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  1. #1
    jdp1962's Avatar
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    Car Magazine Comparative Test

    This month's edition of Car has a four way test of cars all based around the Golf platform, Audi A3, VW Golf, Skoda Octavia & Seat Leon. Rather than pick equivalent spec models & compare them on price, they took a fixed budget (18K), & then selected typical examples of each model according to what that budget will buy you. The Golf & Leon were both mid-spec 2.0TDIs, the A3 a poverty-spec 1.6 petrol, & the Skoda a top-spec 1.9TDI with DSG.

    As you might guess, the A3 came off the worst of the four on pretty much every criteria except image. Even VAG's own CEO can't understand why anyone would buy an A3, when they can get an equally good car (sometimes a better one) off the same platform, for substantially less money.

    The magazine made the point that if you're going to buy into the Audi image, it really only works if you're buying further up the model range, where there is less platform sharing, and the models are more bespoke, and less likely to be undercut by similar alternatives from the other VAG brands. So, an A4, A6 or A8 makes sense, but not an A3.

    For the record, despite being a 1.9TDI 8-valver with 103bhp, the Skoda Octavia won the test. They reckoned its interior build was nearly the equal of the A3, the standard spec way beyond compare, & the DSG a real treat.

    Food for thought.

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  3. #2
    jdp1962's Avatar
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Damn! Just realised I've posted this in the wrong place. Could have sworn I was in the A3 forum!

  4. #3
    wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    What the [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif[/img] do Car magazine know anyway....

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Does seem daft testing on budget, why not test on model equivs like Sport or SE. You generally get less on an A3 for your money so why bother testing a bottom dollar Audi against a top Skoda.

  6. #5
    imported_Macduff
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Was going to by an A3 last year but decided on an A4 instead. However I do not agree about the coments on the interior. In my experience, the A3 is far better built than the other 3. The new Golf is particularly bad in this respect.

  7. #6
    d3fy's Avatar
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    My boss who I have just taken for a spin in mine thinks the A3 is fantastic and a lot nicer than his Golf GTi 2.0T

  8. #7
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    My boss who I have just taken for a spin in mine thinks the A3 is fantastic and a lot nicer than his Golf GTi 2.0T

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm sure he does,but does he know how much more it costs ?

    My car gets lots of 'nice motor' comments,but when I point out it cost 24400,they're always (without fail) shocked.

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Had a quick look at the mag, it's an A3 1.6 Sport in the test - bit of a misnomer! Not even the 1.6 FSi

    Their facts don't seem to be correct in all respects. They say if you move up to the 2.0FSI you have to MAKE DO with SE trim if you only have 20k to spend! The only trim levels available on the 2.0FSI are base, SE and Sport - SE and Sport being the top trims and being equivalent in price, so you are hardly making do!

    They compare the A3 with the 2.0TD GT 4 Motion Golf which is 1300 more!

    Interesting point is just why you pay so much more for servicing on the A3 than the Golf when the parts and procedures are often very similar\the same.

    Over riding view is who would buy an A3 and why? They even ask for views on the subject to car@emap.com so perhaps they are being provocative? I think the main answer is interior trim, image and residuals, the latter being important.

    However, I would have to think hard about buying another following the issues I've had in 3000 miles.

  10. #9
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    I wouldn't buy another A3,that's for sure (no surprise there).
    The trouble is,even though my A4 before it was as faultless a car as I've owned,my A3 experiences have put me clean off Audi for good.
    I've gone from thinking they're good solid cars to over-priced charlatans.

  11. #10
    imported_Skywalker
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    We should make a bowfer subsection on this forum. You can stay in there and [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif[/img] and moan about your car all day [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  12. #11
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Hey,if Audi give me the ammo... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  13. #12
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Ok Bowfer, I'll swap you my A4 for your sportback.

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    If it were my car,(company car) I might be interested.
    Out of interest,what spec is it ?

    I've already got my eye on my A3's replacement.
    New Lexus or Alfa 159.
    Leaning towards the Alfa because it's absolutely beautiful,inside and out,and a good mate of mine is now a salesman there.
    Their new head-honcho is ex BMW as well,so build quality shouldn't be an issue (not that it was on my 156).

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    If it were my car,(company car) I might be interested.
    Out of interest,what spec is it ?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Haha, nothing you'd be interested in really. '01 B6 A4 1.9tdi(130) SE. 17" alloys, cruise, heated mirrors and jets, 6cd, walnut trim, interior light pack, bluetooth, tracker, 54k. I'm actually trying to convince myself that I can sell it and buy a 2.5 Tdi Q that someone is selling. Just can't really justify it.

