The new Audi A3 will start nearly $5000 below the model it replaces as the German company responds to an aggressive pricing strategy by rival Mercedes-Benz.

Audi Australia has announced the next-generation Audi A3 luxury hatchback will start from the exactly the same price as the new A-Class – $35,600.

The company admits it has to be competitive in the luxury small-car segment, but says the A3’s move to a new modular platform shared with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf has allowed significant cost savings that can be passed on to consumers.

“When the new A3 Sportback arrives in Australia, the value equation will represent one of the most significant restructures a premium segment has ever seen,” said Audi Australia’s newly appointed boss Andrew Doyle.

The base Audi A3 is a 1.4 TFSI that produces 90kW from its 1.4-litre engine.

Audi isn’t revealing pricing for the rest of the range until the model’s May launch but three other initial engines comprise a 132kW 1.8-litre turbo petrol, 77kW 1.6-litre turbo diesel and 110kW 2.0-litre turbo diesel.

Audi is also following the Mercedes A-Class by making all A3 models at launch standard with a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

In the last quarter of 2013, Audi Australia will expand the A3 range with a 1.4-litre petrol engine with cylinder-deactivation technology that can allow the hatch to run on two cylinders in certain situations.

The Audi S3 Sportback will become the hero model of the line-up, with a 221kW 2.0-litre turbo helping the hot-hatch reach 100km/h from standstill in 5.0 seconds.

The Audi A3 will be offered with a selection of packages that will allow buyers an element of customisation to focus the interior more on comfort, sportiness or technology.

A Technik package, for example, that will cost in the vicinity of $3000 will offer satellite navigation and a multimedia touch control that is a smaller interpretation of the writing touchpad seen in Audi’s higher-end luxury models the A8 limo and A7 Sportback.

Late 2013 will also see the Audi A3 become available with in-car wifi hotspot and Google Earth integration.




  • S3

    Awesome

    • Cars

       The S3 is totally awesome. The rest of the lineup – meh.
      “the A3’s move to a new modular platform shared with the likes of the
      Volkswagen Golf has allowed significant cost savings that can be passed
      on to consumers.” It is only because of Mercedes that it WILL be passed onto the consumer.
      It just confirmed what we all knew. Audi is over-priced.

      • Tuffguy

         To also help with the “alleged price reduction” you can pretty well guarantee the Audi will have way less standard goodies than the Merc too.   The old give with one hand and take with the other routine.

  • Steve2013

    Can we all thank Korea & Thailand for allowing this to happen. 

    Of course the only cost is to our own Automotive Manufacturing Sector.

    • SLORE

      Um no, we should thank Benz and the A-class for allowing this to happen.

    • Al Wal

       ^ some how i dont think any cars coming out of Korea and Thailand are influencing this, as nothing from those two countries rivals these cars.

      You don’t cross shop between an i30 and an A3.

      • Steve2013

        Slore & Al Wal believe it or not but what’s happening in Asia is having a massive effect on the entire market.  Luxury brands just cant justify the prices they’ve been selling cars for in the past.

        • Resident

          Probably more a case of Volkswagen’s Golf having dominated the ‘sell up’ of the Golf…

          With all the reductions in premium brand’s pricing of Hatchbacks it will be interesting to see Golf’s strategy once the Mk7 launches here.

          • Steve2013

            VW isn’t a Lux brand in Australia their cheap and cheerful drive away pricing and cheap finance is a testament to that. All brands are reacting to the cheap end of town not the high end.

            You guys are acting like MB is synonymous for their tight profit margins and competitive relative pricing in Australia. Yeah right, they’ve been forced into this change just like every other euro brand on the market, and about time too.

          • Pinkieponk

            i hate the term luxury – it’s a line in the sand and meaningless to talk about

          • matt

            forced into? its company growth, good for shareholders and profits…. ya know…. captalism? i dont think it has anything to do with cheap cars  from asia, more like the euro’s are moving into the cheaper markets to steal sales away from the “standard” manufacturers, as everyone else is doing the opposite and moving into the “high end” market, think hyundai’s luxury cars, ford and GM both saying they want to go global with Caddy and lincoln, toyota with lexus, nissans infinifi, the british are making some very nice cars these days (though german owned, the british cars still steal sales away from the parent companys) and dont forget the 50 luxury brands china will introduce in the next 6  seconds, i guess your kinda right they are being forced to be more competitive, but lol, it has nothing to do with thailand or oz.

      • Zaccy16

        no you definitely don’t! if you compare the i30 and a3 its like comparing a vegetable to a car!

        • Katut

          A bit like comparing your Polo to a car… Can’t be done.

        • LowRezFez

          I think the i30 is luxe and prestige compared to the austere A3.

      • $29896495

        Why would you want either?

    • JooberJCW

      I also think that the global economic slowdown as the co-driver to this. Less people are buying luxury things and the appeal of increasingly hi-tech Jap/Korean offer the same value for less price. e.g. we now get heated seats, Cameras, xenons as options in these cars, as opposed to back then its only for the expensive euro cars.

      Obviously in its own market it needed one of the prestige makes to fire the first round, which happened to be Mercedes, watch BMW and Lexus soon drop their prices accordingly.

  • nugsdad

    I think the price will be the only thing that matches the A class

    • Martin

      Winning comment! I agree!

    • Al Wal

       Its hard to tell, judging by UK reviews theyre pretty close…

    • 451

      definitely, how can they compare a rebadged golf to an A-class…

    • GregR

      Gudonya nugsdad – how succinct can you get.

  • Dave W

    $35.6k for a car with a 1.4L engine? Get stuffed. How much of a wannabe do you have to be to buy the base model? lol

    • Yetiman

      VW car owners. 

