Audi Car Reviews
Audi A3 2.0TDi DSG Sport/SE
The time has almost come for me to swap my pride and joy (my car) for something more practical and family friendly. I bought my Audi A3 2.0 TDI Sport as a treat to myself 18 months ago and classed this as my firs "grown up" car. I have loved driving this car and although it did seem at the time (and still does) a rather ... extravagant purchase I feel that this was money well spent and I will be sad to see my car go over the next few months.
The Audi A3 TDI 2.0 Sport has a very sporty look to it as the "sport" name may suggest. The Audi A3 model has a very sleek look to it anyway for a medium sized hatchback car however the 2.0 TDI Sport model has some features which give it that added "sporty" look. For example this model has a more rounded shape to it and includes a rear spoiler and double exhaust at the back. This is sporty looking without giving the car the tacky "boy racer" look.
The car has body coloured bumpers and wheel arches with colour coded wing mirrors. The particular model has sporty 5 spoke alloy wheels as standard however you can pay extra and upgrade to more expensive alloy wheels. The front of the particular model has a very sporty look and has slightly lowered suspension being the "sport" model than some of the other models of A3 and the standard TDI models. The front of the car has front fog lights and a silver grill on the front of the car.
It is possible to get the car in around 30 colours. There are both metallic and block colours. My car is a star grey which is a metallic colour. If you are buying from new to buy in metallic colours adds about £300 onto the price of the car.
I have a 3 door model which I feel has a slightly sportier look than the 5 door version of the same model.
The interior of the Audi A3 2.0 TDI Sport is finished to a high quality. If you buy from new there are a variety of options for the interior and you can customise the seat colours, material and dashboard. My seats are black part leather which are extremely comfortable. Full leather seats cost around £800 extra when buying new. The upholstery inside Audi's looks of a high quality and is not overly patterned therefore is less offensive than in some makes of car.
The dashboard has a high quality look and looks solid and does not look overly plasticy. As the 2.0 TDI sport version is a sporty model the gear stick and dials are trimmed in chrome and the foot peddles are aluminium.
The car is very spacious inside for a medium sized car. The car easily carries 5 adults comfortably and the back of the car also has a lot of leg room not just the front of the car. What surprised me most was the size of the boot. I can fit four suitcases in the boot without having to remove the parcel shelf as the boot is large but also deep. The BMW 1 Series has a boot half the size of the Audi which was one of the may reasons why I chose and A3 over a 1 series. Mr Lools and I are potentially considering a 5 door A3 when our boys arrive as the car is compact but still spacious.
Although the car externally is quite sleek the car does not feel dark dingy and enclosed in the same way hatchbacks like the Astra are and the windows let in a lot of light.
Standard Security and Safety Features Include:
-ABS Anti Lock Brakes
-ESP- Electronic Stability
-Front Seat Belt Pre Tensioners
-Front Side Airbags
-Isofix Car Seat Compatible
The A3 2.0 TDI comes with a variety of features internally including:
- Heated front windscreen and Door mirrors
- Electric front windows
- Air Conditioning
- Climate Control
- CD player
The gadgets inside of the A3 are very simple to use in particular the radio and CD player which is a main priority of mine. Built in sat nav is also available if you are buying from new for a further £600.
I also have rear parking sensors on my car. From new this costs around £400 extra. I use them sometimes but I feel in City Centre situations for parking especially when parallel parking the sensors are far too sensitive so I prefer to switch them off rather than have the sensors screeching at me distracting me from parking.
Power- 170 rpm
Max Speed 139 mph
0-60 - 7.6 seconds
Insurance group 14
The Audi A3 so far has definitely been the best car that I have driven and very comfortable for long and short journeys.
Driving around a city centre the car for a medium car is actually very nippy which surprised me as I went from driving a small nippy Vauxhall Corsa to the heavier diesel A3 therefore I was expecting a car which took longer to pull away but this was not the case. Speeds up to 30mph are very easy in the A3 and the car is quick without the engine noise being excessive or loud when you pull away quickly.
