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  1. #1
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    A3 Sportback, poor car for driving fans?

    Hi,

    Currently own a A3 Sportback 170 tdi, now I love all the interior and the look of the car, the engine especially, but I feel the car is lacking in the driving experience.

    Its like playing a computer game when driving, it all feels so automated, that the joy of driving has been taken away from it

    The electronic clutch, the steering, the braking, its all too "electronic" there is no mechanical feel to it.

    Other than that the car is stunning, but for pure driving pleasure I find myself disappointed.

    Thoughts?

    regards

    Dogmatix

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmatix View Post
    Hi,

    Currently own a A3 Sportback 170 tdi, now I love all the interior and the look of the car, the engine especially, but I feel the car is lacking in the driving experience.

    Its like playing a computer game when driving, it all feels so automated, that the joy of driving has been taken away from it

    The electronic clutch, the steering, the braking, its all too "electronic" there is no mechanical feel to it.

    Other than that the car is stunning, but for pure driving pleasure I find myself disappointed.

    Thoughts?

    regards

    Dogmatix
    I afraid I cannot agree with you. I also have an A3 Sportback 170 TDI with an S-tronic gearbox and I love ever minute I'm driving it.

    I've recently been on holiday to Germany and Switzerland, covering around 3,000 miles. Some minor country roads, some steep twisty moutain pass roads and some fast autoroutes and derestricted autobahns. I have to say I loved every minute of it.

    I have driven many cars in my 40 odd years of driving, starting with an original minivan and with the possible exception of my Golf 2.8 VR6, no other car has given me so much enjoyment.
    Dave R (h5djr)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  4. #3
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    I have the manual gearbox, so maybe thats where my complaints should be aimed.

  5. #4
    rickquattro's Avatar
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    Interesting... I had an 8L model and it was a bit the same. Took the info from the stickies to sort the suspension and completely re engaged with the car. It really came alive.

    Question is why it didn't get made like this in the first place....
    Coming back to Audi with an A3 Tdi Sportback Quattro... but the 220bhp T5 was epic....

  6. #5
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h5djr View Post
    I afraid I cannot agree with you. I also have an A3 Sportback 170 TDI with an S-tronic gearbox and I love ever minute I'm driving it.

    I've recently been on holiday to Germany and Switzerland, covering around 3,000 miles. Some minor country roads, some steep twisty moutain pass roads and some fast autoroutes and derestricted autobahns. I have to say I loved every minute of it.

    I have driven many cars in my 40 odd years of driving, starting with an original minivan and with the possible exception of my Golf 2.8 VR6, no other car has given me so much enjoyment.
    IMO, David, you're not making a proper distinction here.
    You may enjoy driving it, fair enough, but that doesn't make it an enjoyable driver's car.
    It is as numb as a female patient at a dodgy dentist.
    I had some enjoyable journeys in my A3, but I'd never claim the car itself was enjoyable.
    Go take the same journey you made in other makes/type of car and you'd see what we mean.
    It's taken me a while to adapt to driving my new car, because it seems so 'sensitive'.
    In fact, it's just feedback and responses that the A3 (or my A4 before) didn't transmit.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  7. #6
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    i have an s3 and feel the same,great everyday car which offers power,comfort and a good image but it aint no fun. Handling is pretty poor imo and sterring feedback is ****.

    People may disagree but it isnt a car i would take on track in standard form anyway. As i say i am more than happy with the car but for some back roads or track it isnt great.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    IMO, David, you're not making a proper distinction here.
    You may enjoy driving it, fair enough, but that doesn't make it an enjoyable driver's car.
    It is as numb as a female patient at a dodgy dentist.
    I had some enjoyable journeys in my A3, but I'd never claim the car itself was enjoyable.
    Go take the same journey you made in other makes/type of car and you'd see what we mean.
    It's taken me a while to adapt to driving my new car, because it seems so 'sensitive'.
    In fact, it's just feedback and responses that the A3 (or my A4 before) didn't transmit.
    I suppose in the end it boils down to what you enjoy about driving. If it's throwing a car around then the A3 is probably not the best car for that. If it's taking various types of journey and enjoying every one at reasonable speed and in comfort then the A3 170 is the car.

    Whenever I test drive a car I generally use the same basic route for each car. It involves various types of driving and on roads that I know well. That way I can concentrate more on the particular car I'm driving. Recently I have not driven anything I prefer to my current 170. I have driven several different cars on 'the track' at various times in my driving career and I never really enjoyed it. I personally prefer road driving.
    Dave R (h5djr)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  9. #8
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    Just out of curiosity how old are you?