      • LowRezFez

        Buy it and chip it!

    • SLORE

      Lol you are so unaware

      • Pe88lz

        agreed Dave W has no idea. The 1.2 in the heavier golf matches most cars on the market for performance let alone the 1.4 in an even light car again… Turbo is the way of the future.  Just bought an octavia 118TSI. what a fantastic car and absolutely hammers along…

        • Zaccy16

          completely agree, my polo tsi goes magnificently!

          • $29896495

            The Polo is much smaller and lighter.

          • Katut

            And its s**t

        • Dave W

          LOL

          If I have no idea, then why did you buy the 118TSI instead of the 90TSI? Which I think is the same engine as the 1.4L engine in that base model Audi.

        • matt

          lol turbo is the way of the future? … wiped the floor with a fabia 77tsi in a 10 year old out of tune sp20….. i dont get why you fan boys and reviewers like them so much, ive been a passanger in that fabia… nice little cars, more interesting then their relative cousins i think, but that particular engine? their just so diesel, torque torque torque torque, no top end power, pass.

    • JooberJCW

      How about a 1.8 Toyota engine in a Lotus Exige for 100K, you must be laughing at that too.

      • Dave W

        You’re seriously comparing the 1.8L stock Toyota engine with the supercharged version found in the Exige? Really?

        • JooberJCW

          Err there’s the exige and the exige s, one with and one without supercharging. And yes they are both Toyota engines in a 100k car. And even then its barebones so really you don’t get much car for 100k

          • Dave W

            Fair enough. But it’s still not the average Toyota 1.8L engine anyway. It’s a 141kW engine with high lift cam, enough to get the car go from 0-100 in less than 5secs.

            The car itself is a track weapon so I don’t see how you can compare it to a mainstream commuter, albeit an expensive one, like the A3.

            Let’s face it. People would only buy the base A3 for the badge and that makes them wannabes.

            In my view, $35k can buy you other cars with plenty of features. Golf 118TSI only cost $32k. GTI only cost $5k more from the base A3. Why would you pick the base A3 over these cars? The badge, that’s why.

          • JooberJCW

            I was referring to your first post “$35.6k for a car with a 1.4L engine?” which is implying a small engine means it should be priced low. and replying with a  statement that the Lotus has a small engine and such a High price asking for it. 

            I agree going for the pov pack shows how much it plays on desire of emotion and self esteem rather than getting what its worth, and thats the merits of luxury brands really.

          • Dave W

            Well, is there a sports car with the same 1.4L engine found in the A3 that can do 0-100 under 5 seconds like the Lotus Exige?

            Toyota Corolla is a hatchback. Lotus Exige is a purebred sports car. Golf 90TSI with the same 1.4L engine is a hatchback, the A3 is just a more expensive rebodied Golf. Not a fair comparison I’m afraid. There’s a big difference in PERFORMANCE between the Corolla and Exige, while there’s only an intangible PRESTIGE to differentiate the Golf and A3.

            You see, the people with deep pockets will go for AT LEAST the 1.8L variant if not the S3. The wannabes would probably be at their limit or even have to stretch their budget to buy the base 1.4L.

            My question is, why spend  $35.6k on a car with only 1.4L when you can get more for your money? The answer is of course because of the badge.

    • $29896495

      It’s a badge deal. 1.4 will struggle with a car this size. Remember we’re talking something bigger than a TS Astra and as heavy. People whinged about the 1.8 and this has less power. If that’s to old think of the Cruze and how the 1.8 goes in that.

      • Jgh

         The TS Astra (know as a Opel Astra “G”) was sold overseas with a 48KW/110NM 1.2 litre engine, 55KW/118NM 1.6 and a 50KW/132NM diesel. The 1.8 & 2.2 engines we got were the most powerful in the Astra arsenal (and the only ones with a auto available for lazy Australians).
        You’d probably find the Europeans drove faster in their 1.2 Astra’s than Aussies do with the 1.8/2.2 and of course the European models were manual only.
        This A3 has a earlier power peak, extra 40NM of torque across a very broad 1500-4000rpm range plus a extra gear ratio so will be far more responsive in normal driving than a Ts Astra.

        How fast do you think the average driver goes in Australia? Off the lights, your looking about about 12-15 secs 0-60kmh (just time how fast the typical clear traffic flow is) whilst a 1.8 Crude will go 0-60kmh in half that time. Then on the highway, most drivers will max at around 120kmh, many people will never have ever driven over say 140kmh let alone cruise at that speed, yet a 1.8 Crude can do around 200kmh.
        Obviously some people want more performance and those people will not be looking at this base model A3 or a 1.8 Crude will they?

        • $29896495

          Firstly those engines wouldn’t be acceptable in this country. Which is why they aren’t here. The issue is driveability. The Opel 1.8 is quite  a good engine in the right car, but when asked to load around a lump, driveability goes out the window. You have to thrash it and lose economy and it becomes harsh. Like anything that is underpowered having to lug around a lump just like the A3.

          • Jgh

            Absolutely nothing wrong with the driveability of the A3 or the 1.8 Ts Astra. Perhaps there is something wrong with the way you drive.You don’t have to thrash them to keep up with traffic. If you thrashed one of these 1.4 A3′s off the traffic lights, you’d be first off %99 of the time. If you thrashed it along the freeway, you’d be doing 50kmh+ over the 100kmh speed limit.
            The main reason those smaller engines didn’t come here in the Astra was due to a lack of auto gearbox and most Australians can’t seem to handle a manual. Now that more automatics are being designed for cars, Australia is now getting more of the economy focused engines like this A3 one.
            Plus this A3 has 200NM from 1500rpm-4000rpm, so you don’t need to “thrash it” to get the best torque.