The car has 6 speeds (and reverse- I had to explain this concept to my mother). The car gets to 70mph very easily when you are driving on motorways and even when you drive in gear 6 at 70mph you can speed up very easily in this gear if you need to overtake. I feel that the car in fourth gear probably has the most power and you can get from 50mph to higher speeds (in excess of 90mph if you want to drive that fast) very quickly without excessive noise. I do a fair amount of motorway driving and being honest drive at a speed of around 80mph (probably 85mph) and the car is very quiet and you do not hear much engine noise. Although I can't comment on the top speed as I HAVE NOT driven my A3 at 139mph I would feel the car is capable of this speed and the car can easily get to speeds of over 100mph without excess noise or the car rumbling in the way some smaller cars do at higher speeds.
Driving on long journeys theA3 is a very comfortable drive. I am not the tallest of people therefore I usually need to adjust the seat however in the A3 I did not feel dwarfed or right up to the steering wheel when I moved the seat forwards. On the other end of the scale my dad is over 6ft tall and when he drove my A3 he felt he had plenty of leg room and did not feel squashed. It is also possible to adjust the steering wheel height. These are features which make driving more comfortable but should be expected of a car in this price bracket.
My A3 now has around 24,000 miles on the clock and I have encountered no issues with my car. For a car I paid nearly £20,000 for I would expect this to be the case and feel confident that I have bought a reliable car.
One of my close friends has had an A3 (two different cars) for over 10 years now and has found that they are very reliable. He did mention that after 40,000 miles it is recommended for the CAM belt to be changed in the TDI models, but apart from that has had no major problems in terms of reliability and found that even in his 6 year old A3 TDI it did not break down on him once or need to have any major repairs during MOT's or servicing.
The cost of the Audi A3 2.0TDI Sport is the biggest disadvantage of the car. To buy new you would expect to pay around £ 21,000 . This is one of the more expensive models in the A3 range as a basic model new costs around £17,000. I personally felt the 2.0 TDI Sport was worth paying a little extra for due to the performance and the added features both internally and externally. In comparison to it's competitors the A3 2.0 TDI is around £1,000 more expensive than a similar BMW 1 Series model, and around £1,000 less to a similar sized Mercerdes CLC. I did not look at the Mercedes however did consider a BMW 1 Series when purchasing my Audi. The Audi was worth paying £1000 more as it felt it was far superior in terms of performance to the BMW (slightly nippier, more comfortable to drive) and internally looked a lot better quality than the BMW 1 Series as the Audi inside looks more solid and finished off to a high quality.
I bought my car 18 months ago (an 08 reg) from an Audi dealer which was 4 months old and had less than 2,000 miles on the clock and this cost £18,995. Included in this price was a three year warranty (up to 60,000 miles) and a yearly service for two years. I felt although this was a high price to spend on a car I got excellent value for money
Depreciation wise Audi's hold their price more than other makes of car. For a 4 year old Audi A3 2.0 TDI with around 30,000 miles on the clock you would expect to pay around £13,500. Therefore although this is a big investment if you decide to sell your A3 you should feel more confident that you have not lost a lot of money as the car has depreciated greatly in value.
The Audi A3 2.0 TDI is in insurance group 14 which is an above average insurance group. I pay around £550 a year in insurance costs ( I'm probably medium risk to insure due to being under 25 but do have 5 years no claims), which is higher than many car but I feel is reasonable as I paid the same amount on a 1.6 Fiesta 2 years ago.
The technical specification on the A3 2.0 TDI outlines that the car does around 54.3mpg. I mostly drive around the town centre/ on duel carriage ways (and at times quite aggressively after a bad day at work) and I find the car typically runs to around 45.9mpg and to fill up the tank full I find this costs me around £55 which lasts for around 550- 600 miles. Mr Lools has a Vauxhall Astra CTDI 1.9 SRI and which I find I have to fill up much more regularly and a full tank in the Astra costs £55 but would last for 100 miles less at least.
The Audi A3 2.0 TDI Sport 3 door is a fantastic car. A sporty, reliable fun to drive car which I really am very sad about having to swap for a more "family friendly" car with 5 doors! Although the car is quite a sporty drive and has a lot of power I found that this is a quite an economical car to run and my 2.0 TDI Audi A3 used up less diesel over the same number of miles than Mr Lool's Vauxhall Astra 1.9 CTDI SRI. Reliability wise in the 18 months that I have had my car (which was 4 months old when I bought it) and over the 20,000 miles I have covered in it, I have encountered no problems.
