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  1. #1
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    A3 Sportback 2.0 170bhp DSG S-Line...

    A long named car for sure, but is it any good?

    After my last few cars.. I'm looking to go a bit more sensible but still have fun. (Clio172>Clio182>VX220>S2000)

    Looking at a new A3 Sportback with the 170bhp 2.0 Diesel lump and the DSG gearbox.

    Anyone got this combination?
    Anyone got any feedback?

    I've only tried the DSG on a Golf R32, I've guessing it's quite different with a Diesel engine.

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  3. #2
    richjohnhughes's Avatar
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    i have this car - but in three door. 07 plate from new.

    the dsg is a dream - some people here dont seem to like it for some reason.

    i do about 25,000 miles per year - thr 170 with dsg makes it very easy - lots and lots of go.

    good choice


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    Thats exactly why I'm considering it.
    Just changed jobs from a company petrol card to expensed milage.

    It looks sporty, has a bit of go and I fancy trying the DSG

  5. #4
    I have a 2.0 TDI 170 Sportback S-tronic in SE trim and I am very pleased with it. It's my 6th A3 and second S-tronic and I would never want to go back to a manual gearbox again. To me the S-tronic adds so much to the pleasure of driving.

    The 170 engine is quieter than my previous 2.0 TDI-140 but is obviously a bit noiser than a petrol engine, but you do get the bonus of a better mpg if you do a lot of miles.

    I have a test drive booked for later today in a Sportback with the new 1.8TFSI engine together with an S-tronic gearbox so it will be interesting to compare.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

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    I'm very happy. The S-tronic gearbox works like a dream in mine. The 170 engine is fast, or frugal if driven sensibly. My new car arrived fault free and remains so after 1200 miles since new end Sept. It has no rattles or knocks, doesn't run 'like a transit van' as reported by some and I have yet to see a dpf warning light. It's averaged 46mpg, mostly around the A roads between Malvern and the mid Wales coast - ie hilly, undulating and twisty journeys with local running thrown in too. It starts on the button and runs as sweet as a nut. In fact, having read the tales of woe re Audi in general on this board over the last 6 months or so since I ordered it I'm beginning to wonder if there's something wrong with mine! lol The Open Sky roof is really nice. It gives the car a black roof outwardly and allows the interior of the car to be as bright as you like dependant on which blinds you open. The electric sunroof is really pleasant on a fair day too.
    3 things I don't like
    1 The dipstick. Touched on in another thread, its hopeless.
    2 No mute button on the laughingly called MFSW.
    3 The hard plastic sides of the centre-console (where the left side of my left knee rests) The citroens were padded and were comfortable. This one is uncomfortable.
    A3 2.0TDI Sportback S Line 184 Quattro S-Tronic, Mar. 2014 Glacier white. Electric seats, sunroof, se suspension, heated folding mirrors, Reversing camera, Nappa leather, TPMS, Hold assist, Xenon plus adaptive lights with variable active range control, lane assist, Interior light pack, Technology pack, Comfort pack with ACC, park assist & parking system plus

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    Thanks!

    Thanks guys for all the comments.

    I guess I need to find a friendly dealer with a 170 dsg car to try.

  8. #7
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Try a manual one too, for the love of god.
    To add balance to the DSG argument, if nothing else, I hate it.
    If you like automatics, or you don't mind the car making a lot of driving decisions for you, you'll probably like DSG.
    If you think it's a 'clutchless manual', as I did, you'll be sorely disappointed.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  9. #8
    richjohnhughes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Try a manual one too, for the love of god.
    To add balance to the DSG argument, if nothing else, I hate it.
    If you like automatics, or you don't mind the car making a lot of driving decisions for you, you'll probably like DSG.
    If you think it's a 'clutchless manual', as I did, you'll be sorely disappointed.
    good point - i dont drive mine using the paddles behind the wheel. i find moving down throught the gears a bit jerky. with a manual you use the gears to slow down the car. using the paddle shift drops it straight into gear - hence a bit jerky! having said that - if you are stuck behind a truck and wanna overtake - clicking down a couple of gears and booting it is great fun. but the auto gear changes are so smooth and fast - around town etc, i never feel the need to use them. (might be me getting old)