            Try going to Italy, thousands of motorists driving cars with puny engines, yet moving along at higher speeds (City gridlock excluded) than Australians do.
            How old are you anyway? Do you think Australians drive faster now than they did in the 1980s? They don’t – if anything Australians drive SLOWER now than they do in the 1980s and back in the 80s, people were cars like VB Crummer with just 66KW in a SIX CYLINDER – a power to weight ratio far worse than this 90KW A3 and it had to go through a 3 speed gearbox!

          • JooberJCW

            Exactly, I dont get why people complain so much about it, theres people who don’t need to drive hard etc and theres people who do, and theres an Engine in the A3 lineup catered for that.

          • $29896495

            You are deliberately missing the point. Or something medically is wrong with you. Cars in the eighties didn’t have the pollution gear we have now, power steering, or the air as standard, or any number of other things. I stated that the 1.8 was good in the Astra but the Cruze which is the size of your beloved Commodore it is struggling which is why they are going to drop it, (and about the size of the A3)

            The A3 isn’t a small car, you may like to think it is but have a look at the specs. Another thing if you are right, why aren’t their more wheezers on the road.

            Driving conditions have changed for sure. Cars are faster more advanced with more equipment for the engine to power. Loading up a turbo tiddler is not the way to go. The only reason they put those out in Europe is Tax and government regulations. They still have a vast majority of more usable powerful engines.

          • Hdf

             You clearly aren’t old enough to have been around in the 80s and/or are lacking in knowledge. Catalytic converters became MANDATORY in the 80s, nearly all cars had power steering in the 80s and most cars had air conditioning in the 80s. All of those things combined would only suck about %5  of the car’s power anyway. Besides, even if a lack of all that equipment wasn’t slowing down the older cars, a 3 speed gearbox compared to a 6 speed would more than make up for it.

            How am I missing the point? You haven’t even provided a point. All you’ve said is the engine will struggle. How? According to Wheels Magazine the 1.4 does 0-100kmh in 9.5 secs. That’s similar performance to the top sellers in this country like Crapolla, Crude, Lamcer, i30 etc and there are obviously thousands of those “wheezers” on the road. It then goes on to about 200kmh. What percentage of the Australian population drive anywhere near 200kmh?

          • $29896495

            You’ve got no idea. Cats came in 86, mass use of power steering wasn’t really till the 90s, air con was still an option on most cars till the 90′s gear boxes were 4 speeds in auto. from at least 82. So what are you talking about? Mid 70s, or 80s. Either way you are wrong you just don’t understand. 

            Let me put it simply, who wants to pay up wards of $40K for four circles with a little motor when you can have any number of other better cars either for the same money or less. Same with the Merc, there is nothing about either car that makes it a better buy than any number of other cars. Especially not a little turbo motor.

          • Gf

            I can see what your doing huwtm. Focusing on the little things like trying to argue about when power steering became in “mass use”. All diversionary tactics to try and avoid the fact that your wrong.
            By the way, the best selling car in Australia right through the 1980s was the Ford Falcon and it was a 3 speed auto right up untill the end of 1989. Also power steering became standard from 1986  and as you said, Cats became standard in 1986. All in the 1980s as I said. So what you arguing about?

            Why not focus the argument on the 0-100kmh time of this car? 9.5 secs is right on average and the same as many top selling cars.
            Why not focus the argument on general traffic flow/speeds? They have only gotten worse over time, so people don’t need fast cars.

            No, stick with your cowardly diversionary arguments like your brand new one about how there are better cars out there for the money (hint: this discussion was about this car having sufficient performance, not it’s overall value for money).

          • $29896495

            There’s nothing cowardly about it I was answering the above rant from Jgh. And yes the falcon had a three speed but most overs had 4. power steering was still an option on most cars up to about 89 / 90. I don’t consider 9.5 adequate by today’s standards. I suppose the more wheeze boxes we get out here from Europe the slower they will go so it will become the norm. I think most people would consider that to be a slow time at the moment. Seeing a Kia or Cruze can pretty much stomp on it, It is pretty slow.

          • Gf

            Yep, there are those diversionary tactics again. Focusing on 3 speed gearboxs and power steering instead of the REAL discussion topic.

            The market disagrees with you about a 9.5 sec 0-100kmh time being inadequate. As I already mentioned, but you failed to address, all the top sellers in this country are in that performance area. Lamcer, i30, Mazda3 Crapolla all run to 100kmh around 9.5 secs – some approaching 11 secs for autos/CVTs. Kia Cerato and Crude are also in that area despite being “stomped on” and your contradictory earlier comment that the Crude was underpowered(now its suddenly a lot quicker?). None of those cars are from Europe either.
            People aren’t buying these cars for drag racing you know.

            You also keep ignoring the fact that traffic flow and speed limits are slower, so why would people want faster cars only to drive them slower?
            Of course this A3 comes with more powerful engine options, but you’ll find – as with most cars – the most popular engine choice will be the smallest one.

            But no matter, back to your procrastinating about what equipment cars had in the 1980s.

          • $29896495

            Get real 99% of people here despite what you think, want more power under their bonnet. You obviously haven’t read the story about the new Cruze. I think it interesting that you resort to using childish words to name certain cars.

            There are going to be social climbers like yourself who want a badge at all costs even if it means getting  a peddle car. Not everyone spends all their time driving in city traffic. The majority in fact commute by train or bus from the rim of the city. Areas where those city conditions don’t exist for the most part.

