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  1. #1
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    New to Audi and looking to buy a3 quattro - but petrol or diesel?

    New to Audi and looking to buy a3 quattro - but petrol or diesel?


    Hi,

    Undertook a limited test drive of an A3 quattro sportback today 2.0TFSI - and have to say was impressed.

    However having driven a 1.9tdi golf mk 4 for 10 years (206000 miles -having spent so very little on it and still on original clutch), am inclined towards the 2.0tdi quattro.

    But read some horror stories about reliability in particular the DPF. and couldnt think of a better place to seek advice on the audi brand

    I am about to move to Scotland, and will also tow from time to time a trailer with a caterham 7 aboard, however the torque on my current golf is less than either of the two motors noted above (albeit delivery in the petrol will be different) so dont see this as an issue, but then some of you may know better.

    So then A3 sportback quattro petrol or diesel?

    If you can help, thanks in advance of your reply

    cheers
    Darren

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  3. #2
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    Try a tdi 140/ 170 and i think your mind will be made up. If you get your kicks in a 7 then on the road a tdi will be perfect for economy and towing as well as being quicker than your golf.
    Do you mean DPF or DMF ? I cant see the DPF being a major problem ( just junk it)
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    Depends on what mileage you do, if it's low then petrol tfsi will be ideal especially if you remap it. If you do high mileage then go for the diesel.

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    We have had both a 2005 SB Quattro 2.0 TFsi (200) and a 2008 SB Quattro 2.0Tdi (170). Signature gives my answer. The Tdi is a far more practical car, irespective of mileage. The Petrol rarely achieved 30mpg whereas Quattro did over 40mpg (new CR one meant to be even better with SS) . One service in 2.5 years with Diesel at 19000 miles! Better residual values. Better engine characteristics for towing. I could go on but for me Diesel has come a long way. Our old one with Factory Towbar and Pan Roof is now sold can't wait for new one!! No DPF problems!!

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    i've got a FWD 2.0T and the fuel economy is rubbish. in terms of performance there'll be little that separates a 2.0T and a 2.0TDI 170 on the road, but the fuel economy on the 2.0TDI will be much better. if you've got a Caterham then you've got a toy for when you really wanna have a blast anyways.

    good luck, and photos when you've bought it
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinA3 View Post
    Depends on what mileage you do, if it's low then petrol tfsi will be ideal especially if you remap it. If you do high mileage then go for the diesel.
    once mapped tho and if hes a trailer... how would the clutch hold out... the 2.0 TFSI clutches arnt the best
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    I would go for the TDI, over here the TDI also holds value very well
    Moved to the Darkside click below:

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    Quote Originally Posted by sub39h View Post
    in terms of performance there'll be little that separates a 2.0T and a 2.0TDI 170 on the road
    Sorry if it feels like I'm always latching on to your posts but...........

    Is this really true?

    I destroy* (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration) 2.0TDI's every day of my life. Granted some of those will be 140's, but some must've been 170's.






    *sparks Petrol Vs Diesel debate - part 1458

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    Quote Originally Posted by sub39h View Post
    i've got a FWD 2.0T and the fuel economy is rubbish. in terms of performance there'll be little that separates a 2.0T and a 2.0TDI 170 on the road, but the fuel economy on the 2.0TDI will be much better. if you've got a Caterham then you've got a toy for when you really wanna have a blast anyways.

    good luck, and photos when you've bought it

    There's about a second difference in their 0-60 times which is a country mile! Theres a huge difference in standing start acceleration and when your properly going for it, when accelerating in gear from low revs and around town only will the difference be less noticeable, and the diesel feel stronger.

    With its high compression ratio, especially for a turbo however, the 2.0TFSI has very good low end torque (207lb ft) which is spread evenly from 1800/2100 depending on year , all the way to over 5000 Rpms. The diesel has more torque but spread over a MUCH narrower range of revs so much more gear changing is actually required, actually making it slightly less a relaxed drive.