    i did have a A4 170 manual on loan for a couple of day and it did feel a touch faster - but that might just be me trashing it through the gear as it wasnt my car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richjohnhughes
    i did have a A4 170 manual on loan for a couple of day and it did feel a touch faster - but that might just be me trashing it through the gear as it wasnt my car.
    Take two identical Audis out, one with manual and one with DSG, and I am utterly convinced the manual will always feel faster. That's my experience anyway.
    The answer, to me, is quite simple.
    DSG changes down for you at pre-determined levels and changes up for at pre-determined levels.
    So you're actually left with quite a narrow, pre-determined, powerband.
    The engine is actually more flexible than that though.
    As has been proven several time on here, a manual diesel will rev a good bit higher than a DSG one, so you get much greater in-gear flexibility.
    Which makes the car feel faster.
    A manual tdi will go a good 10mph+ faster in third, for example.
    I've driven several manual 140tdi's, and it honestly feels like a different engine, without the pedantic and jerky DSG.
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 16th November 2007 at 09:24.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

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    Oh well. Mine has DSG and I can't wait

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    I'm with Bowfer on this, & just to add to the ongoing discussion, when you test drive the DSG version....

    Just imagine yourself at a busy roundabout, waiting 20 seconds already, getting a little uncomfortable holding up proceedings, you spot a decent gap....wait, wait, floor it ............nothing, around half a second later it decides to launch you into the path of the maniac driver that thinks you might be making for his 20ft of tarmac, not only does it make you appear a complete nob but I think it has safety implications also.

    As Bowfer said please test both DIESEL versions (the petrol DSG is fine) & try booting it from a standstill, a simple test that may just change your mind.

    Anyway only Americans & women drive automatics
    170 S.line manual

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detector
    Just imagine yourself at a busy roundabout, waiting 20 seconds already, getting a little uncomfortable holding up proceedings, you spot a decent gap....wait, wait, floor it ............nothing, around half a second later it decides to launch you into the path of the maniac driver that thinks you might be making for his 20ft of tarmac, not only does it make you appear a complete nob but I think it has safety implications also.
    Amen, the 'DSG delay' annoys me at some point on every single trip.
    I don't care what any other diesel DSG owner says, you simply CANNOT go for gaps that you could in a diesel manual.
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 16th November 2007 at 11:12.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  14. #13
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    I've had a couple of manual TDi's and the wife has the VW DSG - agree with the points about a slight hesitation on initial pull off and it is no substitute for a manual but on a long drive or a drive through congestion I think its superb and these are the keys I reach for in this scenario. At times I think the DSG can make the car feel faster due to the smoothness of the gear changes so its easy to make very good progress, economy is superb too. I hate the way it engages reverse as this seems to take too long and can be 'jerky' but I'd still spec it again for our main mileage car, in summary i think the 170 DSG would be an excellent choice but not a substitute for a manual - just an extremely good Auto equivalent.
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    I noticed this in a Diesel DSG Passat. It's simply awful waiting for it to get of its arse and go somewhere.

    It's by far the worst automatic i've ever driven, my old man has a 2002 530d auto and it accellerates seemlessly from a standstill - why a car with 5 years worth(at least) of development more than this one can't do the same is beyond me.
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    The marketing hype surrounding DSG has definitely taken a shift (sic) towards the truth since I ordered my car.
    When I ordered, it was being pushed as a sporty electronic manual, with the agreeable option of an automatic for heavy traffic or lazy days.
    That's been pushed aside as the nonsense it is, with the truth being it's an auto that lets you play at changing gears with paddles a bit.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    The marketing hype surrounding DSG has definitely taken a shift (sic) towards the truth since I ordered my car.
    When I ordered, it was being pushed as a sporty electronic manual, with the agreeable option of an automatic for heavy traffic or lazy days.
    That's been pushed aside as the nonsense it is, with the truth being it's an auto that lets you play at changing gears with paddles a bit.