            Another interesting side light to your attempts to convince people they don’t actually want some power under their bonnet – is that these cars are built for  a purpose to skirt tax and meet a government mandated rule in Europe. This is NOT Europe. Additionally, I watch a German Car show and they don’t see a difference between the A3 and the Golf. Euro prices are near identical.

            I come back to the point, only a mindless social climbing fool would try and justify an under powered vehicle on the basis of it’s badge. I suggest you start reading tests else where on this site and others and catch up with the real world.

          • Resident

            I cannot believe you are dragging the TS Astra 1.8L into this – the engine that dates back to the late 1980s!

            I’m assuming you must own one then? We have the AH Astra, which was the same 1.8L in the last power increase before being rolled off Holden showrooms… and as fast as it might be off the go, it is no powerhouse and definitely doesn’t win any drags. But my my 50yo+ father, it does just fine.

            Having driven a 1.4 Turbo Golf with 7sp DSG, I’m struggling to see where you need to thrash it? It has so much torque and a super-fast DSG gearbox that I was honestly impressed with how well it took off. To the point where you could almost lose traction into 2nd gear – in a DSG! And this coming from me; someone who has owned quite a few hot hatches (all Manual).

            Glad you LOVE Opel, but they really aren’t comparable to Audi. Maybe Volkswagen, but even then you buy Opel with your head because it ‘makes sense’ and is better value… but may not be the best car.

          • $29896495

            Gee what’s up with your fifty year old father? that’s not old yet you are talking about him like he has one foot in the grave. So he’s not long for this world?

            The Astra 1.8 was an example of how an engine can be different if essentially the same from one size of car to the other, going from Astra to Cruze. Not smart enough to work it out, huh?

            The primary issue is why pay 36 K for a bottom of the line car with an under powered engine – remember that motor is adequate in a Polo which is a third smaller – when you can buy cars with better equipment and better engines and better designs for less money or the same at worst.

            If you are a badge snob admit and stop littering the page.

            By the way Audi are VW they run the same mechanicals have the same build quality, just an even more boring design. Wake up.

          • Resident

            No no, but I’m saying that the TS Astra’s 1.8L engine has nothing on anyone. It is old tech.

            The Astra’s AH and TS was never raved on about, and that has also transferred into the Cruze.

            Have you driven the 1.4Turbo? I doubt it - the car has sufficient power and torque to get it going. 90kW is only slightly down on some of the 1.8L engines still going in current hatchbacks, but the 200Nm from as little as 1,500rpm means that combined with the DSG there is no issue getting it going.

            Definitely not a brand snob either. I value all cars on their merits.

          • LowRezFez

            The A3 needs a supercharged V8!

        • AudiHole

          But if I don’t have at least 200KW, how can I zoom to the front of the left-hand-turn lane and cut in front of all the suckers who have been queuing for 10 minutes?

  • Scott

    Wow, interesting news. It certainly doesn’t have the style of the A class or the dynamics of the 1 series but is still a nice car. As one reviewer in the UK noted “no longer the grandma’s Audi” haha.

    • JooberJCW

      One thing that stands out of the Audi, is their use of LED’s theyve always done it right, especially with teh new models, its almost like a modest Halo outlining the headlight shape rather than the vulgar spots in a row in the most random places most other manufacturers do.

    • Zaccy16

      its the perfect allrounder in the class!

  • Resident

    Manual seems to be a dying breed in small luxury hatches, except over at BMW.

    • Amlohac

      Oh no its only a matter of time before BMW drops the Manual. You wait and see.

    • Jgh

       Only in Australia. Standard manual across the range overseas.

  • JasperG333

    This makes their run-out deal on the old A3 even worse… 

  • F1orce

    I doubt any of these will actually be sold at the price above..

    Even if they do. Imagine how under specced they’d be.

    • Resident

      They sold plenty of them at the higher price with the previous model.

      With a host of new technology and better chassis, there is no reason why they can’t compete with the lower entry cost.

  • Theo

    Americans wouldn’t stand for the prices we pay here. We’re pushovers. The day that $36K for a small hatchback with a gutless engine sounds cheap to our ears is a sad day.

    • Golfschwein

      Americans would love our wages and health care. There’s so much more to this than mere dollar parity, I’m sure, but I can’t go further than this because I’m not an economist. If there are any economists here, speak up!

      • Bob

        I’m not an economist, but if you’re saying that it’s OK to charge us more because we (on average only) earn more than residents of the US, then you are entitled to your view but I don’t think this is fair. A restaurant doesn’t ask how much you earn and charge accordingly for the same food.
        Some higher prices due to higher retail costs (ie higher rents for dealerships, higher salaries for staff) would be justified, as would a premium for the smaller market and economies of scale (although given the concentration of Australia’s population this could be marginal – I’d be interested in dealership v population stats..).

        Then again, as long as Aussies keep buying these products at inflated prices, the dealers are free to charge whatever they want.  I feel there are too many “enablers” out there who value a badge over everything else and this is the real cause of the higher prices. 

        • GregR

          Hit the nail absolutely on the head Bob. It’s no use complaining prices are too high for anything because, the vendor will always want to maximise his profit and if people are foolish enough to pay what he asks – why should he reduce his price. The day when you can go into a Euro showroom and make them an offer is hopefully not too far away.
          I’m not poor nor mean but I refuse to pay more than $4 for a coffee. I always ask the price and if it is more than $4 I walk out.

      • JooberJCW

        Of course there’s more. One big one for example is Economies of scale, another is Country in Isolation and distance.

