Our cars: Audi A3 Sportback - June
Week ending June 21
Driven this week 101 miles
Audi A3 Sportback review
So if you read last week's update, you'll know that I was about to take the Audi A3 Sportback to Camberley Audi in a bid to cure a rasping rattle that comes and goes between 2000rpm and 3000rpm.
The experience was a pleasant one, even if the problem is still there for the time being. I got to sit down with a service rep bang on 9am, was offered free coffee and wi-fi, and after about 15 minutes I was introduced to a master technician. I took him up the road for a quick blast (there's always a chance the problem won't appear at this point, though thankfully it did.)
After about another hour in the waiting area (all very pleasant, with comfy sofas, BBC daytime telly and Walkers shortbread), I was talked through the problem. Audi Camberley reckon it's a turbo clip that's not quite tight enough - a known problem on which Germany has already issued an 'advisory statement.'
Trouble is, Camberley doesn't have the clip in stock, so I'll be back there again in a couple of weeks to get it fitted. Very thorough service so far, though; they even advised me that when it is time to get the work done, it'll take at least three hours because turbo pipes need to cool down before the clip can be properly fitted. So a courtesy car beckons.
I'm interested to hear if any other A3 Sportback owners have had the same issue. Drop me a line via our Facebook page or my Twitter account (@JohnMcIlroy) if 'turbo rattle' has affected your early miles.
By John McIlroy
Week ending June 14
Driven this week 190 miles
Regular readers of our Audi A3 Sportback updates will be aware that our car has had a bit of a rattle since it was only a week or two old. This buzzing resonance has been appearing at around 2500rpm – which, annoyingly, is roughly the sort of revs you often find yourself using when you're cruising along at motorway speeds.
Our sources at Audi have hinted that the problem is likely to be a poorly seated washer somewhere in the throttle mechanism – and that the glitch is an annoyance, not a safety issue. However, instead of just shuffling the car back to the press garage, I elected to book it into a dealer to see if they could restore the A3 to the super-refined urban runabout that it was when it first turned up.
In the end I used Audi's online booking system – the first time I've ever arranged dealer work via the web. I originally went online to see where my nearest workshop was, then noticed that I could book the car in. 'Ah,' I reasoned, 'but I bet that's just for scheduled services. I'm sure exploratory work on a rattle will require a phone call.'
Turns out that it doesn't – at least, not from my end. I filled in a couple of text boxes describing the problem, chose from a list of available slots at Audi Camberley on my chosen day, then received an email and a text message confirmation. About 10 minutes later, a nice chap rang me on my mobile phone to confirm details and double-check the issue that I want fixed.
I was impressed with this part of the process – but how did I actually get on when I got there? I'll post a full report on my dealer experience next week.
By John McIlroy
Week ending June 7
Driven this week 110 miles
Even if you know a car's good it's always worth reminding yourself why. Which is why I grabbed our A3 Sportback for a quick trip to Berkshire the other day.
What a classy car. We've talked about the quality of the cabin a lot. But I just like the way it all works too: within 40 seconds I had inputted my destination into the sat-nav, connected my phone and tuned into Radio 4. Impressive.
I like driving it too. I'm a fan of two pedal cars, but we made the right decision to stick with the slick manual box. The fuel economy - currently nudging mid-40s - is being aided as well I'm sure.
Likewise, deselecting Sports suspension was a good call. Even in comfort mode there's still a bit of traditional Audi thunk from the suspension but it's a smooth cruiser, and quiet too. It's certainly as polished as many bigger cars I can think of.
So it’s decided: I’ll certainly be borrowing it again.
By Chas Hallett
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