The main disadvantage of the A3 is the price; you will pay a premium for the car because of the Audi badge but in my opinion I felt my money was well spent. If you have £20,000 to spend on a car
In comparison to what I would consider the A3's nearest competitor; the BMW 1 Series this is a far superior car in terms of performance and although a similar in size the Audi feels more spacious. An A3 is around £1000 more expensive than the BMW 1 Series but you get much better value for money as the interior and exterior feel is finished to a much higher quality and has the feel of an "expensive car".
Fingers crossed I can convince Mr Lools to trade in our 3 door Audi A3 for a 5 door which I feel still fits his "family friendly" criteria but is a car that I will not only enjoy driving but be proud to drive.
~~~Also posted on ciao 2011~~~
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Audi A3 1.9 TDI 110 SE 3dr
I love this car. . well worth the money. . it drives so smooth and grips the road excellently, especially with the recent heavy snowfall. I get looks when the car has just been washed I love it The only drawbacks are things such as an temparature gauge and TRIP computer are all extras whereas my old car a 2001 Clio had all of ... that as standard.
It has nice features such as when the key is taken out of the ignition to leave the car the internal light comes on so u can pick up all your belongings before you leave the car and the light only switches off when you lock the car perfect at night!!!
Also the central locking is very powerful and is great at night or day in a busyy car park to find you car!!
Inside is very stylish and there is plenty of room in the car front and rear.
I also only fill my tank up once a month for around £40 whereas my clio would be twice a month at £30 per time!
Very economical and sooooo quite once warmed up!!
I love this car!!!!!!!!!!
that review is posted on ciao too.
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Audi A3 1.6 SE 3dr
I never thought I would write a review about a car but as time is passing by, I am getting braver and braver. I am no car expert, but think people sometimes want to read a real user's opinion instead of just the professional jargon. I have had this car for some time now, have driven approx. 25,000 miles in it, and would like to share my ... experience with those who are considering buying an Audi A3 1.6 Special Edition (SE) in the future.
------ A little explanation ------
The difference between Special Edition and standard A3 is that the former comes with 16" alloy wheels, ESP (about it later), air conditioning and is a 3-door car. If you like this car but would prefer a 5-door version, then you will need to look for Audi A3 Sportback 1.6 SE.
I remember quite clearly a school trip to France about ten years ago when I was still in college. I was sitting in a coach, going sightseeing, when we passed by a huge car park filled up with shiny new, exactly the same silver Audis. I had never before though about cars at all, but I fell in love straight away and decided I would have one of those when I'm grown up and earn a lot of money (lol).
So one day when I was visiting my parents I entered Audi website to see what cars they had on offer, not really thinking seriously about this, but I noticed there was one specific car I liked in a dealership close to my parents' place. We all went to see the car, spent about 2 hours viewing it from all angles, checking specs and interior. I was getting excited like a child who just wanted to jump up and down with joy, just by looking at it. After a short test drive around the area, the decision was made. This car had to be mine and I bought it there and then.
This is the third car I have owned after a Skoda Fabia (from new) and a 10-year old Honda Civic. I had also driven Peugeot 308 and Porsche Boxter (brief and terrifying experience!), so an Audi was quite a big upgrade for me.
------ Looks ------
As I mentioned before the car is stunning. Since my trip to France, Audi cars have changed their outside look, gaining even more class and style. Especially the models built since 2004 are appealing visually - still elegant but also more modern, sporty and a little more aggressive (not in a bad way), thanks to the new grille and headlights shape.
I won't lie, I bought this car mainly because of its looks, as a typical girl would, but I am also glad that Audi in general don't focus only on the looks, but make sure the cars are well built, reliable and practical. If I ever wanted to change the make of my car (I wouldn't!), then I would choose a German car again, as I trust it won't let me down.
The interior is classy and elegant but also understated. The dashboard is mainly dark grey hard plastic with some silver trimmings (e.g. around air vents, door handles, Audi logo on the steering wheel). It looks simple and very practical, which isn't bad, but I was slightly surprised at its simplicity when I first saw the interior.
------ Driving experience ------
* Power and acceleration
My Audi A3 was built in 2007 and it is a 75 kW petrol car. There is also a possibility of buying an 85 kW model, although I am not sure if this makes a noticeable difference. The power in this car is a bit on the weak side and I find that, when driven at up to 40 mph speeds, the car struggles a little to accelerate, especially when you want to put away quickly at the traffic lights. I find it a bit frustrating when I am in the faster lane struggling to pick up speed, while cars behind me (less 'prestigious' brands) don't have any problem at all. I don't think my car has enough power to easily and quickly reach the speed of 40 mph and when I try to force it to do that, I can hear the engine making just too much noise for my liking. So it's either the case of revving the engine a lot to get fast acceleration or shifting the gears quickly and not getting enough speed. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with this aspect of the car.