        • Browneye69

          Country isolation and distance is nothing. It doesn’t cost any more to send a Clio to Oz as it does a Porcshe 911. The Clio will be marginally dearer than it is in Europe when it gets here whilst the Porsche will double in price. It’s all greed, not economies of scale.

          • JooberJCW

            Im not talking about the cost of shipping, its more the distance and why bother factor if you sell cars the same price in the US / Europe, and remember production of 911′s are much more limited than the clio.

            Isolation + economies of scale has alot to do with it actually. And you mention corporate greed which is also in the mix which I didn’t mention actually.

            Heres an example,

            Porche produces lets say 1000 911′s per year

            Demand from US per year is 500
            China is another 500
            Europe is another 500

            SEAsia is 300

            Australia 80

            Australia being the furthest and having least demands, you say why would I bother selling the 911 to there when I can make up for it to places closer, with more shipping routes/options hence being cheaper to send, so the SEAsian division goes hey we can give you a higher margin by dropping the demand to 150 by jacking up the price by lets say 30% making it profitable to send cars this way.
            Then you have Australia even further away making their case, saying well we can drop to 30 certain demands and jack up by 50% so please send us some this way instead of sending it to all to SEAsian as we can offer a better margin yet again.

          • $29896495

            What you aren’t taking into account is that these things like any other car from Europe is brought out on a bulk carrier with a lot of other cars. thus making the cost negligible  In Australia as an example it costs a car yard $50.00 to move a car from one end of the country to the other. Same with bringing it by ship. You also have to take into account the fact that it’s not just us, New Zealand and South Africa as well get RHD and cars prepared to fit the highest standard will fit anyone of these countries. With modern assembly lines it isn’t an issue any way. A computer has a pick list for  a certain country and they built what is needed, when required. Cost are very low.

          • JooberJCW

            Yes with other cars not from the same company, 
            So lets say on one ship you bring 1 shipment of a 911, and 50 Clios, which means it will be more cost effective in bulk for Renault to ship across. theres no flat rate per car we are talking here. So for Porche it adds to the markup to the margin they sell here, as you need take account the yearly operating costs for the business to run here in aus.

            As I said the Economies of Scale is the biggest one:

            Example. all number are probably way off but just think about the demand and how it really affects.

            Lets say…
            Porche spends 5,000,000 per year operating here in Aus
            Renault spends 10,000,000

            Porche only sells 30 a year here,
            Renault sells 2000 a year here,

            WIthout taking account tax, Porche needs to take into account $166,666 is needed to break even per car

            Whereas Renault only $5000. 

          • Dudeface

            While what you are saying makes sense JooberJCW, in the case of Merc, Audi and BMW, each sold between 3 and 4 times as many cars as Renault did last year. Yet Renault don’t have the huge mark up of the German 3.

            I recall reading a list of excuses from Mercedes-Benz Australia on why their cars were so much more expensive here than in Europe. IMO none of the excuses they gave held water.

            But we are starting to see prices drop which is a good thing. They still have a way to go but it always had to be a gradual thing anyway.

          • $29896495

            Joober, that makes no sense at all. 

          • Amoled

            Hmmm… let me about you this. If the Australian government parallel import on a commercial scale, would Porche charge the Australian dealership still charge the same amount as they do now? I wouldn’t think so. Then, would you still argue it has anything to do with the economy of scale, cost of doing business here. Sure it has a little role to play. Look what happened to CD prices once they allowed parallel import. Look what happened to our retaliers when people started buying things online…

          • Hanson_pete

            Most businesses will try and get as much profit as the market will allow and some markets, USA in particular, vote with their feet and force companies to be more competative. Its interesting how Australia exported Holden SS’s as Pontiacs to the USA for 3 years totalling 41000 cars, far less volume than is sold locally, the cars had to be specially tooled to be left had drive, shipped all the way to the USA yet cost $10,000 less than in Australia?
            When I lived in the UK there were a lot of import businesses set up as you could import cars cheaper from Europe than you could buy them in the UK. The Range Rover at that time was built in the UK. You could import it via a dealer in Europe so the car was Built in the UK, shipped to Europe, then Shipped back to the UK and it cost about 10,000 pounds less than buying it in the UK. I imported my car for 2,500 pound cheaper by using an import company. I’d take the economy of scales and  distance factors with a pinch of salt if I were you.

      • $29896495

        Americans get paid more than us check the stats.

      • Theo

        Are you claiming that car companies have examined our wages and health care system and compared it to America’s? How far-fetched. You are apologising for them or at best naive.

        • Golfschwein

          Of course I’m not suggesting that. I put the call out for some economists (cheeky AND optimistic, I know) and all I got was the usual conspiracy theorists. None of you people actually know. Oh, you think you know, and your shout-it-out-loud almost succeeds in compensating . But that doesn’t mean you do know. 

          All I see is red-faced hyper-ventilating and the loss of cell tissue over a situation that existed with Pontiacs GXP, Monaro and even the Ford Capri years back. It probably goes back to the Model T. It’s not limited to cars, either. Leather jackets, shoes, jeans, you name it. It’s all cheap.

          I’m not an apologist, I’m just saying I have no problem with the concept that stuff costs different amounts of dosh in different parts of the world. Move on.

          • Theo

            So what items are cheaper in Australia?

          • Theo

            You like Golf cos it’s a German car you can actually get your hands on in the face of our inflated prices. If you were in America you’d miraculously have a bigger interest in BMW, Mercedes, et cetera. It’s not a criticism mate, it’s an explanation for your artificially modeled consumer behaviour.