    As mentioend before town economy is poor on the 2.0TFSI but in the motorway at 80 mph or below you can get 31 mpg easily, and on dual carriageways I can get over 40mpg, in standard AND pump maps, in my quattro.
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  11. #10
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    Surely the crux of this question revolves around the fact that you will be towing.

    Apart from having a nice ,fast, plaything in the Caterham, the diesel is not exactly a slowcoach and will also be fun.

    The fact is that a diesel is much better for towing and you will not be 'flooring it' when you do tow. I would suggest that you are not likely to be bothered about 0-60 times being one second slower than the petrol version.

    And fuel consumption is much better all round with the tdi.

    Good luck, I'm sure you will make the right decision !

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    Great response guys - cheers

    Of note is the lack of concern you guys recorded about the DPF. i reckon my mileage wont be great say about 10k / PA

    However having had a look round the net and seen articles as follows
    it got me wondering as all these issues post date my old golf. And I couldnt see audi sales people giving me the full chapter and verse. (maybe confidence dented when i asked the salesman the difference on the S line the second item quoted being "its got S-line written in a number of places around the car")

    Frequently Asked Questions | Honest John
    Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) Problems & DPF Removal Procedures Sinspeed

    and this

    Frequently Asked Questions | Honest John



    I kind of wonder if it is akin to the 'headache' I suffered which according to the 'doctors R us' websites had me in hospital at best, and lucky not to be in the mortuary -all of which I put it down to the beer in the final analysis!

    A case of internet - 'use with care' maybe

    thks
    Darren

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    Interesting post. There are not that many 170 Tdi Quattro Sportbacks around, just do a search on audi.co.uk Used cars.. only a handful.

    I have owned both Petrol 200 TFsi and 170Tdi QUATTROS and real life performance is very similar, admitedly if you are driving like you stole it all the time Petrol will be quicker. Driving carefully the Petrol 2005 we had rarely exceded 30mpg and when towing dropped to barely 20. The Tdi on the other hand regularly hit 40mpg (new CR one even better) and 30+ when towing.
    Add that a higher retained value and it is a no brainer. If you want better performance go for an S3 if you want a decent compromise that is still fun yet very economical go for a Tdi 170 Quattro.

    All the above is opinion based on having owned both which I don't think any of the other opinions have.

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    If your buying used the 2.0TD 170s can be a couple thousand! extra for similar spec and miles then a 2.0 TFSI so ultimately its your mileage that will be deciding factor. The diesel will have better residuals but means it'l cost you more in the first place so you need rack up a fair few miles till you make a saving.
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    We ran the two as mentioned above and checking through our records doing 12000 miles a year the savings have been over 100 gallons of fuel a year. + Lower Insurance + less frequent servicing. We bought new and although the Tdi cost slightly more we recovered 1500 more than the petrol in the sale price.

    100+ gallons of fuel is pushing 600 a year at today's prices with the Tory B* VAT hike. Insurance saving circa 75 one less service over 3 year period circa 75-100 a year

    I have done my sums and financially a Tdi is a no brainer even driving Solo over 12000 miles a year. Start Towing and/or doing more miles and the benefits increase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akash_sky1 View Post
    There's about a second difference in their 0-60 times which is a country mile! Theres a huge difference in standing start acceleration and when your properly going for it, when accelerating in gear from low revs and around town only will the difference be less noticeable, and the diesel feel stronger.
    Quote Originally Posted by mike foster View Post
    Surely the crux of this question revolves around the fact that you will be towing...

    ...The fact is that a diesel is much better for towing and you will not be 'flooring it' when you do tow. I would suggest that you are not likely to be bothered about 0-60 times being one second slower than the petrol version.
    plus realistically how often do you go from 0-60? more important will be 30-50 and 50-70 etc, and that's what i was talking about. if he's on a track he'll be in his Caterham anyways lol

    and i'm sure there's more to it than that. your 2.0T quattro (if it was standard) and my 2.0T FWD DSG both to the same dash 0-60, but i'd never pick quattro over DSG (tho i'd have them both together), and i can only assume you wouldn't pick DSG over quattro or you would have done.

