To Drive: The model I have is the 1.8T auto, and the engine is a joy. It's extremely responsive to well above any speed limit you might want to exceed. With a 0-60 time in the seven second bracket you don't lack for overtaking power.
The gearbox in the base model is not the much-heralded DSG (now S-tronic), but is still excellent. My only gripe with it is the change from second to third at low rates of acceleration, which gives a little jolt. When pressing on gearchanges are exceptionally smooth.
Ride Comfort: The suspension is firm at all speeds.
Handling: The handling of this car is often criticised, but unless you drive everywhere with your foot firmly planted on the floor it is fine. When thrashing through country lanes you do begin to feel that the car is not planted to the floor, that you are not fully in control and that an untimely bump could send you into a hedge, but that’s only at the limit. For generally quick driving there are no problems, although the steering is a little on the numb side.
Refinement: Road and tyre noise are noticable at motorway speeds and you won't feel particularly relaxed after a long journey.
Practicality: Useless rear seats that can fold to give a boot big enough for two sets of golf clubs and a trolly.
Running: On long motorway journeys if you drive sensibly you can achieve high 30s mpg. Ours is used mostly for shorter journeys and the average over the life of the car so far is around 28 mpg. No breakdowns so far.
I have owned a 2000 180bhp model for over three years now. I have to agree that running costs can be a bit scary if you are using Audi dealers for the work.
The handling in the wet can be a bit suspect at speed, it drinks fuel for fun and the rear seats are only suitable for kids. However, those are only minor complaints (and should be little shock to anyone thinking of buying one), because there are so many good things to say about this car.
It looks great, you feel great driving it. It is responsive with minimal turbo lag, it gives you the power when you need it. Motorway driving is fantastic it just goes and goes you will have real difficulty holding it below 100mph. Heated seats are great and very comfortable.
The interior is good and everything is easy to operate. I have had no reliablity problems but servicing costs can range from £300 to £800 if the Haldex systems need done.
I am now having to part with this car as my kids have outgrown it. It will be a huge wrench to let it go as I consider it the best car I have owned.
Bought our '02 2 years ago with 39,000 on the clock from an Audi dealership. We've only done 5,000 in those two years. I've jst paid £400 for a service from Audi, and been told I need another £900 of work. Most expensive is the timing belt. I read reviews which say it needs replaced at 60,000 miles, but the dealership tell me they recommend a change at 4 years, costing £350. leaks to the power sterring are quoted at £350 to repair, and another £175 on a split bush on the front suspension!
Fun to drive, but too costly to repair!
The car was my wife's choice (she liked the look of the rear end!!) and was bought as a wish to own a motoring icon rather than fly around like some 'boy-racer'. We went for the manual as the DSG lever-thingy immediately loses part of the interior design theme. I have now owned and driven the car for almost two years and have found it to be a dream to drive. The only faults have been a leaky brake servo and a rattle in the hatch surround, both fixed under warranty without fuss. Shortly after purchase the main dealer’s hard-wired my sat nav. A mistake! They charged the earth and now when the dash gets warm I get an intermittent light 'plastic' rattle. The only recurring 'niggle' is the gear change which is notchy between 1 and 2 until the oil is warm. After 5 mins driving it is no problem. Running costs are less than my Omega V6 2.5. Tyres can be expensive if you drive hard and don't like braking until it's almost too late. The 'long life' service is great and can be extended without danger if you change it at around 9K (cost about £80 in oil). Mpg is poor around town but on long runs at a steady 80+, 30mpg is easy. If you are thinking of buying a long term investment the Mk1 3.2 is the one to go for. A design icon that moves without effort. The Mk2 may race better and have more gismos but the redesign has lost some of the magic and is not the 'original'. Look at the price of a good DB5 as an example. You are only young (or old) once. Go for it!!
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