          • Karl Sass

            Well said Golfy. The unfortunate (but worthwhile, I believe) consequence is that items cost more here than they do in lower cost economies. That may lead to a car costing a few grand more. HOWEVER, pointing that fact out isn’t apologising for some companies that charge$50k+ more than overseas, which in my opinion is just greedy companies milking the ignorance of the local consumer. Although that is my best assessment, I’m not an economist either. So the call goes unanswered…

      • Jonty

        Retailers aim to hit a point of perfect balance (price point) where consumers view a price as fair and expected and demand continues to remain consistent. Thus the market will charge what the market will bear for any given product (B.Bus/Ec). 

        Argueing over factors such as what we earn vs another country is not even on the table when discussing pricepoint for a product sold here. Fair or not that is the way the business world plays.

        • $29896495

          A lot of this comes from companies thinking they can over charge because we are so isolated. It’s early twentieth century thinking. Some of them, even though we have internet now cheap OS transport, still seem to think we aren’t aware of what’s happening in the rest of the world.

          Australians, unlike Americans are much better informed as to what’s happening around this planet, for the most part. You’d think they would realize that by now, but they don’t seem to. The EU and USA seem to be very slow, in accepting that despite some apologists, we are aware of what they are doing to us. 

          If they wont accept words, they will wake up when sales fall even further. 

    • Al Wal

       If everything is so damn cheap and amazing in the US then move there and stop whinging.

      • GregR

        It is not whinging Al Wal it is exercising people power. Vendors will always adjust to the demand. The secret is complain, complain and complain then eventually prices will moderate. They may be in the doldrums at present but the American economy has been leading the world for decades, nay centuries. Anyway why should we move, we like it here and we want it better here – so I say keep complaining guys – just don’t pay top dollar and let them know we won’t.

      • Theo

        Don’t stick your head in the sand buddy. No one gives you your money for nothing.

  • Theo

    $100K here and you’re lucky to get a BMW 335i. $100K in USA and you drive out in a Mercedes SL550. Think of that before you hand over your hard-earned.

    • John

      Yeah we do pay too much, but hopefully when we stop making cars in this country (which less and less people actually want) the Gov’t will have no excuse for the stupid protectionist taxes and the price will come down. And we might get some of the sweet american muscle cars coming over from GM.

      • Andy

        The “protectionist” tax component is 5%.  Hardly the cause of a 100% price difference.

        The other main taxes apply to ALL cars. GST of 10%.  State stamp duty is a few p%. LCT (but only on the component of pricing which is over $60K or $75K for fuel efficient cars) – wouldn’t even apply to a US-priced M3 and would add less than $10K to the price of a US-priced 911.

        The real reason for the higher prices is that we are willing to pay them.

        • GregR

          Well said Andy – its because we are suckers. 
          Ask the price and if you don’t like it, walk out but make a bloody great big fuss doing so. It won’t take long for the message to get home.

        • Theo

          100% correct.

      • Theo

        Just go stingy until they drop the prices.

        • Pinkieponk

          actually the protectionism is not a 5% tax. it is the inability to easily directly import cars from overseas. allow this, and watch the prices drop like a lead balloon . only thing is, watch the tax -payer subsidised Oz car industry go down as well, maybe not a bad thing

      • Amoled

        A simple solution, allow parallel import. Probably not much impact on the lower models but should make a big impact on the high end models

    • Joshua Kong24

      Keep in mind their cars are much more underspecced than ours. Plus it’s exclusive of tax. An S63 at US$140K is lacking almost US$40k in options. Then add 15% sales tax. Sure $204k is less than the $400k we pay. But there’s also other factors: smaller market, shipping routes, conversion to RHD, we have higher resales. It all adds up.

      • GregR

        The RHD markets are really quite a good deal bigger than you might think. The UK and Japan are two of the worlds highest car-ownership per capita countries and both drive on the correct side of the road. 

        • Josh Kong

          @gregralph:disqus Maybe you are right about the RHD markets; I don’t know the world statistics on all RHD vs LHD cars on the roads today.  But with a national car market approximately the size of one of China’s major cities, you would think Australia is just a drop in the ocean wouldn’t you?  We also have ridiculously strict ADR rules which manufactures have to design explicitly for our markets (cost are also passed on); to the point where its denied us of cars like the RS3 where Audi couldn’t be bothered re-designing the carbon fiber fenders. 

          • GregR

            OK Josh

      • $29896495

        That’s a lot of rubbish I’m afraid. On road and tax are included on many US sites now and their cars are not under specced. Mini for example starts in high teens and tops out in high twenties. An average sedan like a Commodore or Falcon is high teens early twenties. Mustang low twenties. These things have the same ratio. The issue is profiteering when our dollar is so high. As Greg R states below, we aren’t the only RHD country. Lets not forget Africa. India.

        • GregR

          Thanks Huwtm

      • Theo

        The “spec” thing is the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever heard. For what would an S63AMG lack in America? ?Sat-nav. ?Xenon lights. ?LED turn signals. ?Massive wheels. Tell me. What is missing from the standard American delivered S63AMG that is found on the one here. You’re soft man.

        • Josh Kong

          @af4a95e91ffc5e1e779563f691f2041b:disqus Just some of the options US spec cars are not equiped with. They are however available in various packages such as the driver assist package which we all have standard.

          Active Blind Spot Assist

          DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE Brake

          Active Lane Keeping Assist

          Splitview- front screen

          Night View Assist PLUS with Pedestrian Detection

          4-zone automatic climate control

          ^^All standard on AUS spec S350

          8-way adjustable power outboard rear seats (S500L)

          Memory function for rear seats

          Heated and Active Ventilated rear seats

          Heated wood/leather steering wheel

          ^^All standard on AUS spec S500

          To some extent I do see your point in how a few options can’t justify twice the price of a car, but overseas ‘under-specced’ models are far worse lower down the model line and its not just mercedes.

