Originally Posted by rconti
I believe the current A3 offers DSG *or* the 6-speed manual (funny, no DSG in Audi's other cars in the US), but you simply cannot get a Quattro A3 with the TDI, no matter what transmission you choose.
I definitely would consider an A3 TDI Quattro M/T.
For now, I'm thinking of building a 2011+ (ie, widebody) WRX hatch as a snow car. Won't have the fuel economy or the refinement I want in a roadtrip car but at least it'll do the trick in the snow for smaller dollars... so, it fits half the bill for half the money.
Clearly Audi NA hangs out with the BMW USA clowns.
The R8 now has a DSG, as does the S4/S5.
Drive a Haldex car before you buy one, my ex had a few quattro A4's and it's a totally different setup than Haldex, which the A3 and Golf R utilize. Haldex is mostly fwd with the ability to transfer back, rather than a set ratio like quattro (presently 40/60 in most Audii) that can transfer from that ratio. The Mini Countryman AWD also uses Haldex.
I borrowed a friend's STI for a few weeks years ago and got 7.2mpg on a tank of gas. I was a little surprised when I got the fuel light to come on 60 miles after filling the tank. Don't forgot to factor in the cost of gas if you go that route and have a heavy foot.