The 2008 Audi A3 has succeeded where others before it have failed. Conventional wisdom says Americans don't purchase small premium-luxury hatchbacks, and the lackluster sales of the BMW 318ti and Mercedes-Benz C230 coupe seem to lend credence to the theory. Yet, despite all odds, Audi's A3 has caught on, offering four-door versatility wrapped in a sleek package that forgoes a trunk in favor of a rear hatchback.
Hungering for a European sports sedan like an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but can't quite justify the expense? If so, the 2008 Audi A3's taut handling, sophisticated design and hatchback versatility, at a price lower than those worthy machines, could make this car a keeper.