  • Peter

    the exterior looks 30 years older than the interior, unless that is just a really bad angle

    • nugsdad

       Boy a comment about the car, how did that slip in?

      • $29896495

        It’s all about cars and or buying them.

        • Golfschwein

          Too amazing. In perhaps today’s second or third comment about the car, I think it’s great news for buyers. This is the sort of price that Aussies were paying for the Mk IV Golf, so things aren’t as bad here as some make out.

          • Hanson_pete

            I paid $26,000 for my MK4 (1.6litre). 8 Years later I paid $25,000 for my Mk6 (1.4turbo). Things are definitely improving and that’s good news for consumers. We have seen it with the price reductions for the new Corolla, Pulsar, Cruze and A Class. Hopefully VW will have to rethink the MK7′s new price come April.

  • Trevor Young

    Hope Audi have put a little extra effort into further development of  the sophisticated electronics. They could demonstrate that by extending the warranty perhaps!! 

  • GregR

    I find it difficult to mention MB and Audi in the same breath. One cannot get away from the fact that Audi is the progeny of VW. If the Auto-Union company had not been swallowed-up then we might now have very different cars. I am amazed that Audi has done as well globally as it has; there are an awful lot of suckers out there it seems. It may be the 2013 version but, try as I might, I am unable to compare the A3 with the Aclass. 
    Historically I believe that there were a great number of ‘diehard’ VW fans who wanted something better and to discard the ‘people’s car’ image they migrated to Audi naturally. Otherwise Audi would have failed I think.

    • Dudeface

      I don’t disagree entirely with your view on the Audi – VW relationship, but keep in mind – other members of the VW group include Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Ducati, and recently Porsche. The R8 V10 is practically a Gallardo. IMHO, Audi being in the VW group shouldn’t necessarily be considered a downside.

      • $29896495

        The difference is how closely they are tied together. Looking across the prime ranges Audi VW Skoda Seat. most are near identical in a lot of ways if not in the skin underneath it. Hence, why would you pay extra for an Audi over anyone of those others. Should that be your thing? Why for example would you buy an under powered A3 over a spritely Polo with the same engine. There is nothing about the Audi construction that makes it better than any of the other three brands. Other than an under powered engine in the cheapest A3. It certainly isn’t going to have the same performance as a Polo.

        • Dudeface

          Well for starters the Polo is much smaller as I’m sure you are aware, so you wouldn’t be cross shopping it with the A3 anyway. If you are talking a Golf vs. an A3 with the same powertrain, it is a much closer thing.. The major differentiator between the two IMO is the interior and maybe some of the tech options. Build quality may also be a factor, guess that depends on a lot of variables like which factories each car comes out of. Whether those differences are worth the extra money for the Audi is up to the buyer I suppose. I’m sure that in quite a few cases though, buyers wouldn’t even be aware how closely related their A3 is to a Golf.

          I just thought of something kinda related while pondering VW and Audi’s parts sharing. VW’s DSG always cops grief for it’s unreliability, but I don’t recall really hearing Audi’s getting the same. I assume they share the same DSG’s? Could be the Audi’s are upgraded in some way? 

          • baldmanc

            The Audi S-Tronic box is specifically tuned to each car. Both DSG’s come from the same manufacturer, however VW don’t do much else with it and fit it to the car. Audi will spend a week on each individual gearbox, which is why they are in constantly short supply and must use tiptronic gearboxes in some of their vehicles.

      • GregR

        Excellent rejoinder Dudeface. 
        Isn’t it good to have some sensible debate, and I include huwtm in that comment. In the past I have been critical of the poor quality of some of the responses but we are all being highly adult today. I guess it must be term-time – so the ones I have been disparaging of are otherwise engaged. 
        I suppose there should be a degree of gratitude that we are discussing what is basically a flourishing choice level, it is not too long ago that this was not the case. 

  • Dgf

    I feel sorry for Audi and their A3. It seems all they can do is play catch up to the new Golf and A-Class.

  • Zaccy16

    that interior is fantastic! better than the 1 series and on par or better than the a class

    • $29896495

      Honestly I think the Golf is better.

      • Zaccy16

        I agree actually, the a3 is a good car but golf is as good but much better value!

        • Theo

          Australians are obsessed with Golf and A3 cos they’re the only German cars they can get their hands on. In America they look at these cars as you look at KIA hatchbacks.

          • Pinkieponk

            top selling car in US – camry , which costs just under double a 528i, wonder how many times more a bm costs here- funny how highly you rate americas choice in cars

          • Theo

            The journos have a lot to answer for. They were aware of the massive price disparities long before we learned for ourselves via the internet. Even now they still usually omit the price disparity in their writ-ups. They’re part of the scandal and should be thrashed.

          • Theo

            I appreciate that you are replying but I just cannot understand what you’re trying to say buddy. Have another go.

          • $29896495

            I think he is trying to say – Camry is half the cost of a 528i in the US. I don’t get the rest.

  • BarnabyOnTheJuice

    The new Volvo has 3 years free servicing and won’t be long before they offer very low finance offers. It’s going to really heat up in this segment. About time! Hopefully the new S3 is $10k less and fully optioned.

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Good to see the better exchange rates finaling filtering through to the consumer.

  • Theo

    What really gives away Australians the most as suckers is the used car market. Example: a surprisingly high number of superseded Porsche Cayenne’s are on the road. Yes? Go and check out what they sell for and the odometer readings and bear in mind that these cars are superseded, out of warranty and out of style. If more Australians had a backbone there would be zero market for this rubbish.

