I have owned the A3 now for 18 months from new and overall I am very pleased with it. It took some time to get over the cost of the car in relation to its rivals and size, but when you are in the car you soon get past that feeling.
Most of my journeys are long and I find the Audi is comfortable and a pleasing place to be over those journeys. I find the handling and speed on A roads great as long as your revs are high and working at good speed. It feels like a much bigger, more solid powerful car than it actually is. The disappointing aspect I have always found is the limited rev range on acceleration. It is something that I have never got used to, perhaps coming from sporty petrol engines previously has affected my perception. A straight forward overtaking manoeuvre from 30-70 mph feels like it requires too many gear changes although if you get it right, with well timed changes then the car will rocket ahead nicely.
I would recommend the A3 to anyone with the relative deeper pockets to buy one. Overall a classy big feeling car, quick, economical even with quattro, and reasonable resale values given the hike in the starting price. You might think that buying a golf or a focus is as good as an Audi for cheaper money, which is fine to think that when the budget is tight, but in truth the Audi is a far better car and you can feel it sat behind the wheel.
Finally - only one trip to the dealer in all this time for a faulty brake light, fixed with no fuss at all.
Audi have dropped a bit of a clanger with the new 1.8Tfsi engine. While it revs freely and pulls well on both 'A' roads and the motorway, the economy is far from satisfactory. Keeping the speed to a steady 70mph in sixth gear the best that can be achieved is 31mpg. Urban driving will result in a figure in the low 20s. When the car was returned for these figures to be investigated we where informed that this was indeed the correct consumption for this vehicle.
A little disappointing as the brochure states 48mgp – ok we never expected this kind of economy from a petrol vehicle but figured it would be in the high thirties or low forties.
The build quality is as you would expect from Audi but we still had a fair few faults including the rain sensor failing (even Audi could not get this to work!). The most major problem was the air flow sensor and throttle body needing replacing at 3000 miles.
At 4500 miles we decided enough was enough and traded the car in at just 6 months old. A great shame as it was a car that promised a lot and delivered very little.
After sales service from the dealers can best be described as mediocre and from Audi head office as total disinterest.
Considering the initial high purchase cost of Audi models in hindsight we would have maybe chosen a product from one of the more mainstream manufacturers.
I bought my A3 used from Audi in Bolton. I bought it after test driving the Golf 1.9tdi, then 2,0tdi, the audi just seemed a lot better quality, and I still believe that now, but I don’t know whether its worth the extra £4k!
My only problem with it so far was that I had to get Audi Assist out to it when the ‘Emission System’ warning light appeared on the dash board But I was amazed that the engine was taken apart on my drive and the offending item replaced under warranty! Well done Audi Assist!
It has now done 40,000 miles and is approaching 3 years old and although the interior is just like it was the day it came out of the showroom. I don’t have much confidence that it will be problem free once it goes out of warranty.
Plus: Looks good Quality of interior excellent Good power and economy (50 mpg) Dealer service excellent
Minus: Servicing costs (although service interval is +18k miles) Needs 2 new tyres (£110 each) every 10,000 miles The worry that as soon as it goes out of warranty things will go wrong and it will cost a fortune to fix!
In summary, it’s a great car, the only regret I have had it that I didn’t buy the DSG!
I bought a 6 year old A3 1.6 Se 3 door from a dealer nearly two months ago, as I am doing much higher mileage in my job.
The quality of the interior and exterior is still outstanding despite its age. The Alcantara seat and interior finish looks like new, apart from a little minor wear on the arm rest. The car has now done 50k ( I have done 3k so far) and the engine sounds clean and really quite powerful for a 1.6.
It is not as fast as some of the larger enginer models, but if you drop the clutch, you can get away very quickly at lights when you need to.
The handling of this car is intuitive, it really grips the road in all conditions and the sports seats are comfortable enough to drive in for hours without feeling over-tired.
I find the suspension on this model a little stiffer than others that I have driven, but it is not a bone rattler by any means and if you are having fun on the a-roads, it makes the experience more pleasurable. I like that as a driver you are not too high up in the car, though you can adjust the seating and steering column if you are a taller person to suit your needs.
I have a custom fit Kenwood CD player so cannot comment on the factory standard, but the speaker sound quality is great.
On the whole, i cannot fault this car, but have marked down running costs purely because the insurance group for this car is high for a 1.6, and I can only think this is because of the prestige associated with Audis name.
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