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The 1.9 TDI Sport is a superb entry level Audi, offering a fantastic drive in good comfort.
Exterior: Looks absolutely superb. The lighting systems are really great - the standard Daytime Running Lights are halogen, (xenons with LED upwards of £1000 extra). The rear lights are a solid LED, really distinguishing this car from other makes and models. The lowered suspension and front grille also give this Audi a good road presence.
Interior: Well equipped. Small change drawer, 2x cup holders under centre arm rest, privacy compartment under drivers seat, plenty of room also in door trays, arm rest compartment and glove box. Radio with CD player, Driver Information System. Nice touches like chrome sills, but overall it just feels like their is too much plastic in the front cabin. Seats are good, but a little hard.
The drive: Excellent. Handles really well, steering is just about right, and the 1.9 engine ensures you have plenty of punch when needed. Easily gets up to motorway speed in a few seconds.
Space: Good space in the front, and in the boot (with foldable back seats). However, with 3 passengers in the back, it is a little cramped.
Economy: I regularly get 75MPG (shown on the driver display) when travelling to and from work, this includes motorway stretches where I put my foot down to 90mph. It is absolutely excellent. On a full tank (65£ diesel) I can get upwards of 600 miles (when driving carefully, on longer, faster journeys). Around town it easily keeps at around the 50mpg mark.
The tax is also brilliant - £30 for the entire year means I can go and get my tax with a smile on my face, while I grin smugly at the 4x4 driver who is handing over £300 for their road tax.
I have not had a single problem with this car, it is reliable and affordable and in a low insurance bracket for a car that packs a punch when you require it to.
My partner has owned an Audi A3 1.9 TDI 110 Sport 5dr for three years. He uses it for commuting, and we take it on holiday with us, so it has been driven thousands of miles in that time. So far, nothing has broken or needed fixing.
Visually, the Audi is a good-looking car, with fairly sleek lines and no ugly lumps/ dodgy headlights. Inside, it is all black with occasional strips of artificial 'wood'. I personally am not a huge fan of these in general, but they are not unattractive if you like that sort of thing.
The car is reasonably spacious inside, and can seat 5 normal-sized people without too much trouble. Those with long legs will appreciate the front passenger seat, which has loads of room. The only downside is that the boot is a bit small for this size of car, so bear this in mind if you regularly transport lots of stuff around. However, it is big enough to fit a couple of medium sized suitcases in.
The dashboard and controls are fairly well laid out, and most of the controls easy to find (e.g. windscreen heater, hazard lights, fog lights etc are all obvious). It also has a number of fancier features, for example the air conditioning/heating can be set to different temperatures on the left and right side of the car. which is a nice touch.
However, occasionally Audi have tried to be a bit too clever, most noticeably when they designed the indicator stalk (which is on the left). This has four settings rather than the usual up for right, down for left. If you flick it up or down slightly, the appropriate indicator will flash just three times and then stop. This is intended for overtaking on the motorway. To keep the indicator flashing, you must push the stalk right up or down. So far so good- the problems arise when you try to cancel the indicator manually, as it is very easy to start it indicating the other way instead, which can be confusing to anyone behind you. The indicator stalk is also used for turning off and on full beam lights and flashing. On many occasions, I have flashed someone and accidentally set off the 'three flashes' indicator- extremely annoying, embarrassing and confusing!
Other features: the right stalk controls the windscreen wipers. With one flick, these can be automatic (adjust themselves according to how heavy the rain is), or you can override this and set the speed manually in the usual way (pushing the stalk further up).
The lights are controlled by a circular wheel switch to the right of the steering wheel. This is good in that you can see exactly what type of lights you are showing, but bad if you want to change them whilst driving.
The pedals are very light. This is good, in that you don't have to stamp on the clutch, but the braking can take a bit of getting used to as it is very sensitive!
The locks: bane of my life (after the indicators!). Another example of Audi being too clever. The car has central locking an electric key. Pressing the unlock button once however will only unlock the driver's door. You have to press it twice to unlock the other doors, and press the separate boot key to unlock the boot. As you can imagine, it often takes a couple of tries to unlock the part of the car that you actually want to access. Occasionally, the car will liven things up by automatically locking itself (usually if it's been unlocked for a while). So don't leave the keys on the seat!
Driver and passenger comfort: pretty good. Driver's seat is lower and 'sportier' than in a more traditional car, but can be adjusted to suit. The ride is good, although some passengers have complained that the seats are bit hard. All down to personal taste I think. The suspension is excellent though.
Visibility: As in many cars of this type, not great, especially if you have back seat passengers. Need to use the wing mirrors when pulling away, as looking back over your shoulder will give you a lovely view of door struts.
All in all, a very good car, easy and fun to drive, economical, reliable. But if you're the type of person that finds gadgets deeply annoying, this is not the car for you.
My wife has this model as her company car and we have been running it for the last two and a half years. In this time we she has racked up 73000 miles of virtually trouble free motoring.
To start with, I think that it is a good looking car and the Audi "family" grill gives it real presence on the road. For me the 5 door bodyshell looks better than the 3 door (which in my opinion looks just a little to stunted).
Inside is also a very nice place to be, the "wood vennner" trim is pleasing on the eye and the instrument panel is very clear and concise. Supportive seats are excellent on long joourneys and I always arrive feeling no aches or pains (we have done a lot of long journey's including a few european jaunts in it).
Performance wise it will cruise happily all day at the speed limit and return pretty good economy figures, on a run you can expect 50+ mpg.
All in all a good family car, although luggage capacity could be better.