  16. #15
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    We should make a bowfer subsection on this forum. You can stay in there and [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif[/img] and moan about your car all day [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Have to agree with you there, what a big dark cloud of gloom he is, he's an idea get rid and move on?

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    If it were my car,(company car) I might be interested.
    Out of interest,what spec is it ?

    I've already got my eye on my A3's replacement.
    New Lexus or Alfa 159.
    Leaning towards the Alfa because it's absolutely beautiful,inside and out,and a good mate of mine is now a salesman there.
    Their new head-honcho is ex BMW as well,so build quality shouldn't be an issue (not that it was on my 156).

    [/ QUOTE ]

    hahahaahahahahahaahahahahhaahhahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaaa

    ahahahahahahahahahahahah

    alfa

    build quality

    now that really is taking the [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif[/img]

    i've know over 20 people who have had 156's and the only one who says its built well works for Alfa, guess they fix his up everyday

  18. #17
    d3fy's Avatar
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    My parents have a 147 and have not had any problems in the last 2/3 year from new

  19. #18
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    i agree with bowfer,thats why im off to a lexus dealer tomorrow, to have a look at the new lexus they have in the showroom ,it looks realy nice in the pics that ive seen,and lexus come out top on almost every poll

    only thing is how do i pay for it,mines only 8 mnths old,so i might have to wait a bit,its something to look forward to though

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Sorry to disappoint some of you but I agree with Bowfer on this - my A3 is disappointing to drive, too noisy and handles appalingly, and the customer service is terrible. If your driving is based on inner city stuff then sure its a nice looking motor etc etc, but I've done 63,000 miles in 10 months in my 2.0TDi SE and can't wait to change it.

    Good luck to those of you who bought your A3 privately and still like it, but this is the last Audi I will ever own. I admit to being seduced by the badge and the interior, but if Audi continue to build cars this poor, the brand will lose its "technik" appeal.

    God knows what I'll go for next - my company scheme allows for just about anything sub 25K - Laguna, Mondeo, 406, (!!!), Saab 93 TiD Vector Sport, Lexus, Honda Accord, BMW320D, Golf 4-Motion etc etc.

    The BMW is by far and away the best car but I'm young at heart so will probably go for the 170bhp Diesel Golf GT with 4-Motion if it exists when I re-order next October. I know there will be an equivalent Audi, but I can't stand the idea of being someone who paid extra (again) to have their Golf rebadged!

    Honestly, no offence to anyone here, it just depends on what you expected from Audi. I obviously had my expectations too high. If it was a Golf I would not have minded at all, as the Golf is an "everyman" car with no particular image to uphold, but I though Audi were all about being the best possible, technically, dynamically and stylistically, and IMO they fall down badly on the first two points.

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    I also think that Audi seem to be loosing the plot with their ethos.

    All these 's-lines' 'exec packs' awful body kits, splitters and over emphasis on 'sports' models when they are not really sporty - just hard suspension and vague steering.
    Along with 'exclusive' company driver aimed deals (especially on A4 models) means that audi's are now 10 a penny on the salesmans car park. (i dumped the company car offer long ago and took the money, oh and I'm not a salesman)

    Could be a move to the new Z4 coupe next year? Maybe even a current 330Ci? (heavily discounted now) hell of a motor......

  22. #21
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    not many 3.2 owners in here...

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Correct - a loaded 3.2 was, and is, on my wish-list if the to$$ers at every audi dealers i've ever been into buck up their ideas.

    Doubtful though.

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Speaking as one of the few that paid for and runs a car from my own pocket - I like my A3 a lot...(having cured my rattly window). Looks groovy, interior & panel quality excellent, residuals good, performance v running costs - an excellent compromise. Don't want to drive a Skoda (thanks) Golf - bland ( and my buddies is dropping to bits), love Alfas - but hate depreciation and ludicrously expensive servicing costs and intervals.
    Beemers mostly look like Jackie Stalone on a bad day (with possible exception of new 3 tourer - but the Z4 looks like it was designed by Walt Disney for Cruella Deville - imho) Lexus? The Steve Coogan DJ character (what was his name?) put me off the is200 - the only half decent bit of design they ever produced....
    The argument is probably sound in certain terms - Which? magazine heralded the Huyundai (?)Getz as the most reliable car on the road - so what? Would Mick Jagger ever have made it on X factor?...Buy what you like ...life's too short...