    • $29896495

      Totally agree. I sometimes wonder if these apologist for high prices are car sales people, or just the simple proletariat that follows along or both.

      • Theo

        Americans just wouldn’t stand for these prices. They don’t fork out hard-earned money for rubbish. Australians’ goodwill has been taken advantage of.

        • Pinkieponk

          not goodwill – stupidity

      • Pinkieponk

        they work for the Euro car mobs

    • JooberJCW

      The thing is to people its the the Badge + SUV combo that makes them want the car, as I mention in a earlier post purchases are based on both satisfying physical and emotional, with the tip of the scale going either way with different people. If they love porsche and always wanted a SUV (emotionally), the physical aspect of a crummy superceded cayenne is not not going to deter them in buying it.

      • Theo

        I agree. Can you believe these bozos are willing to pay more for a used superseded Cayenne than an American pays for a current Cayenne? Their judgement has been warped by our artificially inflated car prices. 

    • Pinkieponk

      so true – it helps maintain the new prices though -dealers can claim good resale – much better to have a newer cheaper car

  • Theo

    It’s for people who want to drive an Apple computer.

    • Matthew Helm

       What do you mean by this? Do you mean, perhaps: people who want the long-term stability, security, and speed of unix, including powerful command-line tools, over the opposite, i.e., windows?

      (BTW: My offer to duel you over your slanderous remarks regarding the V40 still stands. I’ve killed before and I am happy to do so again.)

  • Hung Low

    Just like the A1, this is a slightly larger handbag on wheels. It’s not luxury or prestige as much as a desperate status symbol.

    • Dudeface

      Perhaps. But tell me, what should someone who doesn’t want to be labelled a badge snob be buying instead, that has a comparable level of luxury, build quality and technology? The A class and 1 series don’t count as they fall under the same ‘desperate status symbol’ you describe. Golf? Well some would call the VW try hard badge snobbery. Volvo V40 maybe? I can’t think of anything else that compares… suggestions?

      • Theo

        You’re free to do what you want with your money mate, but we’re just saying to think twice before handing over hard-earned money to the profiteering German car companies. Take a few minutes and peruse some of the American websites and the RRP. You’ll think it’s an error but it’s not!

        • Hung Low

          Don’t you know it’s about feeling better than the average joe cause you can afford to be ripped off!

      • Hung Low

        I note you left out Lexus or Skoda, must be a brand perception issue for you too. Seriously I have no problem with these buyers moving up a bit to a 3 series, C class or IS250. S3 aside, this screams wannabe like having your underwear brand hanging out of your pants. 

    • Theo

      Slightly harsh but grain of truth because cars like Audi A3 attract buyers who are social climbers but can’t afford the real thing. They usually can’t even truly afford these little cars either.

      • Dean

        True to some extent, but I would consider a “lux” hatchback because despite being able to afford a behemoth I live near the city and prefer the practicality of driving and parking a small car.  I do however enjoy driving, spend a lot of time in my car and would like something comfortable and fun to drive.

        Then again I’d probably buy an up-spec Golf over an A3 because no matter how much money I have I’ll always have an eye for value :)

      • Hanson_pete

        Its a case of marketing in each particular country. In Australia VW is selling itself as a semi premium brand and Audi as a premium brand. As such there is a $10,000 to $15,000 premium between similar models of VW vs Audi. In the UK there is only a $1000 to $1500 difference between similar models. E.g. the New MK7 Golf 1.4 litre cost £18,710 and the equivalent Audi A3 cost £19,205. In the UK they understand that they are essentially the same car.

  • OOOO

    So a person buys an A3, and becomes a “Wannabe”. What models equate to a ‘Shouldabeen’ and “Couldabeen”.?  I expect the A8 is reserved for anyone who is a “Hasbeen’……..

    • Hector

      yeh

  • Matthew Helm

    Yes, car prices here in Australia do seem high to me. Remember, though, before you start citing the cost of this or that, that prices charged and costs of production have very little if any connection at all. You might be tempted to say that, at the very least, cost provides a lower limit to price, but even this is not true: Henry Ford would routinely price his cars below cost … the effect of this being increased demand, increased production, increased economies of scale, and reduced cost: so he made a profit on sales after all. And then he would reduce the price below cost again, and so on.

  • Hector

    VW Golf GTI:
    US RRP: $24K app.
    Australia RRP: $40K app.

  • Hector

    BMW 335i:
    US RRP: $43K.
    Australia RRP: $111K.

  • Hector

    Mercedes SL500:
    US RRP: $106,000.
    Australia RRP: $247,000.

  • Guest

    Allow parallel import on a commercial scale. That should fix up the price discrepancy to some extent. It won’t bring it to parity but should put pressure on manufacturers to reduce their price tag in Australian dealership. David Jones got price reduction on some goods from overseas manufacturer in order to be compete with overseas online retailers. I can’t see why we can’t do the same with cars if the government allows it. 

    • Gf

       Try New Zealand. Grey imports EVERYWHERE. Yet the price discrepancy on dealer cars is in some cases even greater than it is here.

    • Hung Low

      Why stop with cars. Imagine the banks and Insurance thieves here had no protection and we could finance mortgages at a 2% rate, have much more competitive Insurance, pay tv, telecommunications.
      Globalisation will eventually bring parity pricing with all things retail, but the danger also lies with parity with the standard of living.

      • $29896495

        As you mentioned telecommunications I can tell you your 80c call on telstra actually costs 1c – I could go on but you get the point.

  • Al Tungupon

    Nah, it’s just a tarted up Golf.