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Luxury cars typically come with many great features and specs, but they’re not affordable for most car shoppers. The used car market is a great place to find deals on luxury cars, but car shoppers will also have to be wary about the reliability of those used cars. The good news is that the 2009 Audi A3 is a used luxury hatchback that’s reliable and costs less than $10,000.

Why the 2009 Audi A3 is a reliable luxury small car

U.S. News published its list of the best used small luxury cars that cost less than $20,000, and the 2009 Audi A3 finished at No. 1. The A3 finished first for many reasons, as the car did well in most areas the car critic looked at. The car received an overall score of 9.2 out of 10 and had a critics’ rating of 8.8 out of 10. The site also gave its performance a score of 8.8 out of 10, but its interior received a worse score of 8.1 out of 10.

However, the two areas where the A3 shined were its safety and reliability scores. It had a perfect 10 out of 10 for safety, which shouldn’t be a surprise since Audi makes a lot of safe cars. It also got a reliability rating of 5 out of 5, and this score was based on what J.D. Power had to say about the A3. On top of that, the NHTSA doesn’t have any open recalls for the A3, which may be a good sign for its reliability.

An overview of the 2009 Audi A3

An exterior side profile of a blue 2006 Audi A3 Sportback S-Line hatchback model parked in front of a brick wall
Audi A3 Sportback S-Line | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The 2009 model year of the Audi A3 is a very affordable used car. Shoppers can expect to pay an average of between $6,800 to $9,800 for one. The main reason it’s so cheap is that it’s so old, which has some obvious drawbacks. The most apparent issue is tech-related, as the A3 simply doesn’t have many modern tech features. That said, it also has a 10-speaker premium stereo system and Bluetooth.

Its interior has a relatively low score because the seats aren’t too spacious, and its cargo capacity is lacking. When owners fold the rear seats down, it maxes out at 19.5 cu. ft., which isn’t great compared to other hatchbacks. Besides those issues, the A3 is still a capable car, especially in how it drives.

Audi offered two engine options. It starts with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower, and this was the engine that U.S. News liked the most. There’s also the optional 3.2-liter V6 with 250 hp. The standard option is the more efficient one, as it allows the luxury sedan to get 26 mpg combined. 

Other used luxury small cars that are relatively affordable

Another Audi, the 2013 A4, ended up at No. 2 on the list. It has an average price of about $12,800 but may have some reliability issues. The 2009 Lexus IS was at No. 3, with an average price of about $8,800. The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia finished at No. 4, and its average price may start at just under $20,000, but it may be closer to $26,000 right now.

Then there’s the 2015 BMW 2-Series at No. 5. Its average price is around $20,000. The 2009 Mercedes C-Class, the 2016 Lexus CT Hybrid, the 2015 Audi A4, the 2015 BMW 4-Series, and the 2012 Acura TSX rounded out the rest of the top 10.

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