    Quote Originally Posted by aythreee View Post
    Sorry if it feels like I'm always latching on to your posts but...........
    not at all. we may bump heads at times, but if i didn't want you to comment i wouldn't post - we're on a forum, open discussion is what this is all about.
    Last edited by sub39h; 4th January 2011 at 18:21.
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    depends what your driving style is like to some degree. In my opinion diesel is a pretty lazy way of driving, plenty of grunt for overtaking. Though as you are aware, not very good for driving fast round twisty stuff.

    So the next two points really do depend on how you drive MOST of the time...

    On the limit - go for the petrol
    an occasional outburst - diesel.

    The diesel is pretty stiff for a standard car imo, and goes round corners pretty well.

    Also, ask if you really need the quattro, again depends how you drive. Though having a FWD car i cant comment on any extra costs in terms of servicing and maintainance on the 4wd...

    I found the FWD tdi quite adequote for everyday driving, and abit of urgency at the weekend.

  18. #17
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    I never thought i would say it but diesel is the way forward if you don't want electric. anyone with any doubts just go drive a diesel TT !!
    Having lived with a 3ltr d A4 loan car and got 40mpg running about and enough torque to pull an artic trailer as well as 6 cyl smoothness i have to say Diesels ain't what they used to be even 10 years ago. before long petrol will pass the 150p a gallon mark and petrol engines will become very yesterday.
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    Come on Matt... we are talking TDi QUATTRO here where on earth do you get the idea it is 'not very good for driving fast around twisty stuff'. Have you ever owned a TDi Quattro? or are you being prejudiced.

    A Quattro 170 Tdi will run rings around any other FWD A3 in my experience and give the 2.0TFsi Quattro a good run for its money due to greater Torque and quicker 3rd/4th gear 30-50 and 50-70 times.

    The A4/A5 3.0Tdi Quattro with 240bhp and 500Nm of Torque is something else!!!

    PS Paddy.... Is Irish petrol under 1.50 a GALLON still then??
    Last edited by PilotAudi; 4th January 2011 at 17:34.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    Come on Matt... we are talking TDi QUATTRO here where on earth do you get the idea it is 'not very good for driving fast around twisty stuff'. Have you ever owned a TDi Quattro? or are you being prejudiced.
    the 8P is hardly a stellar drive in any format
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    [QUOTE=PilotAudi;1137881]Come on Matt... we are talking TDi QUATTRO here where on earth do you get the idea it is 'not very good for driving fast around twisty stuff'. Have you ever owned a TDi Quattro? or are you being prejudiced.

    i ment the fact its a diesel and they run out of revs to quick!

    Nothing to do with the quattro, its obviously quicker than fwd

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    Come on Matt... we are talking TDi QUATTRO here where on earth do you get the idea it is 'not very good for driving fast around twisty stuff'. Have you ever owned a TDi Quattro? or are you being prejudiced.

    A Quattro 170 Tdi will run rings around any other FWD A3 in my experience and give the 2.0TFsi Quattro a good run for its money due to greater Torque and quicker 3rd/4th gear 30-50 and 50-70 times.

    The A4/A5 3.0Tdi Quattro with 240bhp and 500Nm of Torque is something else!!!

    PS Paddy.... Is Irish petrol under 1.50 a GALLON still then??
    Well done Pilot...a day back at work and i have lost the plot .....I mean a litre

    Oh and always been called Paddy..but born and bred in Surrey old chap
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    No probs Paddy I realise the exesses of a day back at work effect us all!

    Diesels typically only run out of revs because they don't need revs to perform in the same way as Petrol. The Tdi has somewhere between 350-400Nm of Torque ( I think 370??) and this creates a huge shove in the back with little drama especially in the key 30-50 and 50-70 times and when coupled with Quattro you rarely have to slow down much to go around corners!! I am sure Paddy would agree with the cornering and with his ambient lighting (under the car) he can see and avoid all the potholes creatyed by all the FWD/RWD cars struggling in the snow and ice.