In Audi's defense, I need to say that when it reaches a 40 mph level, it does accelerate pretty quickly, even if it's already in the 5th gear and I feel comfortable that it will have no problems overtaking. That is why I prefer to drive my car on motorways, rather than in town.
I found that once you have passed that 40 mph magic speed level, it is very easy to reach high speeds of 90-100 mph without even realizing it, because there is so much comfort when driving at high speeds. In some of the cars I've driven before, you could feel the speed in the steering wheel which would start to shake somewhat and make you feel very insecure (e.g. that happened to me with Peugeot at 70mph!). With Audi there is nothing like that - whether you drive at 60mph or 100 mph there is no difference in the ease of handling, comfort or feeling of security.
* Gearbox and changing gears
Changing gears in this car is so easy. Previously I had problems with engaging the proper gear in Honda and Skoda, but with this one there are no problems at all and the gears seem to fall into place without you having to force anything.
* Engine noise
For the first few weeks of driving this car, each time I stopped at a junction or traffic lights, I had to check whether the engine was still running. The engine is honestly that quiet. Even now sometimes when the car is in standstill I check on the dashboard if the engine is still on! When driving at more than 60mph you can hear the engine noise being higher, but it is still relatively quiet, so you can listen to the music at the same volume and hold a conversation with someone without raising your voice.
I am sure that I've read somewhere about Audi's soundproofing being great. Unfortunately, I can't share this claim. I find that there is more noise than I would expect when you reach 70 mph, although not as bad as it may seem. You can still hold a conversation without raising your voice. I was just a bit disappointed because comparing to slower speeds there is a huge difference in the road noise.
Also, I noticed that you can hear the music played in the car when you are outside, when all the windows and doors are closed. Even when the radio is not on at a high volume, it can be heard from outside, which somewhat proves that the soundproofing is not so good. I like to listen to music when driving and I often turn up the volume when I really enjoy the song, but need to turn it down quickly when waiting at the traffic lights, so that people don't think I am a chav or a show off!
* Electronic technology
Each Audi A3 SE is fitted with electronic stabilization programme (ESP), which improves the control over the car when accelerating, braking or driving on curvy roads, and it also reduces the possibility of skidding.
So to help with braking, this programme includes an anti-lock brake system and a brake assist system, which help achieve a shorter braking distance. From my own experience I can confirm that the car breaks easily, even at relatively high speeds. I know safe braking doesn't depend only on the brakes, but also on road conditions; however, this is an added safety feature and I totally trust that if driven responsibly, the car will stop when it needs to.
On the other hand, to help with accelerating, the car is fitted with electronic differential lock and traction control system, which make it easier to get the car moving from standstill or to help with acceleration in difficult driving conditions, e.g. slippery surfaces or slope. I have never had any particular problems with driving in difficult conditions, not that I had so many chances to do that, but either this technology is working very well or the conditions were not difficult enough. Either way, I did get to work last year when the snowy weather brought half of the country to standstill, so I guess I should be grateful for the ESP in my car.
Just to finish off my technology bit of the review, I would like to mention that the speed sensitive power steering is just fantastic. I have no problems with turning the steering wheel on any kind of surface, at any speed.
------ Comfort ------
* Air conditioning
Works really fast and cools the car to whatever temperature you need. There are many air outlets so the air is distributed quickly. Unfortunately, there is no option to select a specific temperature (e.g. 20 degrees C) in the standard version, only a rotary dial with hotter air on one side and colder on the other side. Apart from that, there is a special air conditioning button, which cools the air even more if you need it to. You can still control the temperature pretty well and achieve a desired temperature, but you wouldn't know what temperature exactly it is.
The only negative about the air conditioning is that when the system is set to air recirculation mode (i.e. when it only uses the air from inside the car, instead of the air from outside), the air conditioning is quite noisy.
I think Audi have done a good job with space planning in A3, although I guess someone very tall might not be totally comfortable getting into the car, especially into the back seat. This car seems to be designed for a standard height single person or a couple; this is definitely not a family car. However, there is enough leg room at the back when you eventually get there. I rarely take passengers with me but my parents got into the car with me a few times and always said there was enough space for them.