  25. #24
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    Sorry to disappoint some of you but I agree with Bowfer on this - my A3 is disappointing to drive, too noisy and handles appalingly, and the customer service is terrible. If your driving is based on inner city stuff then sure its a nice looking motor etc etc, but I've done 63,000 miles in 10 months in my 2.0TDi SE and can't wait to change it.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It's disapointing because it's the SE. Sport and Sline setup is considerably better. However, I'll conceed that the road noise is a bit of apain in the a$$.

  26. #25
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    What a crap article. Based on the same logic if you could find a nice house but in a crap area (skoda) that offered more space than a nice house in the country (audi) but they were the same money - then you would pick the council house every time?

    Rubbish !

    A car is an emotive purchase. The audi is most certainly better built than the golf - FACT. The last generation golf was really well screwed together internally but this one looks cheap to me. I bought the A3 pretty much on this fact - I couldn't bare to stare at the shiny plastics for 3 years

  27. #26
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    but I've done 63,000 miles in 10 months

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] is that possible! that's incredible.

  28. #27
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    If it were my car,(company car) I might be interested.
    Out of interest,what spec is it ?

    I've already got my eye on my A3's replacement.
    New Lexus or Alfa 159.
    Leaning towards the Alfa because it's absolutely beautiful,inside and out,and a good mate of mine is now a salesman there.
    Their new head-honcho is ex BMW as well,so build quality shouldn't be an issue (not that it was on my 156).

    [/ QUOTE ]

    hahahaahahahahahaahahahahhaahhahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaaa

    ahahahahahahahahahahahah

    alfa

    build quality

    now that really is taking the [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif[/img]

    i've know over 20 people who have had 156's and the only one who says its built well works for Alfa, guess they fix his up everyday

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Christ,you're easily amused... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

    Let me put it this way.
    My Alfa 156 (2000 model) was in the garage less than my A3.
    I never had to put it in for rattles,that's for sure.
    The only faults I had with it in 18 months of ownership were rear bushes that were replaced under warrantee and a carpet clip that broke,resulting in the carpet falling down into the passenger footwell.

    It was only it's high CO2 figure that forced it's sale due to tax changes.

    I sold it to a friend in Manchester,who still has it.
    Apart from routine servicing,it's been problem free.

    My friend also recently bought a 50k mile,S plate 156.
    He's currently having problems with his MAF,but that's hardly peculiar to Alfa.

    Alfa 'head hunting' BMW's top man shows their serious,but pre-conceived attitudes like yours will always work against them I suppose.

    Have you ever driven an Alfa ?

  29. #28
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    but pre-conceived attitudes like yours will always work against them I suppose.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    that's hardly fair bowfer. Repuations can only be built on mass experience. Their poor reputation is industry wide and based on years of customers experiences. I have driven, been in and wanted a few alfas, but IMO there build quality (materials) was no better than Jap cars. Certainly no match for the german cars, and not good enough to put my money on.

    Reputations can be changed, but it takes time, investment and a lot of damn good products that TBH Alfa haven't really been delivering.

    Lets hope the Brera is the start of something special. After all, they have the brand, the heratige and the designers to make stunning cars.

    They do drive well and have cracking engines, but in this day and age that isn't enough. They're on par with Ford and they should be on par with VW. debate this if you like, but VW have a brand image that Ford would kill for. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif[/img]

  30. #29
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Perhaps you were very lucky with the Alfa, and very unlucky (certainly) with the A3.

    I considered a 147 before I bought the A3. I've always loved the shape (before they turned into a Seat Ibiza!), and said, that'll be the car for me. But, looked inside and around it. Looks cheap. Residuals are hopelessly bad (although you can get a hefty discount on them these days). Read owner reports, which were not very complimentary on realibility and dealers. So, I went with the Audi. Had no problems with it, other than the wiper motor being changed because of a manufacturer's fault. Everything has been perfect (touch wood).

  31. #30
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    What the [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/swear.gif[/img] do Car magazine know anyway....

    [/ QUOTE ]

    They seem to know how to set up a debate, wouldn't you say? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif[/img]

  32. #31
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    Perhaps you were very lucky with the Alfa, and very unlucky (certainly) with the A3.

    I considered a 147 before I bought the A3. I've always loved the shape (before they turned into a Seat Ibiza!), and said, that'll be the car for me. But, looked inside and around it. Looks cheap. Residuals are hopelessly bad (although you can get a hefty discount on them these days). Read owner reports, which were not very complimentary on realibility and dealers. So, I went with the Audi. Had no problems with it, other than the wiper motor being changed because of a manufacturer's fault. Everything has been perfect (touch wood).

    [/ QUOTE ]

    What would the Alfa have cost you,out of interest,compared with your A3 ?

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    A3 & Sportback designed by Walter DaSilva (really) - Audi's new design person - Ex- Alfa & the same guy that designed the 147 & 156 - by the way...