    All the best PA

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    my choice would be a 2.0tdi 140 or 170 they are both cracking engines plenty of go and lots of mpg too and if your not happy with the performance you could always get it remapped the tfsi is a great engine just not that good on fuel as said tdi is best for towing tho
    ​She is back on the road yay!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fnmrst View Post
    my choice would be a 2.0tdi 140 or 170 they are both cracking engines plenty of go and lots of mpg too and if your not happy with the performance you could always get it remapped the tfsi is a great engine just not that good on fuel as said tdi is best for towing tho
    I don't think there are many 140 Tdi Quattros around these days. In the UK the 170 has been the standard TDi Quattro engine since 2007 (mabe even 2006).

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    either engine is good but i agree the 170 benefits more from the 4wd as in 2wd they spin alot from all the torque from the engine
    ​She is back on the road yay!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    A Quattro 170 Tdi will run rings around any other FWD A3 in my experience and give the 2.0TFsi Quattro a good run for its money due to greater Torque and quicker 3rd/4th gear 30-50 and 50-70 times.
    I don't agree with this in real world driving.

    When I'm driving around normally it doesn't really bother me how much torque I've got waiting there to be used in a particular gear really. And being a DSG, if I do need to accelerate quickly for a bit of overtaking (from say 30-50) when in 3rd/4th it isn't a concern, because all I need to do is floor the gas pedal and let the box take me down to 2nd and back up to 3rd when it chooses, and then the 30-50 acceleration will be quicker than the TDI's.
    Also, being a FWD it's not carrying the extra weight of the quattro system which hinders the TDI's rolling 30-50 acceleration.

    Basically, when its needed or is called upon the TFSI will outperform the TDI, and that's what I like to have in my arsenal.

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    Sorry you don't agree with 'real world' driving A3 . The reality is we all have to do it and for me the FWD A3 (I've had one!) is not for me...Quattro every time and I don't think I'm talking out of my arse n all... ;-)

    The original Q was Quattro Petrol or Diesel !

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    Quote Originally Posted by fnmrst View Post
    either engine is good but i agree the 170 benefits more from the 4wd as in 2wd they spin alot from all the torque from the engine
    +1

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    Hi m8, we own a mapped 140 tdi quattro and it has run
    Rings round many so called hot hatches, especially on the
    Twisty roads round here in scotland, its fuel consumption
    Is also very good, ive also towed a few cars with the a3
    And again its very good, its gotta be diesel hth

    Cal

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    Sorry you don't agree with 'real world' driving A3 . The reality is we all have to do it and for me the FWD A3 (I've had one!) is not for me...Quattro every time and I don't think I'm talking out of my arse n all... ;-)

    The original Q was Quattro Petrol or Diesel !
    You've misunderstood. Although you're correct, of course we all have to do real world driving. But it's what you said about the TDI quattro running rings around all other FWD A3's and the 30-50 or 50-70 times being quicker IN REAL WORLD DRIVING that I don't agree with. And by that I mean.... the type of everyday driving that is done the majority of the time.

    So again.... a TDI 170 Quattro will not run rings around a FWD 2.0TFSI DSG (or even a manual) in real world driving, with I guess the exception of driving in the "twisties". But then how many of us do any more than a fraction of our driving there? Not many I'd guess, as its not "real world", IMO.

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    Enjoying the banter about which is quickest FSI / TDI but as pointed out wasnt the aim of the question so sorry if I misled.

    Still good to see no bad news stories about Diesel Particle Filters.

    Just want to have the best and the 2.0tdi quattro sounds just the job, particularly going to Scotland given the rain and snow _ and maybe some fun too.