Regarding the space in the booth, you can easily fit a few suitcases in. I always find there is enough space for shopping and luggage. Having changed accommodation several times during last couple of years, I think I have enough experience to confirm this.
------ Running and maintenance costs ------
* Fuel consumption
Audi A3 1.6 wouldn't win prizes for the lowest fuel consumption amongst compact cars but it doesn't fair that bad either. I change gears quickly to increase fuel economy, but I also drive rather fast on motorways, and my average fuel consumption is 37 miles per gallon (if I calculated it correctly!) or 7.5 l/km .
The new Audi A3 does not conform to the usual service periods or distances (miles distance to next service). It uses something called Variable Service, where the car itself decides when it needs servicing and lets you know by making a sound and showing word 'Service' on the miles counter. The service requirement is calculated based on the speed, style of your driving and other parameters that I don't really know much about. If you drive gently, you can expect to have longer periods between servicing; on the other hand if you use the car as hard as you can, you would need to service it more often. The standard should be around every 2 years or 18,000 miles.
Full service costs over £300, but you can reduce it by shopping around and getting quotes from various dealers and opting out of things like a spare bottle of engine oil, which they all insist on giving to you with the service.
* Insurance - Audi A3 1.6 belongs to group 9. I paid for my insurance approx. £300, which included a no claims discount.
* Road tax and CO2 emission - CO2 emission is 169g/km, which is equivalent of band E; the cost of road tax for a year is £170
Roadside assistance - included in the car price is free RAC roadside assistance for 3 years from the date of car registration, which I think is a useful thing to have.
------ Negatives ------
* Brake fluid container - level of fluid not very visible as the container is not transparent enough. The level of fluid is controlled electronically, but I would still like to be able to see how much of it is left in case the electronics stop working.
* Outside metal shell - the outside part of the car is not very tough. It is very easy to get a dent in the car, although the internal structure of the car is strong, this is not great visually. I had once an accident, where a car bumped into my car's back and the whole bumper had to be replaced.
* Standard not fitted with date, temperature display or on-board computer, automatic switch on headlights
* Position of hazard warning lights switch - it is located below the radio/CD control. I can never locate it easily when I need it and spend a few seconds trying to find the button.
* Wiper speed - there is a control to set wiper intervals and there are 3-4 wiper interval settings for slow wiper speeds and same for fast wiper speed. The wiper interval settings work fine on slow wiper speed, but if you change them during fast wiper speed, the wiper intervals don't really change
* Price - Audi in general is not a cheap car make with basic version of Audi A3 1.6 SE costing around £15,000. They don't drop in value as quickly as other makes and even used 1-3 year old cars often cost as much as a brand new Ford of Fiat of a similar size.
------ Positives and things I like ------
* Great looks and style; alloy wheels
* Special Edition, apart from the alloy wheels comes with a great sound system.
* Variable service periods - if driven gently, you get longer periods between servicing
* Central locking system - can be activated manually by using a remote control, pressing a button inside the car or locking the door with a key. For added safety, there is an automatic locking function, which is activated at speeds over 5 mph; no need to worry about leaving a handbag on the passenger seat or someone opening the door from outside. My car is also fitted with security central locking, which makes is possible to open either only the driver's door or both door if you wish. This is a great security feature when driving on your own.
* Seat belt warning - if you are not wearing your seat belt (or your passenger), a warning sign will come up and your will also hear an accompanying sound. I like this feature, although I am sure many cars are equipped with this as standard now.
* Key - can be folded into the handle, which takes less space in the handbag. All remote control keys are registered with Audi and can be deactivated if a key is lost
* Heated mirrors - they are really great. Work very quickly and are so useful during rain and snow
* Good storage - a few small storage spaces cleverly hidden inside the car and I find very useful. For example, there is a cup/ can holder, which is quite deep, so there is no worry of drinks spilling in your car. When not in use, the space can be covered with a sliding cover. Unfortunately, I noticed the cover opens a little when the car is driven.
------ Summary ------
In summary, Audi A3 1.6 SE is a great car, which not only has the looks but is also reliable and practical. I did mention a few negatives, but I think that the positives outweigh them by far. I cannot think about ever owning any other make of a car and I feel privileged and special when driving an Audi. This car is well worth its price and I would recommend it to anyone, as long as you can afford it.
This review has been posted on Ciao under the same username.
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