    Agreed.
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  18. #17
    Spin140's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodenal
    I noticed this in a Diesel DSG Passat. It's simply awful waiting for it to get of its arse and go somewhere.

    It's by far the worst automatic i've ever driven, my old man has a 2002 530d auto and it accellerates seemlessly from a standstill - why a car with 5 years worth(at least) of development more than this one can't do the same is beyond me.
    Can't agree with worst automatic ever, not driven the 530D auto to compare but have driven many other autos, hesitation from standstill aside the DSG is an excellent piece of kit and has made massive leaps forward in Auto technology IMO, I guess the best thing to do is to take an extensive test drive in all conditions and decide from there. There is no substitute for a manual IMO but some damn good autos availble with DSG being one of them.
    Wife - 12 BMW 320D 181 bhp, 8 Speed Auto, Melbourne Red, Heated Leather, privacy.
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  19. #18
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    I wasn't very clear in what i said, its the worst auto for hesitating when pulling away that i've driven. Not for changes etc where it is very good
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CocoPops
    After my last few cars.. I'm looking to go a bit more sensible but still have fun. (Clio172>Clio182>VX220>S2000)
    Just looking at your previous cars I would suggest you go manual, the novelty of floppy paddle shift will soon wear off as the auto option handles gear changing very well anyway (& no you can't overcome the hessitation problem with the paddles or sport mode). Another question for you, would you change down half way through a bend ? you also obviously like cars that handle well and go well, ask yourself the question again automatic or not automatic, I suspect you already know the answer but the sales pitch made you ask (as I did)
    170 S.line manual

  21. #20
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    Maybe you guys are right...
    I do like to feel involved with the driving and manual gives that, I just thought that the DSG would be closer to manual than it now appears.

    OK, so DSG option removed.....
    it means there is a choice of Quattro or FWD?

  22. #21
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    That's another good point, Detector.
    I've had instances when I've been belting around a corner and, for whatever reason (wheelspin, maybe) the revs rise to a certain point.
    No driver in the world would willingly change up in such a scenario.
    You just let the car ride it out, perhaps over rev a bit.
    Changing up just upsets the car.
    What does DSG do?
    Changes up for you, so you suddenly find yourself having to cope with the engine getting back into a meaty part of it's rev range, when the tyres are already struggling to cope.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  23. #22
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    If you need it for economy then FWD
    *Gone* 1997 A3 1.6 facelift headlights, 16"1.8t Alloys, full rear tints. 110k

    You built a time machine.........out of a delorean!?!?!

  24. #23
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    Only time I've wished I had quattro is snow, but I only have 140bhp.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  25. #24
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    Those with dsg gearboxes struggling to get away from a standstill must be really envious of those who have the updated S-tronic gearboxes fitted with Launch Control.
    Which brings me to my own gripe - this Sinclair Spectrum is hopeless for surfing the internet. It's so slow! - I wouldn't buy another!
    A3 2.0TDI Sportback S Line 184 Quattro S-Tronic, Mar. 2014 Glacier white. Electric seats, sunroof, se suspension, heated folding mirrors, Reversing camera, Nappa leather, TPMS, Hold assist, Xenon plus adaptive lights with variable active range control, lane assist, Interior light pack, Technology pack, Comfort pack with ACC, park assist & parking system plus

  26. #25
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    Hey Bowfer you know that little button you press everytime you get behind the wheel, you know the one ESP, ASR, or whatever they call it........