    Really appreciate your advice and enthusiasm - great forum made by you - quality guys
    cheers

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    I'm biased as I've got a 140tdi and love it. Also saves me a tonne on fuel 650 to a tank and often high 50s low 60s on A Roads. Next car if still an A3 will be 170 Quattro as I've heard nothing but good about them. I couldn't afford a petrol due to mileage and fuel costs but still believe them to be a decent car.

    Personal opinion Quattro 170 but again I'm diesel biased
    Current:
    A3 Black Edition 2.0 TDI 140
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    Had the FWD A3 140 DSG for 4 years. 2 years of it was remapped.

    The remap helps lots but the FWD in the last year just became too much for me, quattro is mostly FWD anyway but it kicks in when you need it. I wouldnt go back to FWD. The speed on the 3.2 is also a bonus

    The big thing I miss on the TDI is the fuel economy, theres no other benefit.
    A3 3.2 S Line DSG

    A3 TDI S Line DSG Gone

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    i love the punch you get with the 170 really pulls well i drove a 2wd dsg 170 a little while ago and i loved it i want to sell mine now and get one lol
    ​She is back on the road yay!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aythreee View Post
    You've misunderstood. Although you're correct, of course we all have to do real world driving. But it's what you said about the TDI quattro running rings around all other FWD A3's and the 30-50 or 50-70 times being quicker IN REAL WORLD DRIVING that I don't agree with. And by that I mean.... the type of everyday driving that is done the majority of the time.

    So again.... a TDI 170 Quattro will not run rings around a FWD 2.0TFSI DSG (or even a manual) in real world driving, with I guess the exception of driving in the "twisties". But then how many of us do any more than a fraction of our driving there? Not many I'd guess, as its not "real world", IMO.

    If I was in London I might agree. In real world Rural/Suburban Driving I stand by my comments!

    If I lived in London I would be looking to get the big 60 seater Red Bus or take the tube.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    If I lived in London I would be looking to get the big 60 seater Red Bus
    Do you think you'd be able to handle the increase in performance compared to a TDI??

  38. #37
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    Even London Buses are Diesel but hardly a fair comparison as they aren't QUATTRO!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PilotAudi View Post
    Even London Buses are Diesel but hardly a fair comparison as they aren't QUATTRO!!!
    No sh*t sherlock... they've got six wheels.

  40. #39
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    Ok I took delivery of my TDI 170 quattro sport on 15th Dec. As to first impression.
    Fuel consumption - great. Still less than 700 miles on the clock and getting average of 43 MPG around town and 55 MPG on a run.
    Performance - Impressive once rolling 20 mph onwards. 0 -20 using first gear not too great feels like the gearing is wrong. Not tried it yet but pulling away in 2nd might be better, but do not want to load my new engine.
    Handling - sticks well to the road.
    Build quality - It is an Audi.

    Now to the Petrol Vs Deisel. As you are moving to Scotland one big point. A deisel /4wd is the best car to drive in snow/ice. MY previous cars have all been 4WD , and my wife drove a lot in the heavy snow over the last few weeks and she said she has never felt so safe in a car in these conditions.

    I am sure the Petrol is great fun , but as a work horse that can still put a smile on your fact , go for the 170 deisel....
    Arrived 15 Dec 2010 A3 sportback TDI 170 Quattro sport in Ibis white.

  41. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by aythreee View Post
    No sh*t sherlock... they've got six wheels.
    lol

    some of them are rear engined tho ... like a 911!
    2006 Phantom Black A3 2.0T S-Line.
    DSG | 18" BBS Pescaras | Rear Parking Sensors | MFSW | Symphony II | BOSE | Auto lights/wipers | Half leather
    MODS : '09 tail lights | TT vents | Weitec Hicon GTs | RNS-E 2010 | Controls Pack (Red Stitching)
    PLANS: Dumbos | 8P3 S-Line Rear Bumper | OEM Parking Sensors


    GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN:
    2005 Ebony Black A3 1.6 Sport tiptronic. You will be missed!
    1997 BMW 316i Coupe M-Sport. You won't be missed quite so much!

 

 
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