  34. #33
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [quote. Don't want to drive a Skoda (thanks)

    [/ QUOTE ]

    There is the rub. The view of the article and, to be fair, the CEO of VAG as well, is that in some variants of the A3, people are, in effect, driving Skodas that have been dressed up (and priced up!) to look like Audis.

    The views expressed on this thread have been many and varied, and all have merit. Cars are indeed an emotional purchase, and image is definitely important, not just for residuals but our egos as well. Yes, I do very much like the fact that there are four rings on my drive (one of only two in the entire street), and I don't think I'd get the same sense pleasure from owning a Skoda Superb 2.8V6 Tiptronic.

    But if the substance that lies behind the image doesn't match up to expectation, as is clearly the case for some of the A3 owners on here, then with the best will in world, they are entitled to feel they have been short-changed.

    Of course, most of us are looking at this from a particular perspective, because we are Audi owners. By definition, the things that make an Audi different from the other VAG brands are important to us. But another way to look at it is to say that for those people who want a capable, well-assembled car, but for whom image and status is not a priority (unlike us [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]) then they can buy a Skoda Ovtavia and bask in the satisfaction that they've got a very good car for not much money.

  35. #34
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Some very reasoned arguments here.

    For me personally - I just like the look of the A3 in both Sportback and 3 Door form.

    If the VW, Seat and Skoda vehicles were attractive (to me) then I'd have one of those instead. The don't do anything for me at all.

    For those of us fortunate to have the choice - the public desirability of an Audi brand product means that their residual values are somewhat protected and that lowers the total cost of ownership be it your own money or a company lease.

    The CEO of VAG can spout all he wants - there are some great cars out there based on some really humble platforms - but in the real world who really cares?

    Audi is a brand of car like Levi is a brand of clothing - those that are still dumb enough to think that an Audi is 'better' than a Ford, GM, Fiat Group, Seat or Skoda product are clearly going to find life from now on hugely disappointing.

    The manufacturers know that almost all cars are equal at a base level (get from a to b, keep you dry/warm/cool/safe - delete as applicable) so the spin is to 'lifestyle' the brand. Us Audi boys have bucked the BMW image thing apparently - just look where Audi invest their Marketing budget to see who they think their target market is.

    I could go on - but you get the idea.

    Is there a Po*h storm heading my way now? Probably.....

  36. #35
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    2 excellent posts - and I must confess to being a badge snob, but IMO Audi are pushing their luck.

    Now I'm in danger of become a reverse badge snob and getting something with less "show" and more "go". For the price of my 140TDi Sportback I should be able to get a 4-Motion Diesel Golf with 170bhp and that will cheer me up no end.

  37. #36
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    In Chinese culture, discontentment is represented by the "hungry ghost" - a character with an enormous belly, but a tiny mouth - eternally hungry. The art of living is not to have what you want, but to want what you have - here endeth the lesson - ommmmmmm.....(good grief!!)

  38. #37
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    That's just ******. Chinese culture my ars* - if they were so happy with their situation why are they be so busy making cheap TV's for westerners?

    Personally I'm glad its ****** too. Otherwise we'd be sat in caves looking at our hairy wives preparing another serving of raw meat surprise and grinning inanely at our lucky lives. And then you wouldn't have an Audi to be happy about and I wouldn't have a forum on which to complain about it.

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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    Sounds like a cave might be just the right place for you Bun - me old chum...can't comment on the hairiness of your missus of course...speaking of which, how's that furry arse of yours getting on??

  40. #39
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    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    I adore my old B5 A4, but the latest Audis just don't do it for me. That fcuking huge great new grill only works on the A8, & IMHO, the rest of the range has lost its way. The A4 used to make a virtue out of the fact that it wasn't targetted at the yuppie tw@ts who loved a BMW 3-Series. Now, the 3-Series has gone all Audi-sensible, whilst the A4 has gone in search of the old 3-series market.

    As it happens, I haven't got a pot to pi$$ in right now, so the old B5 has to stay with me for the foreseeable. But if I suddenly found myself with wonga (say if the mother-in-law karked it), I woudn't buy a new Audi, BMW or Merc. I'd buy a new Lexus IS250 (or possibly a used A8).

  41. #40
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    5,602

    Re: Car Magazine Comparative Test

    [ QUOTE ]
    A3 & Sportback designed by Walter DaSilva (really) - Audi's new design person - Ex- Alfa & the same guy that designed the 147 & 156 - by the way...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The new 159 is designed by Giugiaro though...

    Beee-ooo-ti-ful

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heart.gif[/img]

 

 
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