    So, Twizzler, you recon the updated version (didn't know they had) get's rid of any delay or do you have to select neutral, tighten seat belts, turn on lights, lock doors, select launch control and then go for the gap.......oh you've just missed it again
    170 S.line manual

  27. #26
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    Suggesting you use launch control at every junction/roundabout is daft.
    For starters, you'd look like a dick
    Secondly, the delay can occur when the car is rolling too.
    AFAIK, launch control can only be used if the car is completely stationary.
    I've even had apologists for DSG suggest I change down to first early when approaching roundabouts, to 'work around' the delay?
    Oh aye, have you ever tried manually changing down to first before the car is ready?
    Did you get your teeth out of the steering wheel?
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  28. #27
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    I don't recall suggesting you use launch control at every junction or roundabout. I've not found a need to use anything other than the normal 'D' position. However, if you were stuck for a long time waiting for a gap you would presumably be stationary. Then it is available to take advantage of if you really want dive into the path of an oncoming vehicle. My driving style is probably different to yours, however, it has kept me accident free for 41 years and 280k miles, so works for me.
    A3 2.0TDI Sportback S Line 184 Quattro S-Tronic, Mar. 2014 Glacier white. Electric seats, sunroof, se suspension, heated folding mirrors, Reversing camera, Nappa leather, TPMS, Hold assist, Xenon plus adaptive lights with variable active range control, lane assist, Interior light pack, Technology pack, Comfort pack with ACC, park assist & parking system plus

  29. #28
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    Twizzler, if you drive around in 'D' most of the time, it's impossible that you don't notice the delay,as 'D' is the worst culprit of all!
    'D' gives you a throttle response akin to ringing the bell on the bridge of the Titanic, then the engine room finally cottoning on some time later.
    It's slushier than Iceland in spring.
    I tend to use 'D' once rolling, but I quickly whack the lever over to 'manual'(cough..) when approaching any junctions/roundabouts.
    In fact, I often get my 4 year old daughter to do it, as she thinks she's driving!
    We've got quite a little routine going.
    When I go back to a manual, she'll take a huff.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  30. #29
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    Bowfer, you appear to be a master of misinterpretation, by accident or design. I didn't say I drive around in 'D' all the time. As you can see, I wrote that I haven't found a need to drive around in anything other than 'D' That does not mean that I don't use Sport mode sometimes for the benefit of the dpf and manual mode for its entertainment value. I hope you will read this message carefully.

    One other thing re S-tronic. I find when going down steep hilly roads etc rather than using manual mode as suggested in the handbook, putting it in Sport mode is better. The box does the work for you then.
    A3 2.0TDI Sportback S Line 184 Quattro S-Tronic, Mar. 2014 Glacier white. Electric seats, sunroof, se suspension, heated folding mirrors, Reversing camera, Nappa leather, TPMS, Hold assist, Xenon plus adaptive lights with variable active range control, lane assist, Interior light pack, Technology pack, Comfort pack with ACC, park assist & parking system plus

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    Twizzler, no need for me to read it properly, if you type it properly.
    Perhaps try "rarely use anything other than D" next time, to avoid people thinking "haven't found a need to use anything other than D" actually means what it says...
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  32. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Amen, the 'DSG delay' annoys me at some point on every single trip.
    I don't care what any other diesel DSG owner says, you simply CANNOT go for gaps that you could in a diesel manual.
    With you there Bowfer, the DSG on my wife's Touran drives me nuts.

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    I stand by what I said. Not needing to use anything other than 'D' doesn't mean you don't use anything else, it means there is no absolute requirement to.
    Anyway, as this thread is getting silly I will make this my last post on it. At the end of the day I am very happy with my new S-tronic and I fully appreciate that there are some with earlier dsg gearboxes who are not. No doubt they will buy manuals next time and hopefully enjoy them.
    A3 2.0TDI Sportback S Line 184 Quattro S-Tronic, Mar. 2014 Glacier white. Electric seats, sunroof, se suspension, heated folding mirrors, Reversing camera, Nappa leather, TPMS, Hold assist, Xenon plus adaptive lights with variable active range control, lane assist, Interior light pack, Technology pack, Comfort pack with ACC, park assist & parking system plus

  34. #33
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    let all remember we are talking about a auto car! sure its not going to be like a manual - if you want a manual, then buy one. i have always had manuals but driven a few auto and i have to say it is by FAR the best i have ever driven.

    sure its going to change gear at the wrong time for the situation - but you will only notice this is you are driving hard and for me anyway - this is maybe 10% of the time.

    if you are pegging it - stick it in semi and use the stick or paddles. best of both worlds. simple.

    as far not getting of the line fast - i dont get this as all. its an auto and you have to drive it a little different i guess. by the time your foot comes off the brake ya already rolling - stamp the gas and away you go.

