard features.

Major packages and options include the Premium package, Audio package, Technology package, and the Cold Weather package. The S line package adds larger wheels and tires, a roof spoiler, upgraded sport steering wheel, fog lamps, an audio package, and several other cosmetic changes. The DVD-based Audi Navigation Plus system is available as a stand-alone option on all models.

All 2008 Audi A3 models come with a 4-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty that includes a 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation. Road America provides 24-hour roadside assistance for the first four years of ownership.

Powertrain
The Audi A3 family offers a choice of two different powerplants and two drivelines for the 2008 model year. The engine for all 2.0T models is a direct-injection, 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 200 hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. Consumers are offered a choice between a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) with electro-hydraulic control. EPA fuel economy ratings are 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway. All 3.2 models receive a direct-injection, 3.2-liter, 6-cylinder engine rated at 250 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. The 6-cylinder is only available with Audi's quattro IV permanent AWD system and the 6-speed DSG transmission. Its EPA fuel economy ratings are 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway.

The standard McPherson front suspension and 4-link independent rear suspension were designed for sporty and agile handling, Audi says. All A3 models feature electromechanical steering with speed-dependent power assistance, 4-wheel disc brakes, and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Standard wheels are 16 inches in diameter, with 17- and 18-inch wheels with high-performance tires optional.

Safety
Driver and front passengers in all 2008 Audi A3 models are protected by two-stage, next-generation front air bags and side air bags with seat occupant sensors. Front seats feature pre-tensioning 3-point seat belts and active head restraints. All A3 models feature Audi's Sideguard head-protection air bags for front and rear occupants, with rear side air bags optional. An Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) is standard equipment. The Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system is standard in the rear outboard positions. All models receive a tire-pressure-monitoring system. The 2006-2008 Audi A3 has been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The A3 earned \"Good\" ratings for both the frontal offset test and the side-impact test-the highest ratings issued by the institute. The 2008 Audi A3 was chosen by the IIHS as a \"Top Safety Pick\" for 2008.

Technology
The 2008 A3 is available with Audi's 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) with electro-hydraulic control: an electronically controlled dual-clutch gearbox without a traditional torque converter. Computers control the two clutch assemblies in a manner that allows one gear to be engaged while the other is positioned ready for action. Audi explains that when a shift is initiated by the computer or driver (via steering-wheel-mounted paddles), DSG is able to switch gears nearly instantaneously: The time when the wheels are unpowered is only about 8 milliseconds. The advantages to Audi's DSG include more driver control, less power loss to the transmission, and better fuel efficiency, Audi claims.
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