  10. #9
    Matt's Avatar
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    It is not the be all and end all in out and out driving thrills but you would of picked up on that when you tried one before you bought it...
    Sold: A3 2.0 TDI 170 S-line | Full leather | BOSE | Phantom Black | Bluefin
    Now: Mini John Cooper Works

  11. #10
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    its all down do personal choice i guess isnt it, one mans porsche is another mans ford, be bit boring if we all liked the same !!

    i love my sportback s-tronic 170 tdi ,does all i need and more most times, good all round motor for me and my needs.....
    Last edited by cliveywolves; 16th July 2008 at 14:53.
    2007 Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 Tdi (170) DPF, S-Line,DSG S-Tronic, Akoyo Silver, 18"Alloys Audi RS4 Design, RNS-E 2007 TMC, Rear Parking Sensors,Bose Sound System,6 CD Changer,Black Leather Sport Seats,Auto Folding Mirrors,Tyre Pressure Sys,+ More....

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sohrob View Post
    Just out of curiosity how old are you?
    I'm not sure what difference it makes but I am 60. I have owned all sorts of cars during my 40+ years of driving starting with an original minivan, a mini, an Imp Sport, an Austin 1300 GT, a Triumph Dolomaite, a Golf, a 1600 Mk1 Golf GTI, an 1800 Mk1 Golf GTI, a Mk2 Golf GTI, an Audi 80 Sport, an Audi 80 1.8E, an Audi 90 2.3E, a Golf 2.8 VR6, 3 Audi A3 1.8T Sports, an Audi A3 2.0TDI-140 and now my current A3 2.0-170 TDI.

    All, with the exception of the Dolomite which was just plain horrible, have been good in their time but would probably not feel so good against my modern A3.

    I have also driven, as an Army Cadet Adult Instruction, Short and Long wheel-based Land Rovers and several types of 4-ton army trucks, so my driving experience has been reasonably varied over the years.

    I have also test driven all sorts from BMWs to my brother's current Hyundi.
    Dave R (h5djr)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  13. #12
    golf's Avatar
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    No one buys Audi's (bar RS4, R8) thinking they're getting a pure drivers car.

    But I think it's fair to say nearly all modern cars now are very computerised and feel rather detached if you know what I mean. Even new Vauxhalls, Fords and VW's are quiet, well built and have a million sensors which all give it a modern feel, but seem a little souless.

    Sometimes I like jumping into our M reg Polo 1.3, as it's a refreshing change from all the high tech gadgetry and whatnot.

  14. #13
    SteveTDCi's Avatar
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    A focus is more entertaining than the A3 but i'd still pick a comfortable well built car over one that is a true drivers car for everyday transport.
    Gone A3 TDi S Line DSG Bluefined

    Now Seat Leon Cupra about to be Bluefined

  15. #14
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    there is no doubt the standard car is pretty 'numb' compared to a light basic hatch, but of course they are also noisier and less well constructed than a nice a3.

    a few changes to the suspension of the a3 can transform the driving feel and experience without spoiling the ride - in fact if you choose the right bits the ride improves, the handling is streets ahead and the feedback is much improved whilst keeping the audi creature comforts
    TT-RS 410hp revo
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer View Post
    IMO, David, you're not making a proper distinction here.
    You may enjoy driving it, fair enough, but that doesn't make it an enjoyable driver's car.
    It is as numb as a female patient at a dodgy dentist.
    I had some enjoyable journeys in my A3, but I'd never claim the car itself was enjoyable.
    Go take the same journey you made in other makes/type of car and you'd see what we mean.
    It's taken me a while to adapt to driving my new car, because it seems so 'sensitive'.
    In fact, it's just feedback and responses that the A3 (or my A4 before) didn't transmit.
    Spot on, bowfer. Often, manufacturers have to strike a balance between road holding and handling with ride quality. With the A3, Audi hasn't achieved either. Prior to the A3 I had a Focus ST170, which for all its incredible handling talents still maintained a surprisingly supple ride, even on 17s.

    Our Sportback has now been joined by a Prius (my new daily driver), which has a markedly better ride and yet handles respectably enough; it grips very hard but there's a lot of roll. The stupid thing is, our Sportback is an SE which is *supposed* to have the softest, most supple ride of the range. But it's still firm and harsh.

    Don't get me wrong; I still think a lot of our Sportback. I love the looks, build quality, reliability, residuals and the kit. But the trade-off for this is definitely the ride and handling.
    2004 A3 Sportback 2.0TDI SE, RNS-E Sat Nav SW0650 TMC, 17" Star Alloys, Xenons, DIS, Rear Mats & Sunblind, Alu trim, Ebony Black pearlescent
    2006 Honda Accord EX i-CTDI, Arctic Blue, Leather, Sat Nav, XCarLink

  17. #16
    SteveTDCi's Avatar
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    i've just driven a vectra diesel... the A3 is now a true sporting car !
    Gone A3 TDi S Line DSG Bluefined

    Now Seat Leon Cupra about to be Bluefined

  18. #17
    JJ
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    It takes a bit of time getting used to the feel of the sportback.Going downhill at high speed on some twisty roads does feel unsettling!
    I cant feel the grip when cornering hard,but having said that Its still fun to drive
    08 A3 Sportback SE TDI S Tronic 170 Ice Silver
    Front sports seats Alcantara/leather

 

 

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