  35. #34
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    I had a 3dr 170 S-Line S-Tronic on a 56 plate. I kept it for 15k miles and ended up swapping it for a TFSI new TT. I'd not had an auto before and to be honest I dont think I would again either. If you like autos then DSG is OK, but if you are in to driving and being in control, manual is the way to go. From what I've read, DSG is better with a petrol, my mate has a Golf GTI DSG and he loves it but I havent driven it so can't comment.

    I liked the 170 engine but despite my 80 mile round trip commute on dual carriageway struggled to get the MPG I thought the car should have done. I averaged 42 in the A3, by comparison on the same route I can do 38 in the TT. I have another friend with a 150 TDI Golf and he gets 55mpg all day long.

    There is a lot about the A3 I miss, it's a great looking car and in the right colour is a real head turner. My advice would be to carefully weigh up the alternatives between the boxes, engines and indeed models and try to get as many extended test drives as possible so you can really learn the characteristics of the car.

    Phil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Amen, the 'DSG delay' annoys me at some point on every single trip.
    I don't care what any other diesel DSG owner says, you simply CANNOT go for gaps that you could in a diesel manual.

    You can in a 170 s-tronic..... never heard of launch control? That gets off the line as near as dammit as quick as a manual.

  37. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve184
    You can in a 170 s-tronic..... never heard of launch control? That gets off the line as near as dammit as quick as a manual.
    As it's nearly Christmas, here we go again............. Oh no it's not
    170 S.line manual

  38. #37
    Matt's Avatar
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    Last time I said that a manual gearbox A3 2.0TDi felt faster than the same engine with DSG I got laughed at! Glad to see its not just me that thinks it now!

  39. #38
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt
    Last time I said that a manual gearbox A3 2.0TDi felt faster than the same engine with DSG I got laughed at! Glad to see its not just me that thinks it now!
    Wouldn't have been me that laughed at you mate, I agree 100%.
    I don't see how anyone could disagree, when the manual can be revved a good few hundred rpm higher in every gear.
    Last edited by Amchlolor; 19th November 2007 at 12:58.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  40. #39
    I don't see how anyone could disagree, when the manual can be revved a good few hundred rpm higher in every gear.
    Just out of interest the top speed of the A3 1.8TFSI I test drove last week is listed 136 mph where as the top speed of my TDI-170 is listed as 138 mph. The difference is the the 1.8 achieves this in 5th gear rather that top and the 170 achieves it in top or 6th gear.
    Dave R (h5djr)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  41. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Wouldn't have been me that laughed at you mate, I agree 100%.
    I don't see how anyone could disagree, when the manual can be revved a good few hundred rpm higher in every gear.
    I think that sums up why it appears to work so much better in the petrol. The DSG would appear to change up in the diesel even in manual mode at an optimum setting rather than a maximum. I.e. when the diesel is getting out of the torque/power band and it is pointless to rev harder even though it hasn't hit the limiter.

    Even though it feels quicker in the manual as it is revving harder the DSG is actually more efficient and quicker. However, feeling is arguably more important than outright speed.

    The DSG 2.0T revs up to about 6700 before it changes up and around 1200 changing down. That gives an ample rev band that means a DSG petrol in manual never changes for you unless you choose (let it red line or don't bother changing down rolling up to a junction)

    I read that the optimum change up for the Alpina D3 is 3500rpm for outright progress. I doubt that would feel quickest though, riding the torque curve seldom does, especially for us petrol heads...

    Cheers
    Baldrick

 

 
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